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Mizuho India Japan Study Centre hosted webinar on ‘Global Warming is No Myth! Urban Water Crisis & Management Strategies of India and Japan’ on 16th May

The session featured Dr. Mikio Ishiwatari, Visiting Professor, The University of Tokyo and Prof. Namrata Chindarkar, Chair and Associate Professor, JSW School of Public Policy, IIM Ahmedabad

24 May, 2023, Bengaluru: The Mizuho India Japan Study Centre (MIJSC) at IIM Bangalore hosted a webinar titled, ‘Global Warming is No Myth! Urban Water Crisis & Management Strategies of India and Japan’, on 16th May 2023 (Tuesday). It was the centre’s third webinar of its panel presentation series: ‘Meijin-Samvad’, that is, ‘Expert-Conversation’. The session, held virtually via Zoom, aimed to unravel Indian and Japanese urban water crises, along with the management strategies. 

The ‘Meijin-Samvad’ discussion series involves a select group of panelists from India and Japan, who share different perspectives on a particular topic, with a larger audience.

The panelists for the session on 16th May were: Dr. Mikio Ishiwatari, Visiting Professor, The University of Tokyo, Senior Advisor, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Board Director, Japan Water Forum, and Prof. Namrata Chindarkar, Chair and Associate Professor, JSW School of Public Policy (JSW-SPP), Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. The moderator of the conversation was Saideep Rathnam, Chief Operating Officer, Mizuho India Japan Study Centre, IIMB.

In his informative and pictorial presentation Dr. Mikio Ishiwatari primarily focused on urban water issues in Japan. “The challenges faced by Japan historically include pollution related diseases, water shortage, land subsidence and flooding. Although many initiatives have been taken, flooding remains a serious issue in Japan.” He also presented countermeasures for restoring the urban water cycle. “Our water demand management techniques include the implementation of a two-part tariff system to decrease water consumption.” Moreover, he highlighted trends in rainwater harvesting and recycling, specifically discussing the town-scale recycled water systems in Nishi-Shinjuku and Nakano-Sakaue. Groundwater management, industrial water supply regulation and the development of the housing compound Hachioji-Minamino City were also discussed as case studies of how Japan addressed the issues. 

Prof. Namrata Chindarkar discussed India's urban water crisis, sharing statistics and projections. “The Indian government predicts a decline in per capita water availability from 1,486 cubic meters to 1,367 cubic meters by 2031, with a quarter of the water-stressed population concentrated in urban areas by 2050. The challenges include inadequate potable water, insufficient water for sanitation and sewerage, administrative and developmental issues, and the lack of infrastructure and spatial planning.” Climate change was also discussed as an external factor. She presented case studies of successful solutions, including Nagpur's reform package and Delhi's comprehensive water policy. She added, “Lessons from Fukuoka, Japan, emphasized effective city planning, payment for ecosystem services, and investment in water infrastructure and reclamation facilities.”

During the discussion with the moderator Saideep Rathnam, both the speakers provided comprehensive insights into the urban water issues faced by their respective countries, shed light on the challenges and potential solutions, offering valuable lessons for addressing the pressing global issue of urban water management. The talks were followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

For the complete video, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8qi031b3P4