Webinar: Sustainable provision and access to drinking and irrigation water in rural communities, even during times of pandemic – such as with Covid-19 - and the effect of lockdown (Thursday 6th August 2020, 1300 hrs BST/1730 hrs IST)

Indian Activity Lead Name: 

Dr. Shivaraju H Puttaiah

Indian Activity Lead Organization: 

Department of Water and Health, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru

UK Activity Lead Name: 

Dr. David Jenkins

UK Activity Lead Organisation: 

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, University of Plymouth

 

The IUKWC hosted a webinar series between May - September 2020 to share the excellent work that is being done by Indian and UK scientists in the area of water security. Sixth in series, this webinar centeres on the discussion of citizen science and technology-based frameworks for safe drinking water access. The webinar was attended by 97 people from 32 institutions mainly across India and the UK and contributed to increasing interest and creating a new knowledge base in context of COVID 19 awareness in the water supply sector. 

Abstract

The IUKWC hosted a webinar series between May - September 2020 to share the excellent work that is being done by Indian and UK scientists in the area of water security. Sixth in series, this webinar centeres on the discussion of citizen science and technology-based frameworks for safe drinking water access. The webinar was attended by 97 people from 32 institutions mainly across India and the UK and contributed to increasing interest and creating a new knowledge base in context of COVID 19 awareness in the water supply sector. 

The availability of safe water for rural communities is always a major issue, as is the provision of water suitable for the production of food crops. In these times of lockdown and limited mobility and social distancing it is essential that people not only have access to water, but access to safe water and safe access to this water. It is essential that pumps and wells can be accessed without transmission of coronavirus. What are the other factors that are at play in India today? And what can we do to keep people safe. The key issues are availability and sustainability – just they are now compounded by the pandemic

This webinar will be centered on the discussion of citizen science and technology-based frameworks for safe drinking water access. We will be looking at what factors affect water provision at present and what the key factors are in keeping people safe. We will explore questions such as, ‘Can citizen science play a role, as it can in water supply monitoring?’ and even though from the UK perspective, these water access issues can be hard to relate to, ‘are there processes/technologies/ideas UK and India can share to help safe access to safe water?’  If you are working on sustainable water supply and the vital water-energy-food nexus research/practice and are interested in contributing to this conversation and work, then join us in this discussion.

There is a lot of work being carried out to develop sensors that require human intervention, at both a skilled and unskilled level. It is timely to change to real time monitoring of water at key locations. This requires development of sensor platforms that are able to function in the long term, or can be adapted for automated sensor reset. Sensors utilising ‘binding events’ for example, can be automated for this purpose. The sensor platform could look for ‘change’ in the permittivity of the water or sense the presence of specific contaminants, such as lead. So, which sensor platform(s) could be suitable?

Deep learning has been developed to understand water distribution networks; can this form an integrated approach to sustainable water resource management?

We want to explore the myriad issues and how they can best be managed.  Coronavirus is not going away any time soon!

Presenters’ Bios

Dr David Jenkins is an Associate Professor of Nanomaterials and Devices at the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics at the University of Plymouth.  His research is based on sensors, not only for water quality, but also for health.  He is working on novel filters based upon aerogels that have demonstrated amazing capacity to remove contaminants, but with a very large adsorption capacity.  David works closely with colleagues in India, as an Adjunct Professor at VIT University, a board member of the International Engineering Advisory Board, Saveetha University Chennai and affiliate professor at BS Abdur Rahman, The Crescent University, Chennai.  He has delivered a number of workshops on low cost solutions for clean water using new technologies and novel materials.  One of these workshops, Safe and Sustainable Technologies and Strategies for Integrated Freshwater Resource Management, facilitated through the IUKWC, was led with his colleague and co-presenter Dr Shivaraju H Puttaiah.  David is very keen to develop his contacts with India further and work with them to help people struggling with accessing safe water both in normal times, and more pressingly, during the current crisis.

Dr Shivaraju H Puttaiah is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Water and Health, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research (JSSAHER, Mysuru). He has experience in integrated water resource management using technology based approaches (catchment management in the perspective of pollution remediation and water quality) including advanced water & wastewater treatment techniques using solar as an alternative driving energy. He is actively involved in surface water management and environmental conservation by understanding the dynamic interaction between water-food-energy nexus and catchment management strategies. He has experience working with stakeholders and in end-user engagement at grassroots level.  He specializes in preparation and characterization of novel catalytic materials for environmental applications and has developed advanced water treatment techniques using novel materials such multifunctional nanocatalysts, photocatalysis hybridized membranes, and low-cost point-of-use filters for treatment using alternative driving energies. Together with David, Shivaraju is keen to further the discussion on the role of citizen science and how this can help with the science of technology-based frameworks for safe drinking water access. 

Activity Date Calender: 

Thursday, August 6, 2020