India’s water stress pushing for a revolution in the Water & Waste Water Industry?

/India’s water stress pushing for a revolution in the Water & Waste Water Industry?
  • Water Industry India

Water shortage is a recurrent concern across India. Water & Waste Water Management is the need of the hour with India expected to become the most populous country in the world by 2022 – it is becoming increasingly essential to be able to provide clean & safe water to the population. The Water and Waste Water Treatment and Management Market in India accounted at $1.39 billion in 2015, is expected to reach $1.96 billion by 2021.

India’s water scarcity issues are now becoming prominent in urban cities like Chennai, Bengaluru and New Delhi where the costs of fresh water production and industrial water tariffs have risen due to water shortage. India’s urban utilities usually lose up to 40–60% of the water produced. Instead of increasing efficiency and managing demands, the focus has been on increasing the supply of water. India currently faces challenges in water treatment and management due to poor infrastructure and limited water availability.

Many foreign water companies have been investing in the Water & Waste Water sector in India and are expanding their footprint in the promising market by increasing investments and introducing new innovative technologies. Xylem, a large American water technology provider has received a $1 million order to supply advanced waste water treatment technology to a sewage treatment plant in Madhya Pradesh. The Dow Chemical Company, an American multinational specialty chemical company, through its Water & Process Solutions division in India has also recently launched a wastewater management technology and is now targeting water intensive industries such as textile & energy where wastewater recycling is needed. Drake & Scull International, engineering, construction and procurement company headquartered in UAE, through its German subsidiary has acquired contracts to construct wastewater treatment plants in New Delhi and Bangalore.

In a move to address climatic changes, India ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change in early October. According to India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 92 million people in India do not have access to safe drinking water. NDC is a climate change mitigation action plans and commitments declared by each party of the Paris Agreement individually. For a country like India that already faces water scarcity, climatic changes is another reason to reform water management and utilization as climatic changes disrupt the water cycle. 93% of the NDC plans submitted under the Paris Agreement have identified water as key concern area that needs prior attention.

Recently, India and Israel agreed to cooperation in the field of water resources management and development in which Israel will share its water technology with India. Israel has advanced technologies for desalination of salt water into fresh water and for recycling wastewater into reusable water for consumption, irrigation and other needs. India has also collaborated with Hungary on water management.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has given a contract worth $45 million to design, build and operate a wastewater treatment plant to SUEZ India, a subsidiary of the French major in water treatment and waste management sectors. SUEZ believes India’s water sector has significant potential to grow with the steady participation from the private sector with wastewater and solid waste management emerging as key thrust areas across cities in India. SUEZ India is actively exploring more business opportunities in states of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has partnered with international faecal sludge, wastewater and environmental laboratories – Asian Institute of Technology Bangkok (Thailand), University of Kwa Zulu- Natal Durban (South Africa) and Columbia University (U.S.A) to upgrade existing Faecal Sludge and Wastewater Laboratories in the country and set up India first state of art referral facility on faecal sludge and wastewater at Alwar, Rajasthan. CSE also encourages septage management and decentralized wastewater treatment options at institutional and individual levels for sustainable water management.

Water conservation, hygiene and sanitation have also been hot topics in India for a while now with about 600 million people without access to adequate sanitation, increasing the risk of groundwater contamination. The Indian Government targets to build 110 million toilets by 2019 and achieve 100% sanitation by 2022, leading to a lot of developments across the country under the ‘Swachh Bharat’ Mission.  Bio-toilets are also on a rising trend in India with increasing private sector companies entering the market. With an aim to enhance hygienic and reduce water consumption – as these do not dilute raw sewage with water and allow bacteria to decompose human waste to create a source of gas that can be burned as energy – more than 49,000 bio-toilets have been installed in railway coaches as on October and the Indian railways plans to install bio-toilets in all passenger coaches by 2019.

In order to ensure continued economic growth and industrial development in India, water management is extremely important. Contamination of water bodies due to untreated wastewater is a rising concern. Intense urbanization, growing industrialization, rising standards of living, stress on water availability, environmental protection and pollution control is drawing attention to the Water and Waste Water Industry. A global report by Transparency Market Research states that the global water market will be driven by opportunities in emerging economies, such as India and China. With the Government’s focus on a clean India and private sectors contribution, India will see a boom in sustainable solutions for Water and Waste Water Management.

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