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Creation of a Wastewater Management Group

In the AVNews of December 22nd, 2001, the following announcement appeared in the Interim Development Council's weekly report:

Several Aurovilians active in wastewater management have come forward to present a workable structure for the overall wastewater treatment and management systems of the future township. They proposed in detail the structure they would like to see functioning. Govind and Gilles B. gave an introduction, mentioning the collaborating agencies they have been working with, such as

  • Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA),

  • Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science & Technology (SANDEC),

  • University of Washington,

  • other agencies.

They are also in touch with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India.

Honorary advisors

Dr. G. D. Agrawal, an expert environmentalist of India, Mr. Martin Strauss from SANDEC and Mr. Charles L. Henry from the University of Washington are acting as Honorary Advisors to the IDC as well as to this group.

It has been a big task to set up this working group, which will assist the IDC in evolving the Master Plan, and in formulating the guidelines and plans of action regarding the community's wastewater management.

Major challenge: community participation

As a model township Auroville can provide considerable input in the research regarding wastewater management and sustainable use of resources in developing countries. Since the issue is very wide, and requires a lot of detailed studies and research, the task in front of the new group seems to be very large.
Tency (of CSR) highlighted for instance the current problems we are facing regarding the wastewater management and the difficulty to obtain full community participation in this process. There is also a severe lack of funds as far as these issues are concerned. Tency stressed the need to educate the people within the community to take the issue more seriously. The new group is also working towards a septic & sewage sludge management.

Members of the group

The group has been constituted as 'Wastewater Management Group' and the members are:

  • Igor (Ukrainian, Palmyra),

  • Tency (Belgian, CSR),

  • Dr. Lucas (German, Annadana),

  • Gilles B. (French, Harvest),

  • Margarita (Columbian, Annadana),

  • Krishna M. (Indian, Harvest),

  • Joseba (Spanish, Development Group),

  • Cristo (French, consultant Development Group).

  • Govind (Indian, DG, Auroville's Future) will act as member secretary.

  • J.F. Audic (French) will act as internal consultant to this group.

Proposed role, responsibilities & limitations of wastewater management group

  1. To assist the Development Council in formulation of policies, regulations & guidelines related to the wastewater management.

  2. To work in a close coordination with the Auroville Development & Planning group.

  3. Provide the design details of sanitary installations/sewage treatment units, when asked for, to the project holders, architects, builders etc. from within Auroville.

  4. To study & forward for approval by the DC, the wastewater treatment projects prior to their implementation.

  5. Assess and certify the building application for sanitary installation/wastewater treatment systems.

  6. Propose and implement the guidelines for operation & maintenance of the sanitary installation and wastewater treatment units.

  7. To monitor the sanitary installations/wastewater treatment units on regular basis with the help of Auroville Environmental Service.

  8. The group is to prepare a budget for its functioning which will be submitted to the Development Council.

  9. Interact with the consultants and external agencies.

  10. Propose the rectification work needed to the different ill-fated treatment systems and get them fixed at the earliest possible.

  11. The group will take care of the wastewater management research & development aspects.

Contact: developmentgroup@auroville.org.in 

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