New IWA Young Water Professionals Chapter in India
As part of IWA’s mission to empower Young Water Professionals to contribute to sustainable water management, a new IWA Young Water Professionals (IWA YWP) chapter was established in India in October 2022.
This IWA YWP chapter will be the country’s go-to network boosting connections for YWPs and a platform to support equal opportunities and quality career development. As a voluntary network, the India chapter is open to all water professionals aged 35 or below who are enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate about water-related issues. Here, Dr. Prasanna Jogdeo (PhD), founder of Lemnion Green Solutions based in Pune and Chair of YWP India, presents some key points about the chapter.
Q: What was the motivation for setting up an IWA YWP Chapter in the country?
PJ: Growing population, rapid industrialisation, urbanisation, and climate change, are putting unrelenting pressure on India’s water resources. Water woes in India are already severe and considering the current rate of water consumption and its projected increase, India faces the very real possibility of soon becoming a water scarce country. While there are many challenges, there are also great opportunities to implement a new paradigm for urban water management, where we rethink the way water is used and reused. This is particularly the case in the many emerging towns and villages in India, that are currently in the process of implementing new infrastructure projects.
India, as a country of youth, has many young professionals working in the water sector. The need for a YWP Chapter in India comes from the strong desire of young Indian water professionals to build a multidisciplinary network also considering a connection with the India IWA Governing member
The YWP chapter can facilitate networking, improve community involvement and explore social opportunities to encourage all the young water professionals in the country. In this sense, it will provide a platform to share early career experiences and collaborate to address problems unique to our country. The YWP chapter can benefit from the interactions with the senior professionals and collaborate to advance their careers in the water sector.
Q: How will the chapter contribute to the empowerment of YWPs to contribute to the national water agenda of India?
PJ: India faces various challenges related to water resources, like sub-optimum availability, flooding, scarcity, water quality, inefficient wastewater treatment etc. Understanding these problems at different scales, geographical and demographical, is essential to address these challenges holistically. This YWP will help connect young water professionals across India, help them with better networking, guidance from national and international experts to work on these problems more effectively.
Q: What are the aims and objectives for your chapter, and what activities do you plan to do?
PJ: The YWP India Chapter has the goal to foster more engagement and collaboration amongst the YWPs and between YWPs and Senior Water Leaders towards achieving sustainable, equitable, resilient water systems in India, especially in a changing climate. The aims and objectives of the chapter are:
- To strengthen the Indian YWP community at the national level by attracting more young professionals.
- To interact with the international community for knowledge sharing and networking with water professionals worldwide.
- To create opportunities for professional development of YWPs through (i) fireside chats with industry experts and (ii) collaborations among IWA-YWPs at the national level.
- To promote the YWP Chapter in universities and involve students and researchers.
- To organise awareness, educational and workshop programs on water-related aspects at the local and national level.
- To produce a national-level document (policy brief/white paper) addressing the problems in the water sector related to India.
Meet the founding committee of the IWA YWP India Chapter
Current Affiliation: Co- Founder, Lemnion Green Solution Pvt Ltd and Visiting faculty at MIT World Peace University, Pune
Short Bio: A passionate environmentalist with a Ph.D. in Marine Biotechnology from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. After completing his Ph.D. and a discussion with like-minded professionals, Prasanna decided to come back to India and start working at the grass-root level. He co-founded a company, Lemnion Green Solutions Pvt. Ltd., and works with government and private organizations to tackle water-related ecological problems. At Lemnion, he designs biological wastewater treatment systems and strategies to restore polluted waterbodies ecologically. Prasanna is also a visiting faculty at MIT World Peace University, Pune. He teaches subjects like environmental studies and research methodology.
Current Affiliation: Independent Environmental Researcher and Educator.
Short Bio: With more than six years of research and field experience in the water and associated sectors, Ninad aims to enhance the fresh and process water availability over both temporal and spatial scales. He is also interested in developing sustainable solutions with field-scale implementation potential for domestic and industrial wastewater treatment and recovery.
Current Affiliation: Member, Working Group, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Centre for Policy Research, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India, New Delhi.
Short Bio: Neha Agarwal is a Research Associate with the Scaling City Institutions for India programme at the Centre for Policy Research, where she contributes to the research, policy, and practice for non-networked sanitation in India. Her current areas of engagement include Digital Governance, Standardisation and Regulation, and Rural Sanitation Planning. Neha holds a Master of Technology degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
Current Affiliation: Water Resources Manager, Alluvium Consulting (Australia), Delhi.
Short Bio: Tarika is a Water Management specialist with a background and expertise in integrated urban water resources management. She works on research and business development for integrated water resources management including river basin management and water sensitive approaches in Indian context. She has worked with several NGOs/NPOs/consultancies in India and internationally. During her career she has worked on desktop research, field studies and conducted several capacity building programmes with a range of stakeholders from government to end users in various cities in India.
Vincy Abraham – Networking and Membership Strategy
Current Affiliation: National Campaigns Manager, Purpose Climate Lab(Purpose Leading Campaigns), Purpose Climate Lab. BlueWeave Impact Consulting. World Economic Forum. Water Youth Network, Mumbai.
Short Bio: Vincy Abraham is a Campaign Manager at Purpose and the Founder of BlueWeave Impact. She mainly focuses on working with businesses and inter-governmental processes. She believes that connecting the right people, ideas and organisations can spark a just and sustainable movement on-ground and thus, holds SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) at the heart of her work. Vincy has experience working with foreign governments, aid agencies, and corporates in India. She brings with her a deep knowledge of the water, urban, and climate sectors. She is a recognised speaker and subject expert on water at the United Nations and other development processes. In 2019, she was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Global Shaper. Vincy has a Masters in Political Science. In her free time, she volunteers at Water Youth Network where she leads a Dutch government-funded youth innovation project called, “YouKnoW!” (Youth-driven Knowledge of Water).
Sudalai Muthu R – Networking and Membership Strategy
Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Pursuing Doctoral Degree in Anna University, Chennai, Enviropreneur.
Short Bio: Er.Sudalai Muthu is presently working in the Department of Civil Engineering, Sethu Institute of Technology, Madurai. He has completed his Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from Kalasalingam University with Honours, Master Degree in Environmental Engineering from Anna University and pursuing his Doctoral Degree in Environmental Engineering at Anna University. He founded a start-up environmental consultancy named Enviro Zone, Madurai and worked as an Independent Environmentalist with various government and non- government organisations in water and sanitation programmes. His teaching and research areas are Urban Wastewater Management, Circular Economy, Non-Revenue Water and Remote Sensing and GIS. He is actively being a part of various volunteer programmes in YouKnow, American Water Works Association and Institution of Engineers.
Dr. Niti B Jadeja – Global Chapter Coordination
Current Affiliation: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Microbiology Dept, School of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Short Bio: Dr. Niti Jadeja is a Molecular Biologist working on novel genes and genetic mechanisms including gene transmissions, genetic adaptations, evolution, and microbial stress response. She has a master’s degree and a doctorate in Biotechnology. She specialises in High Throughput Sequencing techniques in metagenomic and transcriptomic analysis. Her work finds application in microbial pathogenesis, industrial wastewater treatment and wastewater management, communicable diseases, bioenergy, environmental sustainability and OneHealth. She has authored various peer-review publications and book chapters and serves as the editor for Frontiers and Elsevier Journals. Niti joined IWA in 2018 when she was presenting her work at the 19th IWA UK Young Water Professional Conference at Cranfield University and was elected as Chapter Coordinator in the IWA’s Emerging Water Leaders Steering Committee in 2020. She continues to volunteer in this role for the YWP India Chapter through which she plans to facilitate sharing of ideas and connect the YWPs regionally and globally.
Dr. Ashwani Kumar Tiwari – University Co-ordination
Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
Short Bio: Dr Ashwani Kumar Tiwari works as an Assistant Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. His teaching and research areas are water resources management and GIS, hydro-geochemistry, pollution of water resources by geogenic and anthropogenic activities, groundwater seawater interaction and aquifer vulnerability. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Italy for around four years. He has completed his M.Sc., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Environmental Science. He was awarded Erasmus Mundus and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Scholarships. He has published several research articles in various reputed international and national journals. His works in respective fields are very well appreciated by the many workers across the world. He has served as a Reviewer for many international journals.
Sagar Gupta – University Co-ordination
Current Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Pursuing Doctoral Degree, Manipal University Jaipur, Rajasthan.
Short Bio: Sagar Gupta is presently working in the Department of Civil Engineering at lead private university of India, Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ). He has an experience of 8 years in teaching, research & consultancy projects in India for major donors including ADBI & BMGF with a major focus on Water & Sanitation, Faecal Sludge Management and Resource recovery. He has been a BMGF fellow in Sanitation at UN-IHE Delft, the Netherlands and Trainer of Trainers for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project in association with UN-IHE, Delft. He is a certified teacher and an active YWP member of IWA.
Riddhi Singh – Specialist Group Co-ordination
Current Affiliation: Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai.
Short Bio: Dr. Riddhi Singh is an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at IIT Bombay. She specialises in the area of water resources engineering focusing on hydrologic modelling, assessing the impact of climate and land use changes on water resources, and decision making under uncertainty. Her group works on testing and advancing rainfall runoff model applicability in a changing climate, and predictions in data scarce regions. She also works on identifying management strategies for operating large scale water infrastructure projects, focussing on the role of climatic and socio-economic uncertainties involved in their long-term planning. She obtained her PhD from The Pennsylvania State University, USA where she also worked as a post-doc on a sustainable climate risk management project.
Dr. Garima Vats – Specialist Group Co-ordination
Current Affiliation: Manager, Climate, World Resources Institute (WRI) India.
Short Bio: Garima Vats is the Manager of the Climate programme at the World Resources Institute in India. Her work is positioned at the intersection of the energy transition, climate mitigation, and sustainable development addressing matters of topical interest, ranging from low carbon development, sectoral or economy-wide decarbonisation to water-energy-food nexus, including the socio-economic and environmental implications thereof. Prior to joining WRI, Garima worked as an Associate Fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) where she led and coordinated several climate mitigation and energy policy projects. Garima has a multi-disciplinary academic background in the fields of science, economics, and environmental studies. She holds a PhD in the domain of energy and resource policy from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia, a Master’s in Water Resources Management from TERI University, India and a Bachelor’s in Science from Delhi University, India.
Dr. Indrajit Chakraborty – Specialist Group Co-ordination
Current Affiliation: Postdoctoral Researcher, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.
Short Bio: Indrajit is an environmental engineer with a PhD in wastewater treatment using engineered anaerobic processes and resource recovery. His current research is on anaerobic digestion of medium and high strength wastewater to enhance biogas production and understanding the biochemical kinetics of anaerobic treatment. Indrajit has a vision of solving sanitation problems in developing nations using his expertise in wastewater treatment. Indrajit feels that science should reach out to the society and be accessible and comprehensible to all. His vision is to acquaint the general populace with the major scientific discoveries in his field through different outreach programmes. Being in the YWP core committee gives Indrajit the chance to work towards his vision of scientific outreach to all sections of the society. Prior to his Ph.D., Indrajit worked as an engineer involved in water infrastructure projects.
Prashansha Gupta – Events and Communications Co-ordination
Current Affiliation: Communication Lead- ActionAid Association (India)
Short Bio: Prashansha Gupta who is associated with ActionAid Association (India) as communication lead for 5 states and she has worked with Wateraid India in WASH subject at Fatehpur and Banda has 5 years’ experience. Her work especially focused on wide campaign titled “Bhujal Badhao, Peyjal Bachao Abhiyaan” by District Administration of Banda. The campaign covered wells and Hand Pumps in 470 Gram Panchayats. She worked in core team for district organizing Jal Choupal and continued for second phase campaign “Kuwa Talab Jioa Abhiyaan” which covers rejuvenation of ponds and wells and construction of RWH models. She has been acknowledged for her work as “Jal Prahari Samman 2019” by Sarkaritel.com. She is MBA specialized in Advertisement and Marketing Communication and graduated in Bachelor’s of science in Electronic media.
Manisha Jain – Events and Communications Co-ordination
Current Affiliation: Senior Research Associate, Mu Gamma Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Delhi.
Manisha Jain is a Senior Research Associate with Mu Gamma Consultants Pvt. Ltd. Delhi, and is also pursuing doctoral research in the broad domain of Environment Biotechnology. Her current areas of engagement include plastic waste management, emerging contaminants, reuse of treated wastewater, study of impact of climate change on water resources, stormwater management etc. Her interest lies in finding sustainable solutions to environmental problems in a manner that the developed methodological approach and understanding can be further extrapolated to other subject and geographical areas.