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KfW finances sustainable rainwater management in city of Chennai, India

  • KfW finances sustainable rainwater management in city of Chennai, India
    Chennai, India. Credit: Wikipedia
  • Better protection against flooding for around 550,000 residents and business owners.
  • Securing of drinking water supplies.
  • Construction of 215 kilometres of rainwater harvesting channels and infrastructure for rainwater storage.

About the entity

The KfW, formerly KfW Bankengruppe (banking group), is a German state-owned development bank, based in Frankfurt.

KfW Development Bank signed a contract worth EUR 150 million for sustainable rainwater management with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) in the city of Chennai, India, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The goal of the measure is to establish a wide-reaching and integrated rainwater management system, which would benefit around 550,000 people and business owners. The system is designed to minimise the effects of flooding and make rainwater available to recharge groundwater, thus preventing scarcity of drinking water supplies.

"Using an improved rainwater management system and sustainable municipal infrastructure development in Chennai, we can better protect one of the most important industrial centres in southern India and its commercial areas, along with its people, from flooding due to heavy rainfall. This will make them more resistant to the consequences of climate change," said Prof. Dr Joachim Nagel, member of KfW Group's Executive Board.

Chennai is the sixth largest city in India and one of the most densely populated in the country. Rainwater there is currently totally underutilised, which is why there was an acute crisis this year when the city's four service reservoirs dried up. Together with GCC, KfW will not only build 215 kilometres of rainwater harvesting channels, but also an improved infrastructure for storing rainwater and recharging the groundwater. This includes hundreds of infiltration wells, rainwater storage boxes and absorbing wells. Special infrastructure measures also reduce the entry of garbage into the rainwater system, which is close to the coast, thereby contributing to the protection of the ocean.

The project thus supports the goals of KfW's Clean Ocean Initiative, which it launched on behalf of the German Federal Government together with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the French development bank AFD.

The metropolitan region of Chennai is located just slightly above sea level and has already been noticeably affected by human-induced climate change. Along with heavy rains and flooding, there is also a high risk of drinking water scarcity, not to mention an overuse of groundwater reserves.

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