Our trip to India has been an enlightening experience, to say the least. First of all, I would like to take some time to talk about some of the problems that I observed while I was there. The issues I saw were not just water related but also sanitation related. There is little awareness about waste management practices, as well as even less efforts are put towards improvement. This is evident from the presence of trash, not just on the ground but also in the water supply.

In addition there were cases where waste and effluents were actually being piped out of the main cities and being redirected to the river basins where they would either seep into the ground or be sent downstream. We found that there was actually a small stream of waste water running through the now dried up Palar River. This water would seep into the ground and contaminate the drinking water in the wells. I am writing this to stress that water is not the only problem. It’s sad to see that in today’s times that there are still people living in these conditions.

Development:

Though we had a rough start at the beginning of the trip, our team is now collaborating more and is better focused on completing specific tasks. Personally I feel this is giving us some much needed direction moving forward. While in India we received guidance from IIMB as well as IIT. They both helped us understand some of the issues we will be facing as well as giving us some suggestions moving forward. In addition we met with people from the India Water Portal as well as some professors from VIT, we are hoping that they can provide some of the resources needed for completing the project.

Next Steps:

Our next steps moving forward will be finalizing people’s roles on the team, beginning work on a simulation of a prototype at UMN, and working on the business aspect of the project.

Talk to you soon!

Kerry | UIC

Team JAL | Acara Challenge 2010 Winner

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