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Press Release

April 25, 2018

Japanese Technology for Rainwater Harvesting Using Plastic Underground Storage Facilities
- Feasible Solution to Diversify Sources in a Water Scarce Chennai -

Chennai, April 25, 2018:The first workshop and the opening ceremony of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported "Verification Survey with the Private Sector for Disseminating Japanese Technologies for Gap Resolution of Water Demand/Supply by Plastic Underground Rainwater Storage System", was held at the Tamil Nadu Public Works Department's (PWD) Tharamani Campus in Chennai. The objective of the workshop was to shed light on a JICA-financed verification survey by one Japanese company named Totetsu Manufacturing Co. Ltd., to construct a cost-effective community-based rainwater harvesting system at the PWD Campus.

Mr. C.T Shankar, Chief Engineer, Water Resource Department, PWD Chennai delivered the welcome address. Mr. C Paul Prabhakar, Regional Director, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Chennai and Mr. Dr. T. Prabhushankar, Executive Director, Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB), delivered special addresses at the workshop. Dignitaries from Totetsu Manufacturing Company Limited, Japan and JICA India made opening remarks at the workshop followed by presentation session and work transfers.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Yoshiomi Yoshino, Senior Representative, JICA India Office, said "JICA realises the need to tackle water management issues in Chennai, and plans to bring innovative solutions for them. We are supporting Totetsu's initiatives in collaboration with the Government of Tamil Nadu in pursuit of feasible solutions to diversify water sources in a water scarce city like Chennai. Totetsu's ‘UN System', installed as a pilot, is a cutting edge rainwater storage technology. This initiative, if replicated in other areas, has the potential to plug water shortages in many other rain-rich but water scarce cities, making rainwater harvesting a popular and cost-effective source of water supply."

The ‘UN System' is a Universal Rainwater Underground Storage System developed by Totetsu and is the company's one-of-a-kind technology with following characteristics: 1) Large-scale and long-term rainwater storage, 2) effective utilization of underground space and 3) low cost. It is made of a combination of plastic parts and vinyl chloride tubes, realizing low cost compared with usual models of plastic rainwater storage system.

Totetsu's technology is very unique and different from other existing technologies. Totetsu's rainwater harvesting tanks have a spacious walk-in structure that enables sound maintenance. The materials used in making these underground rainwater harvesting tanks can be largely sourced locally, keeping the implementation cost affordable. The Government of Tamil Nadu has made it mandatory for all buildings to be equipped with rainwater harvesting structures, creating a suitable environment to test ‘UN System' for the first time in India.

The ground-breaking ceremony of the Totetsu's pilot Project for Underground Rainwater Storage in Chennai was inaugurated by Thiru Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Government of Tamil Nadu, in 2017. The technology supported by the JICA's Public Private Partnership (PPP) funding scheme, gives the opportunity to take up initiatives using Japanese technologies to tackle development issues through innovative ways.

JICA has extended 476,862 million Japanese yen (approximately INR 30,000 crores) in Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans since 1981 for all-round development in Tamil Nadu. The initiatives facilitated by the ODA loans include the Chennai Metro, Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Program to expedite domestic and foreign investments, power transmission system enhancement across Tamil Nadu, provision of safe water supply and sewerage facilities in the state, water supply enhancement and fluorosis mitigation in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts, enhancement of Chennai port operations, and biodiversity conservation and greening across Tamil Nadu, among others.

JICA also recently signed a loan agreement for Chennai Desalination Project for an amount of 30,000 million Japanese Yen (approximately INR 1,800 Crore) addressing the water needs at Chennai. While water production from sea water would address the demand issue in the city, rain water harvesting would also help keeping water sources diversified in such a water scarce city.

PhotoL- R: (Extreme Left) Er. K. Padmanabhan, Special Secretary to Government, Public Works Department, Government of Tamil Nadu; (6th from Left) Er. M. Bakthvathsalam, Engineer- in-Chief, Water Resources Department, Government of Tamil Nadu; Hiroyuki Okui, Technical General Manager, Association for Rainwater Storage and Infiltration Technology (ARSIT), Japan; Er. C. T. Sankar, Chief Engineer, State Ground & Surface Water Resources Data Centre, PWD, Govt. of Tamil Nadu; Masahiro Imbe, Executive Director, ARSIT, Japan

About JICA

Established by a specific law as an independent administrative institution under the Government of Japan, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) aims to promote international cooperation as the sole Japanese governmental agency in charge of ODA implementation. JICA is the world's largest bilateral donor agency. JICA works as a bridge between Japan and emerging countries, and provides assistance in the form of loans, grants and technical cooperation, so that the emerging countries can strengthen their capabilities.

For further information, please contact:

JICA India Office
Ai Tachikawa/Vini Sharma
+91 11 49097000


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