< Saph Pani at the EU-INDIA Water Projects Meeting in Brussels
12 of July 2014 Age: 9 yrs

Workshop on Groundwater Laws, Policies & Management in Chennai: Potential for Improvement

A one day workshop on "Groundwater Laws, Policies & Management in Chennai: Potential for improvement" was held on 12th of July at the Department of Geology, Anna University, Chennai as a part of activities of the EC funded project Saph Pani, specifically its work package 6 (Integrated Sustainability Aessessment).

About 50 participants including officials from various Government organizations such as Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board , Public Works Department , Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage Board , Central Groundwater Board , Agriculturral Engineering Department, National Geophysical Research Institute , DHAN Foundation, The Tamil Nadu Bar Council and about 10 farmers from Arani-Korattalaiyar river basin attended this workshop. The workshop commenced with the welcome speech by Prof. L. Elango., Dept. of Geology, Anna University. Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. M. Sundresh, Judge, High Court of Madras, has delivered the inaugural speech. He elucidated about the significance of managing the available water resources and quoted some of the admirable quotes from primitive Tamil literature on the significance of water resources. Later, a special address to the gathering was delivered by Hon’ble Prof. P. Vanangamudi, Vice-Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University. In his speech, he explicated the need for the academicians to bring about the new strategic policies for the better conservation of water resources and also he wished the patrons to pursuit innovative ideas such as watershed governance. Prof. L. Elango gave a lecture on Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) by percolation pond techniques and its impacts on groundwater systems. This was followed by a presentation by Mr. P. Sakthivel, consultant of the Centre for Environmental Management and Decision Support, on Legal and policy situation at State and local level for the implementation of groundwater recharge structures. The participants were clarified regarding their queries and their fruitful suggestions are taken into account at the conclusion of every session. The spectators perceived an enthusiastic and lively debate between agriculturalists and the experts representing government authorities as the merits and demerits of applying the above-mentioned practices were meticulously and scientifically deliberated. The officials and the agrarians expressed their grief on wastage of groundwater and surface water resources in both household level and also industrial purposes in the Chennai city. The participants were given ample time to express their views and their success stories on conserving the water resources and reclamation measures. The legal controversies pertaining in recent times and the ideas to overcome it were also discussed.