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Resilience strategy for the city's water bodies - Kovalam Muttukadu Basin, Mambalam Canal to be restored


Greater Chennai Corporation is implementing sustainable restoration measures at Kovalam Muttukadu Basin and Mambalam Canal.

Product or concept

Rise Chennai is Greater Chennai Corporation's initiative to recharge the aquifers of the city through multi-level stakeholder interaction. The first phase of the initiative starts with Kovalam Muttukadu Basin and Mambalam Canal.

Problem being solved

To ensure that the city’s water systems are infrastructurally prepared to deal with natural calamities in the future.

Process or technology involved

Rise Chennai's primary focus is to maximise the utility of waste lands as wetlands for aquifer recharge:

  • For Kovalam Muttukadu Basin:

The plan is to restore water bodies across Kovalam Muttukadu Basin (25 km) and connect them through water channels that will finally drain into the Buckingham Canal.

  • For Mambalam Canal:

Has high inflow of sewage from surrounding areas. This can be stopped by installing sewage treatment plants of small capacity along the canal and plug sewage outfalls.

Sustainability benefits

  • Reduces unplanned urbanisation.
  • Helps in reviving the city’s freshwater bodies and rivers through technological improvements and community effort.
  • Helps the most vulnerable communities (those living along the rivers, coastal regions) to live in more resilient outcomes and better living conditions.

User segments that will benefit

  • Residential Communities
  • Environmental NGOs
  • Real Estate and Builders
  • Municipal Corporations
  • Residential Welfare Organisations

People or organizations involved

  • Chennai Corporation
  • Dutch government and the Dutch special envoy for international water affairs.
  • Chennai River Restoration Trust
  • Rockefeller Foundation

Innovations or USPs

  • Multilevel stakeholder interaction engages all the communities that have a stake in the city’s fresh water bodies.
  • Other aspects of the strategy includes water systems, covering around 3,600 waterbodies, three river systems and adequate rainwater harvesting measures.

Related engineering, science or business topics

  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Management
  • Urban Studies

Awards & recognitions

Chennai is a part of 100 cities in the Resilient Cities Program.

Other interesting highlights

  • Solutions help Chennai to readjust and prepare for future shocks related to environmental distress.
  • The Chennai's resilience strategy outlines five pillars, 17 inter-related goals and 86 actions that address the city’s resilience vision.

Stakeholders present in:



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Know more about the people behind this

Sustainable restoration for Kovalam Muttukadu Basin, Mambalam Canal : The article explains why Greater Chennai Corporation and the Chennai River Restoration Trust chose Kovalam Muttukadu Basin and Mambalam Canal for Phase 1 restoration.

Sustainable restoration for Kovalam Muttukadu Basin, Mambalam Canal : The article identifies the stakeholders involved in the restoration project as part of 100 Resilient Cities Initiative.

Make a visit to get a first-hand experience

Krishna Mohan Ramachandran : He is the Chief Resilience Officer, Chennai City at 100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation. You can get in touch with him over his LinkedIn profile to know about how you can contribute.

Chennai River Restoration Trust : They are currently working on the Kovalam Muttukadu Basin and Mambalam Canal restoration projects along with 100 Resilient Cities Project.

Involve yourself/participate in activities

Purchase the product/solution

Connect with experts

Akash Ganga Trust - Rain Centre : The centre was established in 2001. Sekhar Raghavan who runs the centre provides training programs for those interested in learning about different rainwater harvesting methods.

Dr. Jayshree Vencatesan : She specialises in conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecological restoration, with a special interest in wetlands.

Experiment through do-it-yourself projects

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Ways to Save & Conserve Water at Home (Indoors & Outdoors) : Apart from general tips to reduce water usage on an individual level, the article also talks about individual behavioural changes that result in reduced water consumption.

Learn more

Community-Based Flood Early-Warning System | India : The article specifically talks about how local vulnerable communities can benefit from community sourced technology in cases of natural calamities.

Sea level rise is real – which is why we need to retreat from unrealistic advice : Coastal communities are most vulnerable to changes in climate patterns. This article details some of climate adaptation strategies that must be implemented to save the coastal regions from going under water.

A tale of two cities: The similar story of Mumbai and Chennai floods : The article compares coastal cities - Mumbai and Chennai in their flood relief challenges and possible solutions suggested to decrease damage.

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OCEAN CITIES: Exploring Our Connection to the Sea TRAILER : The video advocates for increased innovation in climate resilient strategies for coastal cities.