Columbia University keen to work with Namibia on water

08 Jun 2017 09:50am
By Sawi Hausiku
NEW YORK, 08 JUN (NAMPA) – The University of Columbia’s Water Centre is open to work with academic institutions in Namibia on drought and water related research projects.
Columbia Water Centre (CWC) Director, Professor Upmanu Lall told Nampa on Wednesday they combine multidisciplinary academic research with solutions-based fieldwork to develop and test creative responses to water challenges around the world.
CWC has worked in countries such as China, India, Brazil, Mali and Ethiopia that have experienced persistent and long droughts.
“We secured technology and financing for pumps and gave guidance to market informed crop selection, which helped transform rural women’s lives,” he said.
In China, CWC is developing a comprehensive water risk mapping, prediction, and water quantity and quality management strategies in the Yangtze River basin.
In India, CWC researched solutions to water scarcity and applied multifaceted and targeted projects, including how changes in cropping patterns, irrigation technologies and water or energy pricing policies can be used to address ground water depletion and contamination.
The CWC there implemented a large scale rainwater harvesting and ground water recharge system to support irrigation, drinking water and rural development.
“Most of the things we do are in collaboration with universities when we work outside of the country. We are certainly open to that.”
Study visits, he said, are not a problem but the local university needs to come up with a specific study to focus on.
Lall said they are currently working on a mining project in Peru with two other universities in Canada and Australia. Should the research programme be successful, the solution will be used in Canada and Australia as well.
Two Nampa journalists are in the United States of America (USA) on a Media Cooperative Programme, covering the USA’s response to the effects of drought and climate change.