Water Management

The water and water treatment sector in India is likely to witness substantial growth with a CAGR of 8-9% in the next 5 years.

Some major opportunities that exist in harnessing freshwater assets, enormous water system projects, stream & river linking projects, miniature water system advancements, country drinking water conveyance, brilliant city and metropolitan water dispersion and water treatment projects, open doors through monstrous lodging projects, modern water treatment and reuse will add to this development. This will give energizing open doors to providers of gear, frameworks, advances, consumables to this area alongside the reception of computerization and developments. There will be standards for quick executions and more cooperation of EPCs in this area.

One-fourth of mankind faces an approaching water emergency, including the possibility of running out of water, which might appear to be incomprehensible when 70% of the Earth’s surface is water. Up to 80 per cent of accessible surface and groundwater is being utilized each year and water request around the world is projected to increment by 55% by 2050.

India is home to 18 percent of the global population but has only 4 percent of the global water resources. The per capita water availability is around 1,100 cubic meters (m3), well below the internationally recognized threshold of water stress of 1,700 m3 per person, and dangerously close to the threshold for water scarcity of 1,000 m3 per person.

Causes of Water Scarcity


The degradation of water shortage adds to the causes. Water contamination has environmental results that make water ill-suited for consumption or use and lessen the accessible water resources. Contamination is in this way one of the principal dangers to the accessibility and utilization of water. Fertilizers and pesticides, soil exhaustion and helpless garbage removal are detrimental to accessible freshwater sources.

Overuse of Water

The abuse of water assets is another huge issue prompting water shortage. Lacking administration of water assets, regardless of whether it be for agribusiness utilizing 70% of the world open freshwater, modern exercises or homegrown use, causes a lot of wasted water. Considering we are squandering more water than any time in recent memory. This causes a great deal of weight on the accessible water resources. 

Climate Change

The glacial masses and ice in certain regions of the planet are dissolving, influencing the freshwater supplies. An Earth-wide temperature boost has prompted various dry seasons, floods and heatwaves. Environmental change is therefore deteriorating the water emergency, particularly in regions that are already under water stress. 

Growing Freshwater Demand

Over the years, the total population continues to grow and develop. This has brought about the utilization of water for everyday needs like drinking, cooking and cleaning has significantly increased. As the worldwide populace is relied upon to boom in the coming years, water resources need to be managed more efficiently. 

Prevention of Water Scarcity

Sustainable water management

Further developing water foundations should be fundamentally important, as water protection and productivity are key components of sustainable water management. Solar-powered desalination and savvy water system frameworks are incredible instances of clean innovation for water proficiency and control. That clearly applies considerably more to the horticulture and cultivating area the largest consumer of water.

Reclaimed water

Rainwater harvesting and reused wastewater likewise permit to lessen shortage and ease pressures on groundwater and other regular water bodies. Groundwater re-energize, which permits water moving from surface water to groundwater, is a notable cycle to forestall water shortage.

Pollution control & better sewage treatment

Without legitimate sanitation, the water turns out to be brimming with infections and risky to drink. That is the reason tending to contamination, estimating and checking water quality is fundamental. In addition, further developing the sewage frameworks in explicit regions is one more method to prevent water scarcity from becoming any worse.

Awareness & Education

Education is basic to settle the water emergency. Truth be told, to adapt to future water shortages, it is important to profoundly change all types of utilization, from individual use to the inventory chains of enormous organizations. 

Automation in Water Scarcity

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful tool to resolve real-world problems and has gained tremendous attention due to its applications in various fields. In recent years, AI techniques have also been employed in water treatment and desalination to optimize the process and to offer practical solutions to water pollution and water scarcity. Applications of AI is also expected to reduce the operational expenditures of the water treatment process by decreasing the cost and optimizing chemicals usage. 

India has the highest population of any country in the world without access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. According to WaterAid and the World Health Organisation (WHO), 163 million people still lack access to safe water and millions still defecate in the open.

In a conventional water treatment plant, representatives occasionally test the water to accumulate information. This cycle is slow and gives just a restricted degree, delivering itself deficient for the advanced world. Robotized water treatment can empower continuous examining, saving time and giving better, more complete information.

Automation and information assortment go connected at the hip since computerized frameworks depend on data to operate. Therefore, when treatment plants execute automation, they get information permeability simultaneously. With a mechanized framework, labourers can in a split second actually take a look at constant information, and a few arrangements even accompany worked in investigation programming. 

Water Management Tool & Techniques

The 26th United Nations environmental change meeting, COP26, will see conversations on the Paris Agreement just as on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. It will likewise feature the effect of environmental change on water assets, as the issue of water pressure and security has been influencing a few nations across the globe.

Policymakers at the centre and state-level, Industry and nearby networks in India have been working together to back India out of this problem. CII Triveni-Water Institute is an interesting foundation that tends to water-related issues in an all-encompassing way. The organization draws in with partners and facilitates water management, water preservation and wastewater treatment by identifying cost-effective, scalable, commercially viable and sustainable tools and technologies. Some interventions undertaken by the institute are: 

1. Water Audit

CII’s water review gives more prominent water productivity arrangements and cost investment funds for meeting interior approaches, consenting to a commitment to sustainability. The foundation recognizes areas of higher explicit water use, evaluates wastewater contamination load and decides strategies for relief through the use of the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) standard. It guides stakeholders to implement strategies that help reduce water usage, minimize wastewater generation and maximize recovery.

2. Remote Water Audit

Considering the continuous COVID-19 pandemic, remote water reviews were presented by the foundation in 2020. Remote auditing is the process by which auditors couple information and correspondence innovation with information examination to evaluate the exactness of the information and inside controls, accumulate electronic proof and interface with customers, all without the need to be physically present. 

With solutions based on data analysis and a deep understanding of processes, remote water audits deliver benefits similar to those accrued from physical audits.

3. Zero Liquid Discharge

Zero Liquid release (ZLD) incorporates the setting up of offices that guarantee outright reusing of modern effluents into strong buildup. The establishment’s Roadmap towards Zero Liquid Discharge includes present moment and long haul needs in disposing of the release of wastewater into adjacent water bodies or land by empowering proficient reusing of wastewater streams.

4. Water Pinch Analysis

It is an orderly strategy for diminishing water utilization and wastewater age by incorporating water-use exercises and cycles. The framework considers water reuse opportunities by carefully analyzing the flows and the quality of different streams. The interaction intends to augment water effectiveness at least capital costs.

5. Water Resource Evaluation and Planning Tool 

WATSCAN is a tool that can be utilized for planning a basket of strategies for balanced water demand and supply management in the watershed. It is a coordinated IT-driven, GIS and remote detecting based data framework that distinguishes and designs water management strategies and demonstrates improved water scenarios.  It devises water management interventions to ensure better water availability in the project areas. 

6. Blue Rating System for Companies (BlueCO)

This is a first of its sort coordinated rating framework for water which assesses an organization with a viewpoint of manageability of business activities regarding water. It additionally considers the endeavours made by the organization to further develop the effectiveness of water use in business tasks, just as for guaranteeing consistent continuous inventory of water over time. The system allows industry to plan their water management initiatives, enables identification of problem areas and helps the management prepare a “Roadmap for achieving Water Security” for an individual as well as corporate units.

Initiatives in the Water Sector

1. Data Monitoring Program 

A comprehensive, reliable, and easily accessible Hydrological Information System (HIS) is a prerequisite for optimally utilizing water resources. In India, the availability of meteorological data is very good, that of surface water satisfactory (although the quality of data is doubtful at many locations) and data on groundwater good. But the data on water quality is limited. Although groundwater availability maps have been prepared for certain locations, extraction rates are often not available. To achieve these objectives, there is a need to strengthen the existing monitoring network; proper coordination amongst the different agencies is essential. 

2. Construction of New Projects 

In recent times, new issues have emerged that have to be dealt with before taking up a new water development project. This has caused considerable delay into some projects leading to time and cost overruns. The issue of rehabilitation and resettlement (R & R) is of critical importance which affects all major projects. Displacement of the population is one of the main criticisms against major dams. It is true that adequate care of the displaced population was not taken in past. This defect needs to be rectified to ensure that the displaced population is rehabilitated such that they enjoy a better standard of living than in the pre-dam conditions. 

3. Water Conservation 

Water conservation implies improving the availability of water by storing it in surface reservoirs, tanks, soil, and groundwater zone. If one looks at utilizable water resources in major river basins, these resources in Indus, Ganga, Brahmaputra, and Godavari basins are 73.31, 525.02, 629.05 and 110.54 km3 per year, respectively. The use of drip and sprinkler irrigation saves a large quantity of water. Thus, there is an urgent need for large-scale adoption of sprinkler and drip irrigation in various parts of the country. Rainwater harvesting is the process to capture and storing rainfall for its efficient utilization. It increases water availability (locally), helps in checking the decline of the water table, and may also control soil erosion and flooding. People were familiar with this concept and it is being vigorously promoted as a water conservation method.

4. Interbasin Water Transfer (IBWT) 

Transfer of water from surplus areas to deficit areas is an old concept. IBWT is an option to partly overcome the spatial and temporal imbalance of availability and demand. Many such schemes have been implemented all over the world and in India too. 

5. Recycle and Reuse of Water 

Another way to improve freshwater availability is by recycling and reuse of water. Use of water of lesser quality, such as reclaimed wastewater, for cooling, cleaning, watering lawns, and fire fighting is an attractive option. This conserves better quality waters for potable uses. Currently, recycling of water is not practised on a large scale in India and there is considerable scope and incentive to use this alternative. 

6. Desalination of Water 

There has been significant development in the past few decades in desalination technologies, including distillation, and reverse osmosis. Desalination is suitable in areas where freshwater is scarce but saline water is available and energy is cheap. Compared to water recycling technologies, desalination presents fewer health risks. As currently practised, desalination mostly uses fossil fuels. As the costs come down, desalinization will become commercially more attractive. 

7. Dealing with Climate Change 

Water resources assessment and planning assumes that the past records of variability are reflections of what will happen in the future. Climate change is likely to result in hydrologic conditions and extremes of a nature that will be different from those for which the existing projects were designed. The approaches for effectively dealing with climate change will have to be different than those that have been employed to manage variability in the past. 

Industrial Water Reuse

Industrial water demand is rapidly increasing in the country as we expect the higher industrial contribution along with industrial water demand to increase exponentially. The National Commission on Integrated Water Resources Development (NCIWRD) based on a small sample of industries and their water use, projected that industrial water demand would increase from 30 BCM in 2000, to about 101 and 151 BCM by 2025 and 2050 respectively. However, an analysis using the global trends show that with the present economic growth rates, the per capita industrial water demand could increase from 42 m3 /person in 2000 to about 66 and 102 m3 /person by 2025 and 2050 respectively or the total industrial water demand to increase to 92 and 161 BCM by 2025 and 2050, respectively.

Industries can recapture and purify wastewater and reuse it for a variety of applications that would otherwise be lost. With the advent of industrial water purification technology and high precision treatment facilities, even problematic and elusive substances such as ammonia which can corrode and damage manufacturing facility equipment can be successfully removed from the water. With modern equipment and technique, the toughest water treatment problems can be addressed and solved. Microfiltration techniques also substantially contribute to the recovery of water for industrial purposes. Industries around the world are seeking to integrate technology into their water management systems and apply contemporary treatment techniques and advanced monitoring and analytics to continuously measure and improve their water performance. Applying the latest technologies, monitoring and evaluating plans with well-established parameters and standardized data collection are the essentials to sustainably developing water resources with reuse of generated wastewater. One of the most affordable first steps for industrial units seeking to reclaim wastewater is to conduct a water usage audit. Water experts can pinpoint exactly where the most money can be saved and can then recommend appropriate solutions tailored to a manufacturer’s specific needs and reduce the consumption of clean water for other useful purposes.

Government Initiatives for drinking water

The Government of India has established National Water Mission as one of the eight National Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change. The Union Cabinet approved (on 6th April 2011) the comprehensive Mission Document for National Water Mission (NWM).  The main objective of NWM is “conservation of water, minimizing wastage and ensuring its more equitable distribution both across and within States through integrated water resources development and management”. NWM has identified five goals as under:-

1.   Comprehensive water database in public domain and assessment of the impact of climate change on water resources;

2. Promotion of citizen and state actions for water conservation, augmentation and preservation;

3.   Focused attention to vulnerable areas including over-exploited areas;

4.   Increasing water use efficiency by 20%; and

5.   Promotion of basin level integrated water resources management.

Various strategies for achieving the goals have been identified which lead to integrated planning for sustainable development with the active participation of the stakeholders. In pursuance to the approval accorded by the Union Cabinet to the National Water Mission, a Mission Directorate was established in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. Eight Advisory Groups/Committees as envisaged in the NWM Mission document have been constituted.

The average annual water availability in any locale generally relies upon hydro-meteorological and geographical variables; nonetheless, the number of inhabitants in a nation decides the water accessibility per individual. Because of the rising population, spatial variations in precipitation and high worldly circumstances, India’s per capita water is gradually diminishing and water availability in numerous regions is lower than the national average, leading to water stress and scarcity in the country.

To battle this approaching emergency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent off the Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain campaign (with a slogan ‘Catch the rain, where it falls, when it falls’) on World Water Day, which was seen on March 22, 2021. This program centres around gathering and monitoring water. It will be executed from March 22, 2021, to November 30, 2021, covering the pre-storm and rainstorm periods across metropolitan and provincial regions in the country. The focus of the campaign is on water-stressed districts and blocks.

The important water conservation interventions are :

Water conservation and rainwater harvesting,

Renovation of traditional and other water bodies/tanks,

Reuse of water and recharging of structures,

Watershed development and

Intensive afforestation.

Last year Jal Shakti Abhiyan covered 256 water-stressed districts across the country.

More than seventy-five lakh traditional and other water bodies and tanks were renovated and around a crore, water conservation & rainwater harvesting structures were created.

For a better tomorrow

The government of India launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan-I (JSA-I) in 256 water-stressed districts of the country in two phases between July to November 2019. Under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, officers, groundwater experts and scientists from the Government of India worked with State and district officials in these districts to promote water conservation and water resource management by focusing on accelerated implementation of five target interventions, viz., water conservation and rainwater harvesting, renovation of traditional and other water bodies/ tanks, reuse and recharge of bore wells, watershed development and intensive afforestation.

The growing population and increasing water use are making freshwater scarce and polluted and posing a major threat to water resources in India. Interstate disputes are a threat to peace as well the use of water. A new water revolution is needed to preserve, harness, develop and manage water resources keeping in view both their quantity and quality. For sustainable development of freshwater resources, it would be important to enable individuals and communities to appreciate their options, evaluate them and then choose the one that is the most appropriate. Water is a major factor in each of the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social, and environmental. India has to initiate a series of measures to ensure that the people have access to clean water and sanitation, there is food security, and there are no water-related conflicts. Water must meet the needs of the present population and those of future generations. 

Organizations having water innovations can assume a critical part intending to water shortage in each field by presenting advances and water management techniques collaborating with strategy producers, policymakers and private sector organizations related to the water ecosystem.      

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