India needs $4.3bn private investments for water management

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National framework being developed for treated wastewater

The private sector has been urged to help fill the gap in the US$4.3 billion investments required by the municipal water as well as sewage water treatment plants across the country by 2025.

“There will be a huge gap of investments in this market and the private sector can fill this gap in terms of technology selection, fund rotation and implementation,” Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog said on 17 Feb 2021.

India’s wastewater treatment plants market stood at US$2.4 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$4.3 billion by 2025 owing to increasing demand for municipal water as well as sewage water treatment plants across the country.

Addressing the valedictory session ‘6th Edition of India Industry Water Conclave & 8th Edition of FICCI Water Awards’, Kant said that climate change along with rapid population and economic growth is resulting in an increased demand for water and food, potentially leading to over stressing not only for our present resources but also jeopardizing the resources for future generations.

“Therefore, a move towards a circular economy is critical for ensuring the economic and social stability of not only four economy but for the world economy as a whole,” he stressed.

Kant said that to encourage circular economy, there is a need to develop an enabling framework that uses smart regulations, market-based instruments, research and innovation, incentives, information exchange for voluntary approaches.

“To implement the circular economy and achieve sustainable industrial renaissance we should rely on proactive businesses and consumers with a special focus on small and medium sized enterprises implementing circular economy solutions,” he elaborated.

“In circular economy innovations, our goals should be to design ways through the value chain rather than relying on the solutions at the end of the product life. This, he said can be achieved by reducing the quantity of water required to deliver services, reducing the use of energy in production, creating a market for secondary raw materials, incentivising and supporting waste reduction and high-quality separation by consumers along with facilitating the clustering of activities to prevent by-products from becoming waste.

“Exploring and accessing alternate water sources is highly required,” he added.

Kant further stated that there is a need for rationalization in freshwater allocation for drinking in urban and rural areas with due proportion to industry. “Efficient use of water in agriculture should also be encouraged by adopting micro irrigation methods. All these uses should be interdependent for recycling and reuse of wastewater,” he pointed out.

To achieve the SDG 6.3 targets significant investments will be required in new infrastructure, grey and green and locally appropriate combinations along with appropriate technologies to increase the treatment in use of water. Inadequate sanitation resulting in poor hygienic practice leads to huge economic and social losses for the country, he said.

Collection, treatment, and reuse of municipal wastewater provides an opportunity for not only environmental rehabilitation but also meeting the increasing water needs of different economic sectors, added Kant.

Rajendra Singh, Water Man of India, said that for the country to become water sufficient nation, we have to ensure to use retreat, recycle and reuse the C-class water category.

“We must focus on using the B-class water for agriculture and A-class which comprises of fresh water should be kept separated from other classes of water.”

“In agriculture, we must focus on reducing the use of water through new technology and skill development. We need to link the crop pattern with rain pattern to ensure efficiency,” said Singh.

“We are trying to develop a national framework for reuse of treated wastewater, and we are also working on developing national sludge management framework,” informed Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, DG, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti.

“We are trying to develop a national framework for reuse of treated wastewater, and we are also working on developing national sludge management framework.

“The government is not only developing policy but also supporting programs and we want to bring more private sector under these programs. Partnership is the key and does not only include public private partnership, but it should be public, private and people at large,” said Mishra.

Many state policies have come up for recycle and reuse of water, however a comprehensive policy which integrates all policies which exists in various ministries should be brought out which focusses on resource recovery model and not just on recycle and reuse of water, according to Naina Lal Kidwai, Chair, FICCI Water Mission and Past President, FICCI,

“There is also a need to develop a central water regulatory authority to cater these water issues,” she added.

Kidwai stated that Champions should be present in every city from both the private and public sector to create awareness related to water issues along with mobilization of community in addressing them is the need of the hour. She also noted that the potential of wastewater management in India is huge and this is an area for the industry to explore.

“Water sector, if, made investor friendly by equitable sharing of risks between the investor, technology provider and Government, can bring in more private sectors investments in water projects,” she said. #water #projects #investment #infrastructure #projects /fiinews.com

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