The Centre for Science and Environment is organizing the Anil Agarwal Dialogue 2013: Excreta Does Matter, on urban India’s water supply and waste management challenges. The two-day Dialogue will deliberate on critical issues on how cities will get affordable and sustainable water and waste systems that can supply to all and take back and treat the sewage of all.
Our publication, the 7th State of India’s Environment Report called Excreta Matters, details the challenges faced by cities as they source water from further and further away; increased distribution losses and cost of supply; increased disparity within the city and most importantly, paucity of funds for sewage systems to be set up and maintained. Today, all cities are losing the battle to treat sewage.
As a result, we are killing our rivers and waterbodies, which have become receptacles of sewage and garbage. Cities are impinging on the rural areas, resulting in increased tension and conflicts over sourcing. We hope to deliberate on these issues to look for answers.
The Dialogue is an annual series, named after Anil Agarwal, environmentalist and founder of CSE. Anil strongly believed in the power of research, discussion and debate to drive policy.
The water and waste and pollution sector is extremely truncated and disparate. We hope this Dialogue will help bring the community together. We hope this will become an important event on water in India that brings together people from the government, NGOs, donors, private sector and academia.
The objectives are to build a community of people working on water from all over India, provide a forum for interaction and highlight current thinking that can inform policy and programmes. Given the scope of the programme we hope you will want to participate in the Anil Agarwal Dialogue. We unfortunately have limited funds and so, will only be able to support the participation of invited speakers and key presenters. But we hope you will still have an interest in coming. Please let us know.
The Ministry of Urban Development has acknowledged the lack of skilled man power in urban local bodies across India and has therefore developed the ‘Capacity Building Scheme for Urban Local Bodies’ (CBULB). The programme aims to enhance knowledge, skills and attitude of city officials for the mainstreaming of reforms and best management practices (BMPs) of sustainable water and wastewater management through training programmes followed with field exposure visit, seminars and workshops.
‘Septage’ is both solid and liquid waste that accumulates in onsite sanitation systems (OSS) e.g. septic tanks. This has three main components – scum, effluent and sludge. It has an offensive odour, appearance and contains significant levels of grease, grit, hair, debris and pathogenic micro organisms. The construction and management of OSS are left largely to ineffective local practices and there is lack of holistic septage management practices.