News & Notes 688:Introducing the Water Group
Introducing the Water Group
In January, the Government of Tamil Nadu declared all 32 districts of Tamil Nadu officially “drought-hit”, based on the poor rainfall during the monsoon of 2016. But in 2015, many parts of Tamil Nadu were inundated with unrelenting rains during the monsoon period, causing flooding and havoc. One question that’s buzzing through Auroville right now is, “What does that mean for us?” On a bigger scale the question becomes, “What is the status of water security in Auroville?”
Since its beginning, our community has relied on underground aquifers as its primary source of water. Like everywhere in India, the aquifers here are drying up. This forces us to get both serious and creative about finding other solutions, such as utilizing multiple water sources like rainwater, wastewater, and even desalinated water. It also makes us examine how best to utilize the fresh water that we do have: to reduce our consumption and reuse or recycle it. And it pushes us all to think about what kind of relationship we want to have with water in the City of the Future.
In 2015, the TDC invited a group of people to come together to focus on these questions. We are called the Water Group. We are working to collect current, accurate, on-the-ground data on our current situation. We aim to share information about the current water situation of Auroville with the community. In general, we are working on helping Auroville move toward becoming water-sensitive city.
Are we experts? No. But combined we have decades of water experience, in waste-water treatment, geography, town planning and education. Are we closed? No. On our bookshelves, we have the past water plans of Auroville and recognize that for some reason all of them failed to take hold. Our group aims to be inclusive, transparent, and communicative. In turn we hope for the community’s feedback and active participation.
The Water Group recognizes that we cannot work alone. Water, the very essence of life and our great unifier, is a necessity for all, and each one of us has work to do on this. So this is both an introduction to the Water Group and an invitation to you to ponder what it means to be “water sensitive”.
In the meantime, if you’d like to connect, we can be reached at: watergroup (at) auroville.org.in
Auroville Water Group (Christian, Giulio, Nele, Tency, Toby, Tom, Aditi, Camille, Gilles B, Ing-Marie, Julia, Mariu, Pavneet, Paolo, Ramesh)