CHENNAI: The incessant and timely initiatives of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa during the year 2013-14 to safeguard Chennai city from water scarcity has drawn the attention of the Global Water Leaders Group, which honoured the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Metro Water) with the Water Leaders’ Award 2015.
The Water Leaders’ Award is the only non-profit Global Water Award and it rewards performance improvements in public water utilities in the developing world. This year, the award was presented by former president of European Commission and former Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Manuel Barroso on April 27 at the Nasioutzik Museum, Athens, Greece.
This year, eThekwini Municipality in South Africa, Azersu, an organisation in Azerbaijan, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation and CMWSSB have been chosen for the coveted award. The Global Water Leaders Group said, “The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply And Sewerage Board fast-tracked its innovative resilience plan amidst acute water scarcity. Water was sourced from coal mines, recycled water, rainwater and seawater to protect the city from a full scale crisis.”
For second consecutive year during 2013-14, Chennai received deficient rainfall and reservoirs only had water up to 25 per cent of its capacity. Jayalalithaa took quick decisions to resolve the issue by chairing frequent high-level meetings to review the situation. Launching of the Nemili desalination project, drilling of deep borewells at Thamaraipakkam, Minjur and Poondi to fetch more water, getting water from NLC’s coal mines at Paravanar, providing treated water to industries, approvals for setting two 45 MLD tertiary treated reverse osmosis plants at Koyambedu and Kodungaiyur to provide 90 MLD of water were some of the key measures initiated by Jayalalithaa, an official release said.