How Lateral Thinking solved Thrissur’s Drinking Water woes

Never ever underestimate the power of lateral thinking. A prime example of this is the solution to an age old drinking water problem that residents of Thrissur, Kerala faced. The credit for this thinking goes to its Superintendent Engineer, Pauly Peter.

Peechi Dam  - Water Source for Thrissur

The Problem and its Solution

For ages, Thrissur and surrounding areas got water from Peechi Dam. Despite all the filtration techniques used, the common problem faced was the presence of huge amount of mud and iron content in this water. In 2016, Pauly Peter did a basic study to understand the issue. He found that the water on the top of the dam was clear. To make it drinking worthy, he only had to filter and sanitize it. However, for ages, supply of water was from the bottom of the dam, which had mud and iron sediments. This water supply happened through the sluice in the bottom.

Accordingly, Pauly developed a simple floating intake system that would help draw water from the surface. First testing of this system happened at the Chiminni dam. This success consequently prompted him to bring in Aqua Machineries to complete the project on a larger scale. The project is complete and is the first such project in South India. It guarantees clean drinking water to residents of Thrissur and surrounding areas.

Power of Lateral Thinking

Lateral thinking has the power to solve many of our daily issues. Edward De Bono is the father of lateral thinking. He has authored many books on this topic. A prime example of De Bono’s lateral thinking power is the way he solved the industrial river pollution issue faced by a prominent city in Europe. The simple technique he used was to swap the intake and discharge points of the factories operating near the river. This prompted the factories to discharge only treated water into the rivers. This thereby reduced pollution. His concept of lateral thinking is quite simple. Basically, it is the process that creates a new concept, and hence can be achieved by anyone, if he/she follows a deliberate process.

Lastly, a big round of applause to Pauly Peter for solving such a critical issue with his power of lateral thinking. Further hoping that our bureaucracy and entrepreneurial ecosystems will use the power of lateral thinking to create more solutions for our critical problems.

Image Credits : Kerala Tourism


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