Sunday, March 23, 2014

World Water Day - 2014 edition of UN Water 'Water for Life' Awards goes to India and Singapore

2014 edition of UN Water 'Water for Life' Awards goes to India and Singapore!

21 March 2014 - The 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award intends to promote efforts to fulfil international commitments made on water-related issues by 2015 through recognition of outstanding best practices which can ensure the long-term sustainable management of water resources and contribute to the achievement of internationally agreed goals and targets.

The 2014 edition, which focuses on 'Water and Energy', has been awarded on 21 March during the official UN ceremony of World Water Day 2014 taking place at UNU Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan. Category 1 'Best water management practices' has been awarded to a project focusing on policy research in co-management of energy and groundwater in India: The International Water Management Institute (IWMI)-Tata Water Policy Programme (ITP). Category 2 'Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practices' has been awarded to a project focusing on wide-scale implementation and public engagement plan of reclaimed water in Singapore: the 'NEWater programme'.

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Publication Date: 21 March 2014

India - Why water is a business issue - An opinion posted in Business Line - no proper awareness and regulation for corrosion control in our country

The world is getting thirstier and so is India. Many causes of increased demand are common at both the global and national level; increasing population, rapid industrialisation, higher standards of living to name a few. The only thing not increasing commensurately is the amount of water available.

The UN Water Conference held in January this year delved into the water-energy nexus and portended that world water demand could exceed 44 per cent of the available annual resources by 2050. So how do these global trends look through the prism of the Indian experience?

At the national level the challenges are acknowledged. Writing about the Twelfth Plan’s water strategy, Planning Commission member Mihir Shah commented, “India faces a major crisis of water ... The demands of a rapidly industrialising economy and urbanising society come at a time when the potential for augmenting supply is limited, water tables are falling and water quality issues have increasingly come to the fore.”

On the table

One consequence, here and elsewhere, is that water is moving up the boardroom agenda. The CDP Global Water Report 2014, authored by Deloitte, presents results of analysis based on the water disclosures of 184 Global 500 corporations. Participants included four major Indian companies. Almost three-quarters of respondents identified water as a substantive business risk. Challenges included business interruption due to inadequate public infrastructure, supply chain disruption due to water scarcity, and reputational damage.

Water risk was seen as immediate. Two-thirds of the risks expected to impact direct operations and supply chains were anticipated to occur within the next five years. To give this local perspective, it is estimated that India has seen a 60 per cent decline in per capita availability of water in the last 50 years; while Ernst & Young predicts industry’s demand for water will grow from 40.86 billion cubic metres (Bm3) in 2010 to 91.63Bm3 in 2030.

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Publication Date: 21 March 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014

India - Corrosion Management, an Iceberg for Indian Shipping Industry

India envisages growth potential in shipping industry. The capacity expansion would be undertaken across cargo ships segment such as bulk carriers, tankers, etc. New building of ships is to be used for offshore oil & gas exploration, towage and coastal security. On the other hand, there is a greater shipping demand to deal with refurbishment of aged carriers. Industry analysis showed that over 41 per cent of Indian ships having crossed 20 years of operations leading to opportunities worth 20,000 crore in the shipbuilding and ship-repair industry sector. Ships older than 20 years require frequent and extensive repair and maintenance. This augurs well for the 7,300-crore worth shipbuilding industry, according to an analysis of Indian Shipping Fleet: Size, Capacity and Age Composition conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham). It is said that India has a total of 1,122 ships in its fleet and 41 per cent of these, or 466 vessels, fall in the age group of 20 years and more. Considering that the average life of a shipping vessel is about 26 years, most of the existing vessels need to be replaced. An average cost of constructing a large vessel is about USD 100 million. Therefore, the size of this opportunity would be USD 3.3 billion. This whopping figure of refurbishment cost triggers the industrial community to explore the causes for failures.

Although these opportunities are often linked with investment in this sector, this is not a good news for the life cycle analysis and material conservation. How do these failures happen? Corrosion of ship construction materials, the serious concern, often neglected by the industry is paving the way for greater impact in the life cycle cost. Marine fouling is another alarming area that fuels the parameters responsible for corrosion damage. These failures pose greater challenges to the ship owners not only in the materials part, but also leading to high demand for energy consumption and sizeable investment on environmental management.

We see opportunities for establishment of academic and research institutions to effectively deal with developments in nautical science and engineering through various government schemes. But the effective dissemination of life cycle analysis of shipping industry, especially corrosion management, is questionable.

Corrosion Management appears to be an iceberg for shipping industry in India. If the efforts on minimising the life cycle cost through implementing corrosion control methods and appropriate integrity assurance programs are attempted at very slow nautical pace, we will end up in loosing the significant material resources and heavily impacting our marine environment.

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Publication Date: Dec 2013 - Jan 2014

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