Congress of International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research
CHENNAI: The need for multi-institutional and international collaborations for nurturing water resources was highlighted at a symposium inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras on Monday.
Director of IIT-Madras M.S. Ananth and chairman of the Board of Governors A.E. Muthunayagam, who participated in the inaugural session, stressed the importance of such collaboration, especially in developing technologies for conservation and optimal use of water resources.
Dr. Muthunayagam pointed out that the oceans were a source of water with tremendous potential, which could be harnessed using a desalination system that was reliable, economical and eco-friendly.
The system used solar energy to generate electrical energy offshore through an ocean thermal energy conversion device.
The electrical energy generated is used to operate a low-pressure distillation desalination system. A pilot project was operational at Kavaratti in Lakshadweep, he added.
The system was very different from the commercial systems in operation now, he said. Other speakers included former Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University V.C. Kulandaiswamy, who detailed the problems and prospects of interlinking Indian rivers.
The symposium was part of the four-day 15th Congress of Asia and Pacific Division of International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research.
Participants from Japan, Australia, Thailand, Canada, China, Netherlands, Brazil, Italy and various research institutions from India will discuss topics ranging from water quality and health to coastal erosion and protection.
Organising secretary professor V. Sundar said that apart from the main theme of the congress, the various sub-themes address the recent challenges and crises faced by countries in the Asia-Pacific region.