India is home to the second largest population in the world. The steady population growth along with urbanisation and industrialisation has put a lot of pressure on the fresh water resources in India.Add to this the increasingly stringent environmental laws working towards sustainable solutions and we have a water crisis on our hands.
As a result, the demand for waste water management services and technologies is on the rise. Unfortunately, the existing services are struggling to match up to these demands thanks to lack of adequate investment, laws and R&D required in this segment.
We spoke to Mr. Arun Lakhani, MD Vishvaraj Infrastructure and expert in waste water management solutions for the Government of India to understand different ways of managing the water crisis.
Adapt to water sector PPP regulations:
For too long, the regulations for commercial water usage in India have been far too lenient, leading to wasteful and polluting use of water. Unmonitored commercial usage of water is one of the leading reasons for the current shortage in water supply and water pollution that plagues most urban cities.
Bring in the latest water management technology:
Waste water management requires high-tech plants, processes and technology. The past few years has seen the Indian market pick up on these technologies with the influx of multi-national companies bringing latest technologyto India.
Currently, technologies such as filtration, softening, demineralisation (DM), ultrafiltration (UF) are regularly used for water treatment. But that is not sufficient to tackle the water management issue.
The time has come for companies to adopt the latest technologies such as Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technology.
To put it in simple words, ZLD is a technology that helps plants meet discharge and water reuse requirements, enabling businesses to better manage water.
One of the examples of successful implementation of ZLD is the Tirupur project in Tamil Nadu. This was undertaken by Praj industries which offer ZLD and recycle and reuse solutions with advanced technologies.
Tirupur was facing severe pollution issues that were caused by textile industries operating within the region. The factories would discharge their coloured effluents into the surrounding water bodies that were polluting the water.
To tackle this situation, Praj industries decided to implement ZLD technology.You can imagine how grave the situation was, as almost 600 textiles units remained closed for almost two years.
By implementing the ZLD technology Praj industries was successful in solving the water pollution problem. Besides, they also found ways to cover the project cost too such as selling the treated waterto the end users.
One of the reasons for a lackadaisical attitude of companies towards adopting these technologies is the high cost of acquiring and implementing these techniques.
However, given the fact that regulations will become stricter in the future, investing in technologies like ZLD will bring benefits in the long run.
As per Frost & Sullivan research firm, the Indian water and wastewater treatment market earned more than Rs 6,300 crore in revenue in the year 2011. This is expected to reach Rs 10,230 crore in 2016.
The market is on the rise for waste water management service providers with more and more companies adapting to better solutions.
As the fresh water resources are depleting it is high time the waste water management companies must shift their focus on incorporating sustainable, innovative and advanced technologies.
The waste water management sector is quite dynamic and it will only keep on posing challenges for companies offering these solutions. It is thus imperative that these companies keep incorporating advanced automation, technology and expertise to meet the public needs at affordable cost. It will go a long way in ensuring sustainable economic and environmental development.