Aamir Khan – Paani Foundation

An excellent chat with Aamir Khan on the seeds of a water revolution in the making :

Click Here for his website and learn more – https://www.paanifoundation.in/

Advertisements

ISI marked water pouches found unsafe

PRESSNOTE-18/E&R/Aug 18

ISI marked water pouches found unsafe

60% brands failed tests; water in pouches contaminated with bacteria

Ahmedabad, 9August 2018

Grahak Sathi (August-September 2018), the National Consumer Magazine in Hindi published by Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad, recently released findings of its in-house comparative product testing laboratory of ten brands of packaged drinking water (pouches).

Packaged drinking water is water from any source, which has been treated and disinfected to make it fit for human consumption and then packaged in bottles or pouches. The pouches were tested for two microbiological parameters – aerobic microbial count and coliform bacteria –and assessed for labelling.


Water pouches banned in Ahmedabad
In a welcome move, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation announced a complete ban on production and use of packaged water pouches commemorating World Environment Day on 5 June 2018. The theme for the day was ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’. Our testing of water pouches was conducted much before the ban was announced. Water pouches have been banned in Rajkot as well. Maharashtra has banned water pouches of less than 200 ml capacity.


The test findings were alarming. Sixty per cent of the brands failed to comply with the parameters though they all carried an ISI mark. This means they could be fake products or carrying false ISI labels. It is compulsory for all manufacturers who intend to set up drinking water processing units to obtain the ISI mark from the Bureau of India Standards (BIS). However, illegal manufacturing units do thrive across the country, endangering people’s health.

CERC’s test findings on bottled water in 1998 created ripples in the country. The findings revealed that only three brands out of the 13 tested conformed to the standards. Twenty years down the line, the situation is no better.

KEY FINDINGS(See table for detailed results)

  • Aerobic Microbial Count: As per the BIS limits, the total viable colony count shall not exceed 20 per ml at 37°c in 24 hours and 100 per ml at 20 to 22°c in 72 hours. Five samples of water pouches had total viable colony count more than the prescribed limit at 37°c in 24-hour microbial count. Five samples of water pouches had total viable colony count higher than the prescribed limit at 20 to 22°c in 72-hour microbial count.

Significance of parameter: The Aerobic Microbial Count test determines the total number of aerobic bacteria and is an indication of the bacterial populations of any sample.

  • Coliform bacteria: As per the BIS limits, Coliform bacteria shall be absent in any 250 ml sample. One sample of water pouch had Coliform bacteria.

Significance of parameter: The presence of this group of bacteria is considered to be an indicator of the degree of unhygienic practices during production. Coliform bacteria can cause bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections and typhoid.
Packaged Drinking Water: Test Results

Brands/Areas1 Rank2 Overall
Score3
(%)
Net weight
(ml)
Price
 (Rs.)
Aerobic Microbial Count Coliform bacteria Labelling Score4
At 37°C At 20-22°C
Limits Shall not exceed 20/ml in 24 hours Shall not exceed 100/ml in 72 hours Absent in 250 ml
Passed brands
Bac-free
(Navrangpura)
1 90 200 2 0 41 Absent 25
Zion 
(Memnagar)
2 85 250 2 0 0 Absent 10
Aquafeel
(Vijay Crossroads)
3 73 200 2 0 87 Absent 20
Jay
(Stadium Road)
4 66 250 2 0 77 Absent 10
Failed brands
Assure 
(Ashram Road)
250 2 67 215 Absent
Aquata
(Memnagar)
200 2 278 620 Absent
ABM
(Shahibaug)
250 2 1280 2400 Present
Shayona
(Delhi Chakla)
250 2 18 820 Absent
Pavandeep
(Asarva)
250 2 381 1215 Absent
Fasters
(Commerce Six Roads)
200 2 107 95 Absent
Weightage (%) 25 25 25 25

Notes:
1Areas in Ahmedabad from where the samples were collected
2Only the four brands that passed were rated and ranked. The six brands that failed were not given overall score or rank
3The Overall Score was calculated by giving equal weightage (25%) to the four parameters– Aerobic Microbial Count at 370C, Aerobic Microbial Count at 20-220C, Coliform bacteria and labelling
Labelling score was calculated as the weighted score out of 25

Inadequate labelling 
All pouches carried the ISI mark. Only one pouch displayed batch number (Bac-free) and two had FSSAI manufacturing licence number (Aquata and ABM).  Three pouches mentioned the processing date and best before date (FastersAquafeel and Bac-free). Ironically, seven brands mentioned: “Best before one month from date of processing/packing” but they did not mention the date of processing/packing itself!

The labels in all brands mentioned name of the product (i.e. drinking water) brand name, name and address of processor, net volume, treatment of disinfection and directions for storage.

Best Buy 
Our Best Buy is Bac-free which obtained the highest Overall Score. Not only did Bac-free perform well in the microbiological parameters, it also got the highest labelling score. The label on the Bac-free pouch carried the manufacturing date, best before date and batch number. All this information is very important from the consumer’s viewpoint. The label on the Zion (which was ranked second) pouch had none of this information.

Areas of Action 

  • Since all the pouches tested had ISI mark, but 60% failed to comply with the standards, BIS should look into the possibility of them being fake products.
  • BIS should test samples regularly to safeguard the health of consumers.
  • The regulatory authorities should take strict action against manufacturers who do not give the required labelling information.

Grahak Sathi’s conclusion
The demand for packaged drinking water, especially water pouches which are popular among low income groups, is rising. The regulatory and monitoring authorities should ensure that packaged water offered for sale is safe and free from harmful organisms. Pouch packaged drinking water comes under mandatory BIS certification norms. Hence it is a matter of concern that 60% of the samples failed to comply with the standards. Consumers should go for bottled water which is likely to be safer. 

To read the complete story click on (http://online.fliphtml5.com/xjof/gpbf/ )
For further information please contact
Ms Pritee Shah (O) 079-27489945/46   (M) +91 99048 63838

A people’s movement to fight drought

Paani Foundation is a not-for-profit company set up in 2016 by the team of the TV series Satyamev Jayate to fight drought in rural Maharashtra. Water scarcity is largely a man-made condition, and we believe that only people’s efforts can solve the crisis. Paani Foundation aims to harness the power of communication to mobilise, motivate and train people in this mission to eradicate drought. Offering training in scientific watershed management, leadership and community-building, Paani Foundation is now working in roughly 90% of drought-hit Maharashtra. Our flagship project, the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup was instituted in 2016 as a way to encourage villages to apply their training in watershed management. Water Cup 2018 will be held from 8th April to 22nd May 2018.

https://www.paanifoundation.in/

 

How rain-rich Chennai depends on the sea for its water supply

Dropping crystals in clouds to induce rain, transporting water from other states by trains, covering a reservoir with thermocol to check loss of water to evaporation -there was no dearth of suggestions in Tamil Nadu‘s corridors of power as the state witnessed its worst drought in 142 years. It is one such idea, criticised as expensive and unviable, that now accounts for 40% of the water supply in capital Chennai: Tapping sea water.

Desalination plants in Nemmeli and Minjur -with a capacity to produce 100 million litres of water per day (mld) each -are now the city’s lifelines with traditional sources drying up. Chennai is almost entirely dependent on the monsoon for its water supply, the failure of which puts the city in a tight spot.

Combined storage level in the four reservoirs that cater to Chennai stands at 3% against their total capacity. The supply of Krishna river water from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh under the Telugu Ganga project has been suspended for more than two months now. Chennai’s nodal agency for water distribution, CMWSSB, has been coercing farmers in neighbouring districts to sell Chennai their water.Officials are also trying to sourcing water from stone quarries 23km from the city .

In all this, it is the treated seawater -that normally is an option in regions with no rains or other water sources -that meet the city’s demand for water. But senior officials doubt the sustainability of the desalination projects.Apart from environmental concerns, sourcing water thus is expensive. At present, CMWSSB pays Rs 60 per kilo litre for the water from Minjur, up from Rs 48 per kilolitre that it paid when the facility began operating in 2010. This works out to Rs 60 lakh for 100 mld of water. Water from the Nemmeli plant costs around Rs 30 per kilolitre. “We’re able to do this because the state is rich. I don’t know if it’s feasible in other states,” a senior official said. Voltage fluctuations and adverse weather are a serious challenge too in operating the plants and hike the costs. But this has not deterred the state from proposing two new plants, of 150 mld and 400 mld capacity in Perur, close to Nemmeli.

At present, TN accounts for 24% of the total desalinated water capacity in India, second only to Gujarat. Experts meanwhile describe desalination as a “last option”.S Janakarajan, professor at Madras Institute of Development Studies, says that seawater desalination was conceived for rich, rain-starved countries like those in West Asia. “Chennai’s average annual rainfall is well over 1,200 mm. It should ideally be the last resort which, in this case, is not,” Janakarajan said. With scant supply , water distribution is charted out daily by the CMWSSB.”Our planning [daily distribution] hinges on how much water the desalination plants supply ,” Arun Roy , managing director of CMWSSB, said.

On average, the two plants churn out around 180 mld of the 470 mld CMWSSB now supplies, against Chennai’s demand of 1,300-1,400 mld.The plant in Minjur caters to industries and a few localities in north Chennai, while the Nemmeli plant caters to nearly 13-15 lakh residents in south Chennai, which is also house to the city’s IT hub.

Ekatha Ann John

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/how-rain-rich-chennai-depends-on-the-sea-for-its-water-supply/articleshow/59010531.cms

Meet India’s ‘water doctor’

Ayyappa Masagi has a simple message: “You want water? Call me!” Thousands have. And his phone rings dozens of times a day. There appears to be an endless supply of patients for the man nicknamed India’s “Water Doctor”. “I faced a lot of water problems in my childhood,” he said. “I used to go at 3am to fetch water from the stream. So I made an oath that when I grew up I would find a solution. So I quit my job as a mechanical engineer in 2002 to solve India’s water problem,” Ayyappa told BBC.

yourstory-ayyappa-masagi-2
Image: (L-R) Water Literacy Foundation ; Know Your Star

India is enduring a catastrophic water crisis. About 330 million people are suffering water shortages after the failure of the last two monsoons. Reservoirs are dry. Farmers have committed suicide. Thousands of drought-stricken villagers have flocked to cities, desperate for water, praying for rain. According to Ayyappa’s calculations, if just 30 per cent of India’s rainwater were captured and stored, “one year’s rain would sustain the nation for three years.”

To prove it, in 2014 Ayyappa bought 84 acres of barren land near Chilamathur, a famously drought-prone region of Andhra Pradesh, 110km northeast of Bangalore. “The wind here was like a firewind. I told my partners, ‘Within one year I will make this land a water bowl.’” Today, a network of 25,000 sand-filled pits and four new lakes capture and store any rainwater that falls here. No drop is allowed to escape into rivers and run off to the sea. It stays on and in the land, keeping the subsoil charged with water which, when needed, is drawn from five shallow bore-wells.

The topsoil from digging out the lakes has helped level the land, which has been planted with trees and crops. Roughly 60 per cent of the trees will form dense forest, while 40 per cent will be fruit trees to generate income. Grains and vegetables have also been planted, and next year there will be a dairy here too. The plan is to make this a sustainable organic farm, totally self-sufficient for all its water needs.

Through his Water Literacy Foundation, Ayyappa is training “water warriors” to spread his message. He’s already written seven books and trained more than 100 interns from India and abroad, including Germany, Japan and the US. “If you only talk, nothing will happen. You have to do something and prove it. Governments are coming forward to take up my service, replicating my model. Once the community attitude changes, our political attitudes change, we can replicate this concept throughout the world.” Earlier, in 2013, Yourstory had published a story on Ayyappa.

https://yourstory.com/2016/05/ayyappa-masagi/

The pure water solution

27_06_2016_023_022_004
Piramal Sarvajal gets potable, safe H2O to places it’s really needed for as little as 20 paise per litre
Why would the Piramal Group, largely associated with healthcare, want to do something in the seemingly un connected space of water access and purity?
Because pure water represents the bedrock on which all health care delivery is based.When you think of it, there are so many instances of places where water ­ the pure and drinking kind should be available but isn’t. And that is how Piramal Sarvajal was conceived, around the terribly ambitious programme to provide universal potable water for all in 2008.The programme was timed not a day too soon.The more you think of it, the lack of access to potable water is the genesis of a number of modern day issues. In areas where pure water is not easily accessible, there is a question mark over food quality. In areas where water is not an arm’s length away, the one assigned to fetch it is usually the woman of the family (translating into the other problem of economic inequity and disempowerment). In areas where potable water is infrequently supplied, there is high medical expenditure with lower month-end surpluses available for reinvestment.In areas where water availability is low, the neighbourhood squabbles (over whose bucket should gain precedence) are high.These are some of the things I like about Piramal Sarvajal.

One, the programme does not profess that it knows all the answers; it partners with local entrepreneurs, corporations supporting social projects, the government and philanthropic organisations to provide local solutions (pun!). The result is that partners provide funding, while Piramal Sarvajal deploys decentralised units based on parameters like population density and local water quality.One comes with the cash, the other comes with knowledge, kickstarting implementation.

Two, the programme addresses the dearth of water not where it is most convenient, such as underserved urban pockets; instead it addresses villages, slums, schools, hospitals and public spaces.

Three, the programme has achieved some scale; it commissioned community drinking water solutions in more than 200 villages in partnership with local entrepreneurs, corporate donors and gram panchayat.

Four, the programme addresses purification in pockets where water is available; it commissioned sponsor-funded purification units in more than 70 schools (Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Karnataka).

Five, the programme has progressively extended to deficient urban public places, working with the government in selected resettlement areas around New Delhi where piped drinking water is simply not available and where residents are completely dependent on tankers; the result is a hub-and-spoke driven 24×7 access to safe drinking water.

Six, this is not a free hand-down; users are educated on the payback benefits of safe water access and then charged; the water revenue covers operational costs, making it possible for donor-sponsored locations to sell water for as low as 20 paise per litre (our packaged branded equivalent is available for Rs 20 per litre).

Seven, Piramal Sarvajal pioneered the remote monitoring of water purification machines and the concept of a water ATM. Through the combination of these technologies, Sarvajal not only maintains the machine and water quality but also ensures maximum uptime with the help of solarpowered water ATMs, ensuring 24×7 safe water availability regardless of power availability.

Eight, Piramal Sarvajal has commissioned a service centre to provide maintenance and community level marketing services every 20-30 units, ensuring that high uptime is not compromised by the repair technician turning up after a fortnight.

Nine, the patented technology was developed in-house; besides, the programme has emerged as a livelihood driver for about 1,000 individuals through Piramal Sarvajal water network, who earn more than their average local incomes.

The numbers are remarkable: the programme serves approximately 300,000 consumers each day through 500 plus installations across13 states.

The effect has been even more remarkable.Laxmi Devi of Laxmangarh village in Rajasthan gets 40 litres of water every day for her household of seven. Her verdict: “The present has put the power in our hands in the form of an ATM card.“

Arthritic 50-year-old Khurshid Bano of Jhunjhunu (Rajasthan) has a lot to thank Sarvajal for.The district suffers high fluoride levels in water, causing fluorosis and joint pains, weakened bones and yellowed teeth. Ever since she subscribed to Sarvajal, her pain has subsided and she saves Rs 1,500 of what was earlier being spent in medication costs each month.

Housewife Kavitaji (200 m from Sarvajal’s office in Sawda Ghevra JJ Colony) feels Sarvajal has been a life-changer. Her seven month daughter encountered severe diarrhoea resulting in a Rs 5,000 hospital bill. When the doctor wrote out a prescription, he scribbled `Sarvajal’. Kavitaji started buying 15 litres a day for the family. The family health improved; the housewife turned evangelist and convinced 11 families in the neighbourhood to subscribe as well, renaming her bylane as `Sarvajal gali.’ If only Piramal Sarvajal could take this concept to other corporations to fund drinking water unit in their own neighbourhoods…

Meet the Man Who Hasn’t Paid For Water in the Last 20 Years

 

http://www.thequint.com/india/2016/06/08/meet-the-man-who-hasnt-paid-for-water-in-the-last-20-years by Parul Agrawal