Coming years are gradually getting bleaker by the year, as the question of India water seems to take centre-stage. In the debate about how best to manage the India water industry, it is imminent that hot discussions are sure. Proponents will come up in different directions, having opinions ranging from water reuse to wastewater treatment. Some are of the opinion that water pollution can control the most important issue of water scarcity. But, the degree to which the pollution can be controlled is something that doesn’t solve the issue of clean water for drinking or for washing.
Rivers are flowing across a large number of states. Most of the north Indian states are having rivers such as Ganges, Yamuna, Sutlej, Narmada, Godavari, etc, which flows into the central India and are to some extent, responsible for diminishing the water woes. But the figures of 1.65 times, of requirement of fresh water needed by 2050 are a crude indication of the water scarcity that the country would be facing. Moreover, fresh water resources would be fading off quickly, in the light of any fresh steps to improve the condition of India water.
- 1. Wastewater treatment generating solutions for clean water
At this juncture, Indian water companies are dwindling between two important possibilities, that of wastewater treatment and water recycling or water reuse. Desal or desalination is something that is strongly being advocated by many proponents and thinkers. By means of desalination, water supply can be improved by harnessing the vast resources of sea water, which is found in plenty around the southern states of India. In fact, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are already running a few desalination plants and meeting their water supply needs to some extent. But still, such plants are operating on a small scale, not sufficient to meet the needs of people of the state even. This is an indication of the amount of desalination plants which are required to be set up in the entire country, to be able to meet the demands by 2050, which is estimable at about 1,180 million cubic meters of fresh water.
- 2 Futuristic thoughts on Indian wastewater treatment
From another perspective, desalination is not the only factor which is to be encouraged. Most pundits of this type of water supply put forth the argument that the desalination water use will still give out waste water. Hence, more importantly, the wastewater treatment would be the best option to bring the Indian water industry under a streamlined approach. To this regard, the Indian water companies are required to come forth and set up wastewater treatment plants in areas, in different states. It might be considered as a futuristic technology for some, but the practical solution in the present day India water scenario is proper utilisation of wastewater to come up with fresh water.
In the coming years, it would be a prudent mix of desalination and wastewater treatment, which would be helpful in giving a worthy treatment to the India water crisis. Major role play has to be from the side of the Indian water companies, which are ready to put forth their money where there is benefit to the country, even though the financial gains are not much. Estimates put the wastewater treatment costs at higher levels than desalination, a reason for the inclination of Indian water companies towards the latter business. But, to sum it up, India water woes are possible to be disabled, only if there is sufficient strategy and collaborations at cost benefit ratio, rather than making it an out and out business proposition.
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India Water Industry Needs To Look Towards Duality