Dwindling freshwater resources are forcing countries and organisations to make water and wastewater management a mandatory exercise.
The mismatch between the demand and supply of water in the country is a major driving force behind the water and wastewater industry in the country. With a market size of over $4 billion (out of that wastewater is $420 million) in 2012 (residential 21 per cent, municipal 32 per cent, industrial 26 per cent and commercial 21 per cent), the Indian water and wastewater market is growing at a rate of 18 per cent every year with certain segments like the industrial and drinking water segments seeing even higher growths. Today, 85 per cent of urban and 75 per cent of the rural population has access to public water supplies. A total of 48 per cent of the urban population and 36 per cent of the rural population has access to sanitation services. But there is a lot of scope to get more out of this opportunity. Realising the need today, drinking water investments constitute about 3 per cent of the national budget. With constant interest and aid coming from global donors including JICA, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, the pace of development has gained momentum in recent times.
Ashish Tandon, Managing Director, Egis, India shares how as per study of market research firm Market Plus, the water purifier market in India is expected to grow 229 per cent, up from Rs 18.64 billion in 2012 to Rs 61 billion in 2017.
´Government-related projects contribute over
50 per cent of revenues in this market while the private sector contributes the rest. The water and wastewater treatment market segment is highly fragmented and unorganised. The water and wastewater treatment market earned revenues of over Rs 63.07 billion in 2011 and the figure is expected to reach Rs 102.34 billion in 2016,ö adds Tandon, whose firm is currently working on major projects financed by international agencies in Orissa and in Delhi as project management consultant.
One of the major changes noticed in the water and wastewater management segment is the industrial approach to the concept. Many industries which were known to be most polluting Industries are now opting for some of the most advanced techniques to become Zero Liquid Discharge and use Eco Friendly technologies. ´Lot of companies have started opting for recycled sewage water for running their factories. Market of STP and evaporators has grown multifold in the last decade. The major change we have noticed recently in industries is to look at water management in totality instead of separate packages. Through Intelligent Integration - effluents and blow down are brought back and fed to the process as one single package,´ says Sujit Doshi, Director, Industrial Projects Division, Doshion Ltd. Several industries such as power, refineries, and chemicals are adopting efficient and sustainable technology to ensure freshwater supply. The proposed tax breaks for industries that save water will boost water recycling.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the power, food & beverage, pharmaceuticals, refineries and textiles sectors are generating immense opportunities in the water and wastewater treatment equipment market, and prefer advanced treatment technological systems such as reverse osmosis (RO) membranes for treating their wastewater. Adoption of advanced technology like zero liquid discharge (ZLD) is low in India when compared to the global scenario. ´This is mainly because setting up a ZLD system involves high capital investment. The energy requirement too, is high, leading to increased operational expenses, which deters these sectors installing the ZLD systems. With stringent regulations and legislations in place, this scenario is expected to change in the next five years,´ says Tandon. Inadequate funds have been quite detrimental in the growth of the sector and like many other sectors, PPP has not worked in the water and wastewater segment as well owing to the unfavourable model concession agreements for the developers. Tandon adds how collection risk with the developers is not a very successful option for PPP in the water sector. ´Moreover, there is a requirement of mindset of the leaders for getting success in water PPP in India,´ quips Tandon.
While the approach towards water and wastewater management varies from industry to industry and even from State to State, pricing of freshwater is probably one of the biggest challenges staring at us along with proper management of the existing resources. ´The biggest challenge in these sectors is efficient management of existing facilities. While organisations are busy setting up new treatment plants and networks, the foremost need is to effectively run the systems already in place. This will reduce the stress on the implementing agencies while simultaneously increasing their experience in operations and technologies that can be successfully adopted in other regions,´ says Rakesh Bansal, Vice President -Realty & Social Infra Practice, Feedback Infra. It´ the union of the existing and the futuristic measures that will make the water and wastewater segment a resounding success.
Ashish Tandon, Managing Director, Egis India
Our experts use different tools for hydraulic and spatial modelling (WaterGEMS, CEBELMAIL, Geomensura etc) which are good bases for decision-making. Adapting to its environment, our teams have also developed many innovative solutions: as an example ESPADA helps forecasting and managing flood crisis in urban areas. This system has been implemented in around 20 cities and public agencies so far.
Sujit Doshi, Director, Industrial Projects Division, Doshion Ltd
IndBharat in Orissa is going for the most compact and eco-friendly water treatment package which fits completely on the top of raw water tank. Tata Power Solved its long running problem of coal pile runoff water using our pre-fab clarifier which was not getting clarified properly in conventional clarifier. JSW Steel will reduce its recycling facility´ foot print to less than half and save more than 50 Cr/annum by recycling expensive additives which they use in steel production and then throw it in waste spending huge amounts on its treatment. These are few of many projects currently under execution at Doshion.