ICCW celebrates second anniversary

ICCW celebrates second anniversary

On April 22, International Centre for Clean Water (ICCW), celebrated its second anniversary  through an online event. The Centre was launched on World Earth Day, which is observed every year on 22nd April. 

To mark this occasion, ICCW launched a music video titled ‘Rivers of India’ to promote awareness about river conservation. It was created by IIT Madras Distinguished Alumnus Awardee Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran and features prominent singers including Smt. ‘Bombay’ Jayashri, Sri. Amrit Ramnath, Sri. Sai Shravanam, Smt. Kaushiki Chakraborty and Master Rishith Desikan. 

The Music video ‘Rivers of India’ can be viewed in the following link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wmCGm8k2eU 

The event was live-streamed on IIT Madras YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZgwOAjweG6NZKX5VWXLQLw 

Addressing the celebrations virtually, Chief guest Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, Director General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), said, “The total water available in earth is 1,360,000,000 km3, of which 97.2 per cent is ocean water. Freshwater availability is only 0.02 per cent of total water available to us and water vipers is only 0.001 per cent. The total amount of fresh water available is really tiny. This actually highlights the importance of conservation of water. It is the collective duty to all of us to conserve water.”

Appreciating the “phenomenal work” being done by Prof. T. Pradeep, Dr. Shekhar C. Mande, added, “Water is extraordinarily important. It is good to see IITs efforts in all fronts, not only in generating next level of human resources and extraordinary translational work.”

One in three people globally lack access to safe drinking water. According to a recent report by the United Nations, nearly 2.1 billion, lack access to safe, readily available water at home. In its mission to ensure clean drinking water for people, ICCW has been developing sustainable technologies and taking them to affected communities with commensurate behaviour change activities.

 Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said that IIT Madras Research Park  is a place where we incubate all our startups and also a place where some of these translational research centres have been set up, including the ICCW. Such efforts to take ideas more quickly to the market and the field have benefitted a lot from the IIT Madras Research Park.

 “There are at least half a dozen such centres which are catalyzing the conversion of our ideas to reality. As a result of all this, I believe that the number of areas in which our faculty are having more immediate impact definitely in India if not beyond the country as well is quite high relative to most institutions. You can see our efforts bearing fruits not just in water, but in healthcare, housing, sustainable and energy, and several other areas,” he said.

 Speaking on the occasion, Prof. T. Pradeep, Professor-in-Charge, ICCW, and Institute Professor, IIT Madras, said, “Ensuring clean water for all is the most essential, but seemingly insurmountable global challenge.  Along this direction, ICCW is taking baby steps in offering functional, sustainable and socially responsible solutions.”

The ICCW focuses on clean water implementation projects through sustainable means, effluent management, cutting-edge research and community welfare programmes in partnership with various governments, co-operatives, NGOs, and corporates.  US-based companies Marmon Group and Buckman Laboratories are consortia members of ICCW.

E Nandakumar, CEO, ICCW, presented the comprehensive report on the centre and described the centre’s new initiatives and offerings. 

Speaking about the making of the music video, IIT Madras Distinguished Alumnus Awardee Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran, said, “The key word is the reverence for rivers, and then taking it to the stage of over use and its consecuence, environmental pollution, the course correction, hope, collaboration, awareness people coming together and finally a message of hope to come together…. The key thing here is calling out rivers by their names.”

The technologies developed by ICCW include an ‘IOT-based smart water measurement, monitoring and control system’ and low-cost mobile-enabled sensors for toxic contaminants such as fluoride and arsenic, paint shop water recycling for industries and greywater recycling. 

An integrated hydroinformatics approach is taken to connect technology with social needs that aligns well with the smart city movement. Wastewater-based epidemiology and real-time consumption and quality monitoring for households form key aspects of hydroinformatics. ICCW has also collaborated with Akamai Technologies in their accelerator program to mentor start-ups in the water sector with social impact potential.

As part of its mission to promote startups, the centre is working with IIT Madras-incubated startups – InnoDI, Hydromaterials and VayuJal – to implement sustainable technologies in total dissolved solids (TDS), fluoride and arsenic affected areas across the length and breadth of our country. In the past two years over one lakh, people have benefited from clean and mineralised drinking water.