Project Lead: Dr. Manoj Kumar Tiwari, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur
Good water management is critical to sustainable development and to people’s well-being because of its pivotal role for economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. India is facing mounting challenges to sustain coverage of drinking water and sanitation services due to massive investment backlogs in infrastructure, rapid urbanization, and inadequate maintenance. 4WARD has a programmatic approach towards real-life problem-solving in the Urban Water Systems (UWS). Specifically, 4WARD addresses improved water supply and sanitation even under extreme surface and groundwater quality challenges. We base our approach on four pilot case studies (living labs) embedded in the Digital Social Platform (DSP), designed for the project, in Haldia, Palgarh, Ludhiana and Kochi, where municipalities have demanded solutions to their respective challenges. Stakeholder engagement and impact assessment of interventions are pivotal to 4WARD; stakeholders are already being involved. A participative process of co-design enabled by virtual environment of the DSP will be followed. This will cross-pollinate analysis, design, implementation, and lessons learned from innovative and cost effective technical interventions, such as pressurized digesters and bio-remediation at pilot locations. 4WARD takes up the challenge of balancing engineering solutions with public acceptance and institutional design/arrangements that is crucial for sustainable technical interventions.