As per the Ministry of Water Resources, India occupies 2% of the world’s land area, supports over 16% of its population and has only 4% of its renewable water resources. These staggering statistics has made wastewater management in India an extremely important area of focus elucidates, Pankaj Mishra, Industry Business Segment Head – Water and Waste Water of Schneider Electric India.
Today, India is home for 1.28 billion people that is expected to grow by nearly half a billion, in the next 40 years. By 2040 it is expected that another 225 million people will be shifting to cities. This highlights the amount of pressure that is going to be released on the most essential natural resource – Water.
Each year, 740cubic meters is what our metros, tier II and tier III cities require and the demand is expected to rise and reach 1500bn cubic meters per year – an astonishing 200% increment. In contrast, water supplies are decline annually because of climate change, overabstraction and pollution. Several factors have led to this situation, including rising costs resulting from increased energy intensity and higher energy prices, inefficiencies in distribution and treatment and flawed financial incentives.
Increasing health awareness and population pressure has made wastewater management an extremely important area of focus. Increasing government support and private participation has helped wastewater sector witness major growth in the last decade.
Present waste water management
As per, ENVIS Centre on Hygiene, Sanitation, Sewage Treatment Systems and Technology, latest estimate shows that out of 22,900mld of wastewater generated in the country, only about 5900mld (26%) is treated before letting out the rest i.e.17000mld is disposed of untreated. Twenty seven cities have only primary treatment facilities and forty-nine have primary and secondary treatment facilities. The level of treatment available in cities with existing treatment plant varies from 2.5% to 89% of the sewage generated.
The total wastewater generated by the 299 class-I cities is 16,662mld approximately 81% of the water supplied. The state of Maharashtra alone contributes about 23%, while Ganga river basin contributes about 31% of the waste generated. Only 74% of the total wastewater generated is collected. Out of 299 class I cities 160 cities have sewerage coverage for more than 75% of the population and 92 cities have between 50 and 75% of population coverage. On the whole 70% of the population of class I cities are provided with sewerage facility. The type of sewerage system is either open or closed or piped.
The scale of the problem remains enormous. For instance, it is estimated that less than 20% of domestic and 60% of industrial wastewater is treated. Metros and large cities (more than 100,000 inhabitants) are treating only about 29.2% of their wastewater; smaller cities treat only 3.7% of their wastewater.
A smart water network not only provides enhanced automated process control, but also can fully process data in real time to yield the meaningful information that can be put to work – to save water and labour costs, optimize compliance and security, and ensure good customer service.
Taking advantage of real-time data, from pumps, tanks, valves and other vital distribution network points, water can be used in a much smarter way. The smart water network flexibility allows the utility to integrate the water management technology. Energy optimization, demand forecasting, leak detection and water quality management are the functionalities that are created by the monitoring, control and information management solution serving the smart water network.
- By automating processes and improving operations efficiency, the smart water network reduces costs, saves water, optimizes security and compliance and provides better service to all stakeholders.
- Standardized information management solutions are the true owners of their monitoring a0nd control system and can determine which vendors and applications best serve their changing needs.
- Consumers can upgrade and extend the system easily without costly configuration and are not constrained by existing technology in their future business decision making.