IIT Madras launches Jal Dhan campaign to conserve water

IIT Madras launched the Jal Dhan Campaign in the campus on 15 September 2023 with an objective of conserving water.

The campaign was launched in the presence of Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of India, Government of India, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, faculty and students.

IIT MadrasThe campaign was inaugurated during the National Level Water Conclave – 2K23 held with the theme of Sustainable Agriculture with millet focus, water conservation and rainwater harvesting in Industrial sectors.


Addressing the campaign inauguration, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said Prime Minister Modi had also launched ‘Mission LiFE’ (Lifestyle for Environment) that will nudge individual and collective action to protect and preserve the environment.

Our Ministry is continuously working to improve environment, he said speaking at the function at IIT Madras. He further said it is important to conserve water for the future.

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The Government is also working to rejuvenate 75 water bodies in each district of the country….I congratulate IIT Madras for having such great Flora and fauna at the campus, he said.


Addressing the school students, Dr. Vasantha Lakshmi, Chairperson of VLCT & RC, said, “Because reluctance or negligence across the world, each and every day, each person is wasting 11 litres of water.

We need to ‘Save water, Save life’. Everyone should start saving water at their homes, she said. She further said Jal Dhan Project is intended to save water.

We are going to cover various components like awareness and Virtual water concept where we are going to talk about how industries can conserve and reuse water, she said.

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Till now, we have covered 12 States as part of this project. As many as 475 non-governmental organizations are working on this initiative across the country, she said.

IIT MadrasDirector of IIT Madras

Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “Water is one of the greatest contributions of nature to mankind…All great things today, from the growth of a plant to the survival of human beings.

When we want to find if moon is habitable, the first thing we ask is, if there is water there? Today, due to climatic conditions, we are seeing extreme variations in terms of heavy drought or heavy flooding and there is also an imminent need to conserve this precious nature’s gift, said director of IIT Madras.

This conclave is to sensitise all of us to the changing climatic conditions in the world. Our small drops make an ocean, said IIT Madras director.

Prof Kamakoti further said IIT Madras is very committed to this major task, which is one of the prime deliverables of the Sustainable Development Goals.

All the 17 SDGs put forward by the United Nations has some connection to water, either implicitly or explicitly, said director of IIT Madras.

IIT MadrasReuse and Recycle

Prof. Balaji Narasimhan, Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “Even if we do achieve 100% rainwater harvesting, in order to achieve our Sustainability Goals, we have to start reusing and recycling our water.

This is something we have achieved in our campus. Chennai City is taking expertise from IIT Madras on reusing and recycling water.

There is a project where 260 MLD of sewage is being taken, treated and the water is being put back into the lakes, which are in turn treated and supplied to meet the water requirements of the city, he said.

He further said IIT Madras has a climate action plan. We want to be carbon neutral by the year 2050. We have a bicycle friendly campus and very good green cover.

We are very proud to be a ‘Zero Discharge’ campus. We have a very beautiful lake with a capacity of about 165 million litres and a secondary lake with 104 million litres capacity.

We harvest as much of rainwater that falls on the campus as possible, said Prof Balaji Narasimhan of IIT Madras.


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