‘Coastal reservoirs can improve water security’

Prof Shu Qing Yang, associate professor of University of Wollongong, Australia, speaks to mediapersons in Mangaluru on Saturday.

The Department of Applied Mechanics and Hydraulics of National Institute of Technology (NITK), Surathkal, will organise a three-day workshop on ‘Coastal Reservoirs as Sustainable Strategy for Water Security’ under Scheme for Promotion of Academic and Research Collaboration (SPARC) from July 22 to 24.

Prof Sivakumar Muttucumaru of University of Wollongong, Australia, told mediapersons on Saturday that coastal reservoir is a technology to impound fresh water in a coastal environment before it enters the sea. China, Singapore, Netherlands and Australia have already used the system of coastal reservoirs as a water security to store fresh water for the requirements of the people. “It is storing water downstream and not upstream.”

It can be a method to improve water security in water-stressed developed countries. Though desalination units can create a parallel source of drinking water, he added.

On the impact of coastal reservoir on eco-system, Muttucumaru said any major infrastructure would have some impact. To minimise the impact, the river will flow and join the sea. In addition, a barrier can be constructed in a such a manner as to create a new eco-system for fish which will balance with the loss.

Citing an example, he said there are four coastal reservoirs in Shanghai built on the River Yangtze. Qingcaosha reservoir is the largest coastal reservoir for drinking water supply in the world, which supplies 40% of the water requirements of Shanghai, thus helping 10 million people.

Prof Shu Qing Yang, Associate professor of University of Wollongong Australia, said water is considered as blue gold. “About 4 billion people experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year.”

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6 calls for ‘Water for All’ (and no one should be left behind) but water is connected with other SGDs such as energy, food, health, sustainable
cities to name a few and intense competition exist for its share even in developed nations such as in Australia, he added.

“The coastal reservoir can provide a sustainable solution to water security in coastal cities and towns. They are feasible and cheaper when compared to desalination units,” said Prof Shu Qing Yang.

Coordinator of workshop Prof H Ramesh said the NITK would make a study on impact of coastal reservoir on marine ecology, groundwater quality and land use change. The workshop will be inaugurated by IIT Guwahati Director Prof T G Seetharam while NITK Director Prof K Umamaheshwar Rao will preside.

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