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Forging Global Synergy in Water Management: IWMI, JRDC, and CAS Pave the Way for Innovation

Pelawatte, Battaramulla, Colombo: December 7, 2023.

This article encapsulates the landmark gathering that fostered unprecedented international cooperation among the world-renowned International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the esteemed Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), and the pioneering Joint Research and Demonstration Center (JRDC) at IWMI’s premises in Colombo. The event served as a pivotal juncture, uniting diverse expertise and innovative approaches to address the pressing challenges in global water management.

Mr. Aheeyar, Researcher from IWMI, setting a congenial tone, welcomed esteemed representatives, scholars, and researchers from the three institutions. His opening address at the gathering not only set the stage but also underlined the significance of collaborative partnerships in tackling the complex and multifaceted issues in water management. His emphasis on a collective approach laid the foundation for the exchange of ideas and expertise among the participating institutions.

Key Discussions and Presentations:

The representatives from each institution—Dr. M Makehelwala from JRDC, Professor Yuansong Wei and Dr Yawei from CAS representing different facets of JRDC—offered detailed insights into their institutions’ research, ongoing initiatives, and collaborative projects. These profiles illuminated the depth of expertise and technological advancements driving the collective efforts towards innovative solutions.

Dr. M Makehelwala took the stage to present an overview of the JRDC’s ongoing research initiatives and significant activities. With meticulous detail, she highlighted the centre’s cutting-edge facilities for testing and piloting, emphasizing its pivotal role in driving technological advancements and fostering innovation in water supply technologies. Dr M Makehelawala’s comprehensive overview of JRDC’s testing capabilities resonated with the audience, highlighting the robust infrastructure available for advancing research in water management.

Professor Yuansong Wei from CAS elucidated the intentions of the institution, emphasizing the focus on testing, training, and implementing water supply technologies, particularly decentralized water supply utilizing NF/RO combinations. Prof. Wei also shed light on existing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) aimed at expanding services from the JRDC, aligning with the One Belt One Road Initiative. The collaborative effort between CAS and JRDC aims to support research and academic pursuits, fostering bilateral cooperation between Sri Lankan and Chinese students on water resource projects.

Dr. Yawei, acting as the coordinator from RCEES, delineated his role within JRDC, offering insights into the center’s organizational structure and collaborative initiatives. Dr. Madhu’s presentation on ANSO research at the center provided a glimpse into the breadth and depth of research activities undertaken, evoking interest and curiosity among the attendees.




Interactive Dialogue and Potential Collaborations:

The interactive discussion segment was marked by engaging dialogue and exchanging ideas. Dr Pay expressed a keen interest in collaborative proposals centred on climate change and health issues, extending an invitation to IWMI scientists to join forces with JRDC in this noble endeavour. Dr. Weragoda’s warm invitation to all scientists to visit JRDC was met with enthusiasm, fostering a sense of camaraderie and paving the way for potential joint proposals and enhanced collaboration.

Dr M Makehelwala’s comprehensive overview of JRDC’s testing capabilities and ongoing research endeavours captivated the audience, addressing queries from IWMI scientists and elucidating the vast array of testing capabilities available at the centre. Dr. Pay’s suggestion for a reciprocal exchange program, where RAs from JRDC work alongside IWMI scientists, garnered interest and highlighted the potential for cross-institutional learning and collaboration.


Roadmap for Future Collaborations:

As the meeting drew to a close, Dr S K Weragoda articulated a roadmap for future collaborations, emphasising the significance of joint initiatives in addressing the critical challenges faced in water management. His concluding remarks echoed the collective commitment to forging enduring partnerships and leveraging combined expertise for the greater good.

With a multitude of possibilities on the horizon, the collaborative efforts between IWMI, JRDC, and CAS stand as a testament to the power of international cooperation in addressing complex water management issues. The seeds sown in this meeting are poised to blossom into innovative solutions that transcend borders, benefiting communities globally.

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