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Potential and Validation of Sustainable Natural & Advance Technologies for Water & Wastewater Treatment, Monitoring and Safe Water Reuse in India

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PAVITR (Potential and Validation of Sustainable Natural & Advance Technologies for Water & Wastewater Treatment, Monitoring and Safe Water Reuse in India)

Reporting period: 2019-02-01 to 2020-07-31

The main aim of this project is to validate, develop and deploy cost-effective & sustainable technologies (prototype size), which can be in the future upscaled by authorities in India to tackle water challenges and ensure the provision of safe water reuse, rejuvenate water quality of rivers, and restore degraded ecosystems in India. Our project is deploying & developing water-wastewater technologies, including the challenge of emerging and traditional contaminants. Furthermore, PAVITR also aims to develop management & planning strategies to enable better monitoring of pollution levels with innovative sensors to boost real-time and open-access databases. Through our ambition, novel technologies, and their validation under Indian conditions will help to address drinking water and wastewater challenges. Our project has been structured with a holistic approach to face shared challenges in Europe and India, we consider that international cooperation and research can bring us to tackle efficiently the current opportunities and limitations around water. Therefore, our project is a platform to impel the scientific cooperation between Europe and India. We are internally strict to share experiences with high standards of respect and gender inclusion and our target is to improve the life quality in India and to prepare our European consortium to the green deal challenge.
TTZ and AMU led the process during TTZ and AMU led the process during the contract negotiation in Delhi on 01.02.2019 DST requested PAVITR to address more challenging treatment capacities for some prototypes, as well as the modification of some technologies and research questions. Consequently, our consortium adapted an already ambitious set of prototypes (14 in total). Some technologies were either changed or combined in a sole prototype and their capacities have been increased in most of the cases. Details on the modifications have been shared with the EC officers before the submission of the amendment. TTZ established the leadership strategy and the follow-up instruction, to achieve the balance between the budget and the challenges requested by DST. Our consortium established the pillars of our project by reaching the milestones: (1) Successful Installation Program Plan (SIP),(2) the design, adaptation, and development plan of PAVITR systems, (3) the management plan, and (4)the research enhancement strategy. Currently, PAVITR is ready to construct/install most of our prototypes. Nevertheless, after consolidating the engineering design of our systems, COVID-19 interrupted drastically our plan. Our contingency has been the detailed analysis of the tasks to create a cause-effect chain, in which we concluded that with an extension of max six months of the deliverables and task deadlines we can keep the project within the scope and the time defined in the GA & KOM.
We implemented a strict system of remote meetings to follow up monthly the execution of our activities and the implementation of the prototypes. In this first period, we faced strong challenges. For instance, after a two-month waiting period (i.e. initial delay for EU-consortium; official start 01.04.2019 instead of 01.02.2019) DST decided an unexpected decrease of the budget for the Indian partners: the budget was reduced from 2.638.930 50 € to 1.005.275 19 € i.e. a cut of 1.633.655 31 €(-62% budget). It affected our initial Gant Chart and made us run our risk management plan. Currently, we have clear and organized the items needed to implement properly our technologies. All the prototypes have been assigned to an implementation partner in India and the technologies are connected to motivated stakeholders, who are contributing to their success.
We can perceive good public acceptance and support from Indian authorities. The first part of the project was already evaluated by DST and we received good feedback on the project and words of motivation to keep going despite the COVID-19 issue.
30 Deliverables have been submitted covering almost all the WPs, which indicate a good interconnection of our activities to advance In our project. In PAVITR we are ready to start building and installing as soon as the safety of our experts can be assured and as soon as the restrictions in India allow our partners to work again in the prototype sites.
The main contributors of PAVITR addressing this topic are (i) Provision of safe and long-term operating sanitation systems minimizing risks for people and the environment. PAVITR proposes the implementation of resource-oriented sanitation systems on both local and regional scales. Utilizing products produced from the sanitation chain shall increase the incentive to properly operate and maintain the systems and thus provide long-term benefits to society, health, and the environment. (ii) The promotion of resource-oriented sanitation systems enabling the use of safe products from the sanitation chain. The support of entrepreneurs will facilitate sustainable agriculture and food security, protection of the environment, and economic growth, mainly on a local scale.
Our systems are designed to impact more than 47.000 PE. Nevertheless, our approach consists of the know-how exchange of prototype size technologies and processes, aiming that India in the future can up-scale the technologies to achieve stronger impacts.
We are focused on the adaptation of our technologies to achieve affordable water sanitation by the validation of low-cost technologies and also the enhancement of advanced technologies for water reuse.

Even with the unexpected budget cut to our project, we keep a strong research motivation, which can at the end determine if our technologies are efficiently adapted to the Indian conditions. Therefore, our project has involved many research centers and SMEs to keep the balance between technology development, research and business development.