The water infrastructure is being spruced up across the length and breadth of the country. The urban local bodies (ULB's) are very much active on this front. Addressing the drinking water issue has become the prime focus of many of the municipal bodies in India. The investments are made towards putting up the water supply schemes in place for meeting the needs of the growing population and the industry at large. The water and wastewater treatment projects are being initiated to make optimum use of the precious and scarce water resources. Sandeep Sharma takes a look at the water sector in India.
FACTS AND FIGURES
As per Niti Aayog’s report titled, ‘Composite Water Management Index’, released in June 2018, the country is suffering from the worst water crisis in its history and millions of lives and livelihoods are under threat. Currently, 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water. The crisis is only going to get worse. By 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to double up against the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual ~6% loss in the country’s GDP. As per the report of National Commission for Integrated Water Resource Development of MoWR, the water requirement by 2050 in high use scenario is likely to be a milder 1,180 BCM, whereas the present-day availability is 695 BCM. The total availability of water possible in country is still lower than this projected demand, at 1,137 BCM. Thus, there is an imminent need to find ways to make sustainable use of the scarce water resources.
Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Suresh Prabhu, while speaking at a seminar, in New Delhi, in August 2018 has pointed to the Increasing population and climate change is a major challenge to the water resources of India. The water crisis is imminent if immediate steps are not taken keeping the long term requirement in mind. The per capita availability of water is declining with every passing day. The time has come to focus on the growing problem in the water sector. The pressure on scarce water resources is increasing due to the burgeoning population and increased industrial activity across the country. The minister has said that around 78% of available water is being used by the agriculture sector and by 2024 India will be the most populous country so there is going to be more pressure on water both for producing more food and for increased industrial activity. Optimum use of each drop of water available is the biggest challenge of today. The use of groundwater in agriculture in India is three to four times higher than the USA. The sustainable use of water is the need of the hour. The measures like rain water harvesting in urban areas for households are required to increase the availability. The water used by the Industry has to be treated and reused to save upon the potable water that can be used only for drinking.
As per Niti Aayog report released in June 2018, a majority of states in the country have made significant progress towards their targets for constructing and rejuvenating water harvesting structures for watershed development. Five states—Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Goa, and Himachal Pradesh—have constructed 100% of their target structures in FY16-17. Overall performance is also high, with the median state achieving ~78% of its targets. At the category level, Non-Himalayan states have performed better than North-Eastern and Himalayan states, achieving an average success rate of ~73% as compared to ~58% for North-Eastern and Himalayan states.
WATER RECYCLING & WASTEWATER TREATMENT
Rapid urbanisation in India has led to the increase in demand for water in the urban areas. The water supply has not matched with the rising demand in the urban areas. The urban population has gone up from 29 crore in 2001 to 37.7 crore in 2011. The people in metropolitan cities are the worst affected facing the water crunch. The climate change is taking its effect on the rainfall pattern in many regions experiencing uneven rainfall. The Government is making concerted efforts to implement rainwater harnessing schemes for groundwater improvement; however, there is an urgent need for water portfolio diversification through introducing alternate sustainable water sources.
The availability of potable water also gets affected due to contamination of the water bodies like lake and rivers. The industrial units discharge untreated effluents into the rivers, even municipalities are also no exception as they dump municipal waste in rivers. The efforts are needed to stop such man inflicted damage on the water bodies leading to decline in availability of freshwater.
The recycle and reuse of water presents has the potential to ensure assured water supply in the Cities, on a sustainable basis. The recycling and reuse of water is widely practiced in advanced countries. Singapore is one of the best examples to be emulated where every drop of water is recycled for reuse. Such an approach not only reduces pressure on other water sources, but also offers a sustainable solution for water resources management.
The domestic water treatment industry catering to the household is growing rapidly. The increasing awareness mainly among the urban folks about the need to go for safe drinking water has led to the growth of the sector. The water purification segment is dominated by both domestic as well as foreign players. As per the industry estimates, the water purifier market in India is growing at 15-20 per cent and is worth more than Rs 4000/- crore. The sector is dominated by offerings like Eureka Forbes' Aquaguard and LivePure, Kent RO Systems, HUL’s Pureit, etc. The competition is hotting up with new entrants wading into the segment.
STORAGE OF WATER
The country lacks sufficient water infrastructure for storage of the precious and scarce water. The recharging of aquifers and water bodies for storing surface water can go a long way in increasing the availability of water. As per the Ministry of Water Resources communique in September 2018, the total storage capacity of the 91 reservoirs across the country is 161.993 BCM which is about 63% of the total storage capacity of 257.812 BCM which is estimated to have been created in the country. 37 Reservoirs out of these 91 have hydropower benefit with installed capacity of more than 60 MW.
The scarcity of water has pushed the coastal states to explore the desalination option for meeting the growing needs of the water. The demand for desalination plants have grown. Initially, Chennai was the only city which had gone for a desalination plant. Currently they are lead with two big desalination plants. The state of Gujarat and Maharashtra are also keen to set up desalination plant for some of their cities.
STAKEHOLDERS & INVESTMENTS
The water sector involves various stakeholders such as municipal bodies, state and central government, agriculture industrial, commercial and households. The Municipal corporations are the ones spending millions of rupees across the country to ensure or increase the water supply for various segments. The potable water requirement is limited to households whereas the need to treat or recycle the used water or wastewater for non-potable use is increasing and investment is pouring in to this segment. The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation have instituted National Water Awards with the objective to encourage all stakeholders to manage their water resources efficiently and create a water consciousness in the country.
GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES ATAL BHUJAL YOJANA
The aim of the Atal Bhujal Yojana formulated by the Government of India is to address the criticality of groundwater resources in priority areas in the country through community participation. The priority areas are identified under the scheme fall in the states of Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. These States represent about 25% of the total number of over-exploited, critical and semi-critical blocks in terms of ground water in India. The World Bank has approved Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABHY), a Rs.6000 crore Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The scheme is to be implemented over a period of five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23, with World Bank assistance.
NAMAMI GANGE PROGRAMME
As per year end review report for 2017, the government of India under Namami Gange programme, a total of 187 projects worth Rs. 16565.34 crore have been sanctioned for various activities such as sewage infrastructure, ghats and crematoria development, river front development, river surface cleaning, institutional development, biodiversity conservation, afforestation, rural sanitation, and public participation. 93 projects out of 187 were sanctioned for creation of 2205.08 MLD new sewage treatment plants (STPs), rehabilitation of 564.3 MLD of existing STPs and laying/rehabilitation of 4762.4 km sewer network for abatement of pollution in river Ganga and Yamuna.
WATER RESOURCES AND RIVER DEVELOPMENT
As per year end review report for 2017, the government of India has formulated Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) amalgamating ongoing schemes viz. Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR,RD&GR), Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP) of Department of Land Resources (DoLR) and the On Farm Water Management (OFWM) of Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC). Under PMKSY, Ninety Nine ongoing Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) Major/Medium projects along with their Command Area Development & Water Management (CADWM) works having potential of 76.03 lakh ha. and estimated cost of Rs. 77595 cr. have been identified in consultation with States, for completion in phases up to December, 2019. Funding mechanism through NABARD has been made by the Government for both central and state share for timely completion of 99 prioritized projects.
NATIONAL HYDROLOGY PROJECT (NHP)
National Hydrology Project (NHP) has been taken up with the assistance of World Bank with total outlay of Rs 3679.76 crore. It’s a Central Sector Scheme, with 100% grant to the States with World Bank Assistance to the tune of 50% of the project cost. The project has a total duration of eight years from 2016-17 to 2023-24. The objective of NHP is to improve the extent, quality, and accessibility of water resources information, decision support system for floods and basin level resource assessment/planning and to strengthen the capacity of targeted water resources professionals and management institutions in India.
NATIONAL WATER INFORMATICS CENTRE (NWIC)
NWIC was formed by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in March 2018. The management of water resources involves expertise of multidisciplinary domains and depends on historical and real time reliable data and information. Water Resources Information System (WRIS) is required in public domain for awareness and involvement of all concerned for effective integrated water resources management. This is also prerequisite for scientific assessment, monitoring, modelling and Decision Support System (DSS) and Integrated water resource Management. NWIC would be a repository of nation-wide water resources data & allied themes; and provide value added products and services to all stakeholders for its management and sustainable development. NWIC would work as a Subordinate Office under the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Some of the water sector projects in various states include:
Department of Water Resources, Govt of Odisha is implementing Bhubaneswar Bulk Water supply Project to provide drinking water to the Notified Area Council of Khurdha, and Jatni and to the areas of IIT, Bhubaneswar, NISER and IDCO.
The Indian Hume Pipe Co.Ltd is implementing a work order from Madhya Pradesh Jal Nigam Maryadit for Kundaliya Multi Village Rural water supply scheme District - Rajgarh, Madhya Pradesh. The project value is Rs 578.5 crore.
Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd is likely to start work in 2019 pertaining to setting up integrated common hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility at Katikela in the district of Jharsuguda.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is setting up five Wastewater Treatment Facilities (WwTF) in Mumbai as part of the Mumbai Sewage Disposal Project Phase II (MSDP II). The WwTF will recycle sewage water, and make it usable for non-potable and industrial purposes.
Madhya Pradesh Public Health Engineering Department is implementing the construction of piped water supply scheme at village - Sarwan block, Sailana, District: Ratlam based on tube well or dugwell.
BHEL is currently constructing six decentralised STPs totalling to 25.4 MLD capacity for Raipur Development Authority.
VA Tech Wabag is implementing an order from Delhi Jal Board towards the rehabilitation and upgradation of the 182 MLD wastewater treatment plant at Rithala under the Yamuna Action Plan. Japan International Cooperation Agency is funding the project. The upgradation includes designing and constructing a biogas power generation unit from the sewage.
Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Department, Government of Odisha is implementing the laying of distribution system, design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of packaged Water treatment plants (unconventional type) of 0.5 MLD capacity for augmentation of PWS to Haraspada under Kanas block in Puri district.
Rajkot Municipal Corporation is implementing the construction of 3.0 ml RCC elevated service reservoir and 10.00 ml RCC partially underground service reservoir and rising mains and pump house with all allied civil works at Tirupati Nagar head-works at Kotharia area in Rajkot, Gujarat.
Rajasthan Water Resource Department is implementing the construction of Isarda Dam across Banas river for drinking water near Village Banetha. District Tonk, Rajasthan. The project cost is Rs 653.6 crore.
Amaravati Development Corporation Ltd is implementing the construction of Neerukonda reservoir on BOQ basis through international competitive bidding (ICB) in Amaravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh. The project cost is estimated to be Rs 366.97 crore.
The water & effluent treatment business of Larsen & Toubro Ltd is implementing an order from Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, Odisha for providing water supply to 307 villages in Kendrapada, Jharsuguda and Angul Districts of Odisha. The scope of work includes supplying, laying of transmission and distribution pipelines, design & construction of a water treatment plant, water retaining structures, intake & booster pumping stations and associated electromechanical & instrumentation works. L&T is also implementing another order from the Madhya Pradesh Jal Nigam Maryadit for the execution of Satna, Kundaliya and Mohanpura Multi Village Rural Water Supply Schemes on turnkey basis. The projects are funded by the New Development Bank.
Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority is implementing the construction of clear water underground reservoir 1.00 mg capacity at ward no 17 besides existing water treatment plant within Madhyamgram municipal area.
Southern Railway is setting up Water Recycling Plant at Mangalore in the state of Karnataka. As part of this project, the railways are undertaking the construction of over head water tank, pipe line and building works, underground drainage works, approach road and repairs to pit side drains, etc.
The Government of India has signed a loan agreement worth US$ 345 million with the New Development Bank (NDB) pertaining to the Rajasthan Water Sector Restructuring Project for desert areas in February, 2018.
The Government of India initiated AMRUT scheme drives the cities to implement water supply scheme but the overall augmentation of the water sources remains a challenge for ensuring assured water supply through the future. According to Niti Aayog’s study report released in June 2018, 21 Indian cities are likely to run out of groundwater by 2020. India is one of the biggest markets in size and growth rate as far as water sector is concerned. The sector currently has immense potential for the industry players and is likely to increase manifold due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. According to Ken Research report released in March 2018, titled, ‘India Industrial Water and Wastewater Treatment Market Outlook to 2022 - By Region (North, South, East, and West) and By Industry (Power, Steel, Textile tannery and Paper and Pulp, Oil and Gas, Pharma and Other)’, the Industrial Water and Wastewater Treatment Market is expected to reach INR 164 Billion by 2022.