sports world

The sports wrap: Sania Mirza-Barbora Strycova enter Qatar Open quarter-finals, and other top stories

Decision on Arsene Wenger's future at Arsenal to be taken at end of season; Mohammad Kaif appointed assistant coach of Gujarat Lions.

The big story: Mirza-Strycova breeze past Atawo-Xu

Sania Mirza and her doubles partner Barbora Strycova powered their way past USA’s Raquel Atawo and China’s Yifan Xu on Thursday to enter the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open. The Mirza-Strycova duo beat their opponents 6-2, 6-4.

In the last-eight stage, the Indo-Czech duo will face Canada’s Gabiela Dabrowski and Darija Jurak of Croatia, who laboured past defeating Elina Vesnina and Katerina Bondarenko through a tie-break. Both sets of players won a set each.

Other top stories

Cricket

  • Indian pacer Varun Aaron, who has returned from injury after a three-and-a-half month layoff stated that he won’t back out of bowling fast, “As far as I am concerned there is no question of compromising on pace. Till the time I am playing cricket, I will be only bowling fast,” the 27-year-old was quoted as saying by PTI.
  • Former India batsman Mohammad Kaif has been appointed the assistant coach of Indian Premier League side Gujarat Lions for the upcoming Indian Premier League season.
  • In the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, Manjo Tiwari and 19-year-old Virat Singh’s unbeaten half centuries helped East Zone upset a star-studded North Zone by eight wickets.  
  • The International Cricket Council on Thursday announced that West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels’ bowling action has been found to be legal following remedial work and reassessment. 
  • Afghanistan stunned Zimbabwe by 12 runs via Duckworth/Lewis method at Harare in the first One-day International between the two teams. Zimbabwe were 99/4 chasing 216.  
  • India A’s skipper for the practice game against Australia, Hardik Pandya, sent out a warning to the visitors, stating that his team would treat the four-day match in Mumbai like a competitive fixture, “We are not treating it as a practice game, it’s an opportunity for all of us to do something amazing and get recognised in the selectors eyes,” Pandya was quoted as saying by PTI. 
  • The ICC Chief Executive David Richardson has revealed that the Emirates Panel of Umpires’ usage of the Decision Review System has helped them attain an accuracy rate of 98.5%.
  • Senior Maharashtra Cricket Association member Madhav Ranade wrote to the Board of Control for Cricket in India objecting to the local body’s decision to splurge on felicitating past cricketers. The stay of the district representatives are also discussed in MCA’s itinerary during the first India-Australia Test in Pune.

Football

  • Acclaimed English referee Mark Clattenburg has quit the English Premier League to take up a role in Saudi Arabia, ESPN reported.
  • Embattled Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s fate will be decided at the end of the season, BBC reported.
  • Arsenal were demolished 5-1 by Bayern Munich in their round-of-16 Champions League clash at the Allianz Arena on Thursday.
  • Real Madrid came from a goal down to beat Napoli 3-1 in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Thursday. Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos and Casemiro ensured an easy Real win in the end.
  • Spain and Barcelona veteran Xavi Hernandez hailed Paris Saint-Germain’s performance against the five-time European Champions, calling their 4-0 win ‘the best in their history’. The 38-year-old singled out PSG Marco Veratti for praise.
  • With Barca and their star man Lionel Messi stuck in contract negotiations, teammate Javier Mascherano thought that the 29-year-old was “bigger than Barcelona”. 
  • Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho stated that progressin the Europa League and FA Cup could create “many problems” for his side, as they fight for a Champions League place for next season. United are also in the final of the League Cup, where they face Southampton.

Tennis

  • India’s Sania Mirza, who was summoned in connection with an alleged case of non-payment of Service Tax, has hit back at claims of evasion, denying the allegations.   
  • Rohan Bopanna and Tomas Berdych have lost 3-6, 4-6 to Ivan Dodig and Marcel Granollers in the second round of the Rotterdam Open 
  • India will host Uzbekistan in April at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association at Bengaluru for their next Asia Oceania group I Davis Cup tie.  

Golf

  • India’s Aditi Ashok endured a torrid start in the first round of the Women’s Australian Open on Thursday, finishing at one-over 74 which included dropping three bogeys in a row in the last four holes.
  • Veteran Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh closed with two birdies in last two holes for a two-under par 70 round and was tied 43rd to make a modest start at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 on Thursday.

Boxing

  • India’s Vijender Singh, after successfully defending the WBO Asia Pacific title, will be gunning for a second belt when he faces WBO Oriental middleweight champion Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China in Mumbai on April 1  

Chess

  • Padmini Rout drew with Zhao Xue of China while the experienced Dronavalli Harika also split point with Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakhstan in the second round of the World women’s chess championship. The Indian duo will now play in tiebreak games against their opponents to progress to the last 16. Harika won her tiebreak in round one against Bangladesh’s Shamima Akter Liza.  

Table Tennis

  • India’s Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai won their opening round matches in contrasting styles to enter the pre-quarterfinals while second seed Vladimir Samsonov suffered a shock defeat to crash out of the competition in ITTF World Tour India Open on Thursday, PTI reported.

Hockey

  • Uttar Pradesh Wizards beat Ranchi Rays 4-0 to jump into third place in the points table of the Hockey India League on Thursday.

Badminton

  • India were handed a 1-4 drubbing by Korea in their second and final round robin league tie but still advanced to the quarterfinals from Group D at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championships on Thursday.
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India’s urban water crisis calls for an integrated approach

We need solutions that address different aspects of the water eco-system and involve the collective participation of citizens and other stake-holders.

According to a UN report, around 1.2 billion people, or almost one fifth of the world’s population, live in areas where water is physically scarce and another 1.6 billion people, or nearly one quarter of the world’s population, face economic water shortage. They lack basic access to water. The criticality of the water situation across the world has in fact given rise to speculations over water wars becoming a distinct possibility in the future. In India the problem is compounded, given the rising population and urbanization. The Asian Development Bank has forecast that by 2030, India will have a water deficit of 50%.

Water challenges in urban India

For urban India, the situation is critical. In 2015, about 377 million Indians lived in urban areas and by 2030, the urban population is expected to rise to 590 million. Already, according to the National Sample Survey, only 47% of urban households have individual water connections and about 40% to 50% of water is reportedly lost in distribution systems due to various reasons. Further, as per the 2011 census, only 32.7% of urban Indian households are connected to a piped sewerage system.

Any comprehensive solution to address the water problem in urban India needs to take into account the specific challenges around water management and distribution:

Pressure on water sources: Rising demand on water means rising pressure on water sources, especially in cities. In a city like Mumbai for example, 3,750 Million Litres per Day (MLD) of water, including water for commercial and industrial use, is available, whereas 4,500 MLD is needed. The primary sources of water for cities like Mumbai are lakes created by dams across rivers near the city. Distributing the available water means providing 386,971 connections to the city’s roughly 13 million residents. When distribution becomes challenging, the workaround is to tap ground water. According to a study by the Centre for Science and Environment, 48% of urban water supply in India comes from ground water. Ground water exploitation for commercial and domestic use in most cities is leading to reduction in ground water level.

Distribution and water loss issues: Distribution challenges, such as water loss due to theft, pilferage, leaky pipes and faulty meter readings, result in unequal and unregulated distribution of water. In New Delhi, for example, water distribution loss was reported to be about 40% as per a study. In Mumbai, where most residents get only 2-5 hours of water supply per day, the non-revenue water loss is about 27% of the overall water supply. This strains the municipal body’s budget and impacts the improvement of distribution infrastructure. Factors such as difficult terrain and legal issues over buildings also affect water supply to many parts. According to a study, only 5% of piped water reaches slum areas in 42 Indian cities, including New Delhi. A 2011 study also found that 95% of households in slum areas in Mumbai’s Kaula Bunder district, in some seasons, use less than the WHO-recommended minimum of 50 litres per capita per day.

Water pollution and contamination: In India, almost 400,000 children die every year of diarrhea, primarily due to contaminated water. According to a 2017 report, 630 million people in the South East Asian countries, including India, use faeces-contaminated drinking water source, becoming susceptible to a range of diseases. Industrial waste is also a major cause for water contamination, particularly antibiotic ingredients released into rivers and soils by pharma companies. A Guardian report talks about pollution from drug companies, particularly those in India and China, resulting in the creation of drug-resistant superbugs. The report cites a study which indicates that by 2050, the total death toll worldwide due to infection by drug resistant bacteria could reach 10 million people.

A holistic approach to tackling water challenges

Addressing these challenges and improving access to clean water for all needs a combination of short-term and medium-term solutions. It also means involving the community and various stakeholders in implementing the solutions. This is the crux of the recommendations put forth by BASF.

The proposed solutions, based on a study of water issues in cities such as Mumbai, take into account different aspects of water management and distribution. Backed by a close understanding of the cost implications, they can make a difference in tackling urban water challenges. These solutions include:

Recycling and harvesting: Raw sewage water which is dumped into oceans damages the coastal eco-system. Instead, this could be used as a cheaper alternative to fresh water for industrial purposes. According to a 2011 World Bank report, 13% of total freshwater withdrawal in India is for industrial use. What’s more, the industrial demand for water is expected to grow at a rate of 4.2% per year till 2025. Much of this demand can be met by recycling and treating sewage water. In Mumbai for example, 3000 MLD of sewage water is released, almost 80% of fresh water availability. This can be purified and utilised for industrial needs. An example of recycled sewage water being used for industrial purpose is the 30 MLD waste water treatment facility at Gandhinagar and Anjar in Gujarat set up by Welspun India Ltd.

Another example is the proposal by Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to recycle and reclaim sewage water treated at its existing facilities to meet the secondary purposes of both industries and residential complexes. In fact, residential complexes can similarly recycle and re-use their waste water for secondary purposes such as gardening.

Also, alternative rain water harvesting methods such as harvesting rain water from concrete surfaces using porous concrete can be used to supplement roof-top rain water harvesting, to help replenish ground water.

Community initiatives to supplement regular water supply: Initiatives such as community water storage and decentralised treatment facilities, including elevated water towers or reservoirs and water ATMs, based on a realistic understanding of the costs involved, can help support the city’s water distribution. Water towers or elevated reservoirs with onsite filters can also help optimise the space available for water distribution in congested cities. Water ATMs, which are automated water dispensing units that can be accessed with a smart card or an app, can ensure metered supply of safe water.

Testing and purification: With water contamination being a big challenge, the adoption of affordable and reliable multi-household water filter systems which are electricity free and easy to use can help, to some extent, access to safe drinking water at a domestic level. Also, the use of household water testing kits and the installation of water quality sensors on pipes, that send out alerts on water contamination, can create awareness of water contamination and drive suitable preventive steps.

Public awareness and use of technology: Public awareness campaigns, tax incentives for water conservation and the use of technology interfaces can also go a long way in addressing the water problem. For example, measures such as water credits can be introduced with tax benefits as incentives for efficient use and recycling of water. Similarly, government water apps, like that of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, can be used to spread tips on water saving, report leakage or send updates on water quality.

Collaborative approach: Finally, a collaborative approach like the adoption of a public-private partnership model for water projects can help. There are already examples of best practices here. For example, in Netherlands, water companies are incorporated as private companies, with the local and national governments being majority shareholders. Involving citizens through social business models for decentralised water supply, treatment or storage installations like water ATMs, as also the appointment of water guardians who can report on various aspects of water supply and usage can help in efficient water management. Grass-root level organizations could be partnered with for programmes to spread awareness on water safety and conservation.

For BASF, the proposed solutions are an extension of their close engagement with developing water management and water treatment solutions. The products developed specially for waste and drinking water treatment, such as Zetag® ULTRA and Magnafloc® LT, focus on ensuring sustainability, efficiency and cost effectiveness in the water and sludge treatment process.

BASF is also associated with operations of Reliance Industries’ desalination plant at Jamnagar in Gujarat.The thermal plant is designed to deliver up to 170,000 cubic meters of processed water per day. The use of inge® ultrafiltration technologies allows a continuous delivery of pre-filtered water at a consistent high-quality level, while the dosage of the Sokalan® PM 15 I protects the desalination plant from scaling. This combination of BASF’s expertise minimises the energy footprint of the plant and secures water supply independent of the seasonal fluctuations. To know more about BASF’s range of sustainable solutions and innovative chemical products for the water industry, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of BASF and not by the Scroll editorial team.