VIL India did some research and realized 89% of the total available water of around 890 cubic meter goes into agriculture, of the balance 11% goes to industry and drinking water needs are met. We need better supervision of water. The coverage of piped water, the metering of water and the adequate supply of 24 hours of pressurized water these are the three steps. So to bring first to the equitable water, we need to design the system, invest capital into the infrastructure and more importantly have budgets to maintain it what we have already built.
Here’s what Mr. Arun Lakhani has to say: What is necessary is an integrated approach to water management, by integrated approach we need to see the complete water cycle as a whole. So we detect it from a source, then the treatment part then the distribution part then the customer service part. So if you have 24×7 in the distribution part that absolutely improves not only the water quality & drinking water but also saves water. Then comes the second very important part is the sewage treatment. Sewage treatment and the reuse of sewage treated water complete the cycle.
India receives total annual rainfall of about 4,000 billion cubic metres (BCM). After loss through evaporation etc., the total water availability is about 1,869 BCM. When you further discount topographical characteristics and hydrological constraints, the quantity of usable water is 1,123 BCM. The total availability is limited and is decreasing in direct proportion to the increase in population. According to UN data, From 5,177 cubic metres in 1951, when India’s population was 361 million, it is likely to fall to 1,140 cubic metres in 2050, when the population is projected to be 1,640 million. There is a water scarcity crisis that looms over us as we scrutinize the specifics and figures.
Out of 100 percent of usable water 80% is allocated for agricultural purpose remaining 12% and 8% proportionately shared between industrial and regular households consumption. The 20% water clearly does not look sufficient to meet the requirements of the industry and households. However, a closer look at the ground situation explains that the issue is not of scarcity but poor management and distribution of water. In the housing segment, a large portion of water is wasted because of sheer leakage in the existing water pipeline and only 70% of the total supply reaches household. The scarcity is further supplemented by low density of metering in the country leading to further limitation of funds required for basic infrastructure.
Similarly, on the industry front, it has been observed that the sector is drawing potable / ground water from rivers and other water bodies leading to further depletion of ground water levels. Providing safe drinking water, sanitation and good hygienic conditions are essential for human survival, health and dignity. Adequate and reliable water supplies and sanitation services are critical for coping with everyday urban life. Lack of access to adequate safe drinking water and sanitation causes severe health problems. Water-borne diseases – such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid, caused by contaminated water; water-washed diseases such as skin and eye infections caused by insufficient water for personal hygiene and water-based or other water-related diseases such as malaria, bilharzias, elephantiasis and river blindness, related to exposure to unsafe water situations. Technology alone is not able to counter the water scarcity and contamination issue due to lack of skewed demography, knowledge and implementation. It is now time to adopt the global best practices and deploy the latest technology to make the dream of 24×7 water supplies a reality.
Vishvaraj Infrastructure Ltd (VIL India) , a pioneer in Water management and recycling made it a reality in Nagpur though India’s first pilot project making it possible for the residents of the city to avail 24×7 water supply. There are few pockets in India where the aspect of 24×7 running water facility management is implemented under the PPP model and is running successfully. The most heralded project under the 24×7 running water management in India has been at Nagpur city in Maharashtra.
India has vast prerequisite of Infrastructure building and improvement. The PPP route wasestablished in last decade also saw some lean time. With New government initiative the PPP has again come with better risk sharing matrix between private and public. Vishvaraj Infrastructure Limited (VIL) has been a proponent of PPP model, and has reputable track record in water, waste water reuse, road and highways sector. With Urban Infrastructure foray in Water, it is today the only Indian Utility with ongoing projects in Water distribution as well as Waste water treatment and Reuse. With Water scarcity hitting the country in a big way, with sustainability point of view, VIL’s example of Total Integrated water management at Nagpur is being followed by the whole nation. Treating Sewage as Water Source and reuse for commercial/industrial purpose is key to releasing fresh water used by Industry for drinking, without augmenting fresh sources.
Waste Water Reuse – A Civic Necessity and a Business Opportunity. In contrast the demand for fresh water is growing rapidly, estimated to go from 813 BCM today to 1,447 BCM by 2050, whereas the resource base remains constrained at 1,122 BCM. The industrial sector, which is one of the major users of fresh water, mostly puts fresh water to non-potable. Wastewater treated up to secondary level can easily be utilized for this purpose freeing up massive amounts of freshwater for domestic consumers. This can easily be achieved by improving the municipal wastewater collection, treatment and reuse thus not only recycling wastewater which is otherwise lost but also save the downstream water bodies from pollution.
This is the win-win proposition of VIL India model for the all the stakeholders, a unique example of creating value from waste whilst contributing positively to environmental sustainability. Amongst the challenges thrown up by increased urbanization in India one of the bigger ones is massive increase in wastewater generation. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) estimates that about 80 percent of the water supplied for domestic use is discharged as wastewater. This pollutes the downstream areas as it enters untreated into these water bodies. Around 38,250 MLD of wastewater is generated by class I and class II cities in India, which is estimated to grow 3.5 times to 132,250 MLD by 2050. The current wastewater treatment capacity can handle only 30 percent of the total generation, out of which too only 55 percent is operational. This translates to an investment gap of over USD 7 Billion for class I and class II cities by 2016-17. Nagpur 200 MLD STP Treatment and Reuse on PPP basis is a good project to look at.