In order to secure future water needs, the government will have to play a major role, both functionally and financially.Experts:JS Dwivedi, Executive Director, JITF Water Infrastructure TM Nagarajan, Head—Water Technologies, SiemensDadasaheb Chandane, Project Director, SPML MBMC Project Divakar Marri, Head—PMO, Ramky InfrastructureHoshang Subawalla, Business Leader—Water & Process Technologies, GE Power & Water, IndiaCK Sandeep, Vice President—Marketing, Ion Exchange IndiaSasidhar Chidanamarri, Industry Manager, Environment & Building Technology Practice, Frost & Sullivan K Ganesan, Senior Manager—Operations & Maintenance, Mahindra Water UtilitiesS Natrajan, Sales Head, VA Tech WabagWhat are the new technologies available to provide better wastewater management?DwivediTechnologies focus on the techno-economic mix for fulfilment of viability requirements and also technical requirements for specified re-use specified for industrial and domestic sector. Uniform standards are adopted for water quality parameters for the specified re-use to enable the client/contractor to choose the optimum technology at a rational cost. Cost comparison should be for the lifecycle cost inclusive of operation and maintenance (O&M) costs and not just initial installation.There are various advanced equipment available in the market today. Similarly, with respect to process, many advancements have happened in the biological treatment both in the attached and suspended growth process such as SAFF, improved Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) processes in the former and Sequencing Bio Reactor (SBR) in the latter category. Fixed Bed Bio-film Activated Sludge (FBAS) claims to combine the advantages of attached and suspended growth systems. These technologies can be evaluated in terms of foot-print, power consumption, other O&M costs and also primarily fulfilment of the desired treated sewage parameters for specified end-use to arrive at the most techno-economically feasible option.NagarajanNew technologies add value not only in efficacy of pollutant removal but also make operation and maintenance efficient. Being modular, these technologies also allow the investment to be made in a phased manner to meet future capacities as well as further stringent environmental regulations.Enhanced nutrient reduction, bio-solids and residuals management, water reuse, improved plant safety, operational cost reduction, lower foot print, lower total cost of ownership, and centralised measurement of discharge quantity/quality are the focus areas which are well addressed by new technologies. A Membrane Bio Reactor (MBR) system for wastewater treatment can be used to recycle wastewater and adhere to strict environmental regulations. Technologies like SBR and MBR optimise footprint, render low effluent turbidity while reducing waste sludge generation.MarriInnovations may be described by the difference they make to the infrastructure needs. Wastewater treatment innovations satisfy a number of different criteria:• Integrate planning with other local services such as solid waste, organics composting programs, energy and public services so that a community benefits from wastewater treatment in a variety of ways• Reducing the costs of wastewater treatment through waste recovery and reuse• Minimising environmental pollution• Embracing the flexibility so that new innovations and technologies can be employed as they become available.ChandaneWater is a renewable natural resource. While much of our water supply is renewable, there are “non-renewable” water sources as well, where our use of water depletes or degrades the source. The use of semiconductors is rising globally, fed by the ever-growing number of electronic devices for the treatment of wastewater. The rapidly expanding middle classes in developing countries are compelling advanced water and wastewater treatment technologies that cater to this demand while reducing the impact on the environment and operating budgets. As such, refining current wastewater treatment technologies through innovation, instrumentation and analytical automation to enable cost reduction and increase competitive advantages is the fastest way forward.SubawallaConventional sources of water such as surface and groundwater are under heavy stress in many areas around the world and the demand for freshwater continues to outstrip current available supply. Due to the deteriorating quality of fresh water, wastewater is consequently becoming more challenging to treat.A combination of technologies like MBR, Reverse Osmosis (RO) or Electrodialysis Reversal (EDR) with appropriate pre-treatment can help in achieving the toughest wastewater reuse objectives. Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technologies can then further minimise the impact on the environment by converting the last and toughest stream of recoverable wastewater into reusable water and solids. Judicious use of treatment chemicals in the process can improve both quantity and quality of reclaimed water.SandeepOur new technologies ensure that they are environment-friendly (less chemicals and power to operate), occupy less space and provide quality output at lower lifecycle costs.ChidanamarriWater and wastewater management in India has gained due importance in the recent years. With fast depleting water resources, there is a lot of emphasis on adopting the 3R of environment – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. With the availability of the latest technologies such as MBR, ZLD, etc, the wastewater can be recycled and reused for applications such as agriculture and landscape irrigation, industrial process water, toilet flushing, ground water recharge, etc.GanesanNewer technologies like gas generation (primary clarifier) from the sludge plays a major role in methane gas emission, reduces the green house effect; similarly, effective sludge management system and usage of treated water.MBR is an advanced treatment technology that is compact. It provides treated water of high quality. MBR systems replace conventional treatment and combine clarification, aeration and filtration into a simple and cost-effective process that reduces capital and operational costs. The result is consistent, high quality effluent suitable for any discharge or reuse application.NatrajanThe newer technologies would provide numerous opportunities in wastewater management in terms of: better treated effluent; minimum footprint (minimum land space for the client); and power saving – converting waste into electricity.In earlier days, secondary treatment of sewage was the norm, that is, BOD of about 20 ppm and TSS of about 30 ppm were accepted. Now, as per the new Water Policy and standards, recycling would assume prominence which would encourage buyers to go in for the latest technology such as membrane filtration.According to you what is the present understanding on urban water management?DwivediAt present, industries think they have to follow wastewater management only due to pollution control board norms. The industries need to have closed knit interface with the government to make them understand that this is essential not only for fulfilment of modalities but is a form of service and payback to the environment and its precious resources. This is essential for the future of the country and the globe in a larger perspective. New policies are required so that the proper implementation of wastewater management can be achieved.NagarajanThe focus needs to shift to total water management and equitable cost recovery measures for sustainability. Quality water as a resource is scarce. With multitude of water sources being tapped, surface water, deep-well water, seawater, rain water, city water, wastewater, etc with their individual environment impact, water needs to be seen holistically in all areas including irrigation, industry and municipal applications – both from supply and demand side.This problem can be minimised by implementing efficient water management practices. Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) can adopt measures such as rainwater harvesting, billing based on water consumed and wastewater discharged, and strict enforcement of pollution control norms. The other major loss of water is in the distribution networks and can be reduced by appropriate metering, leakage detection and on-time rectification. Regular water audits and timely maintenance will support the performance of the total water management concept. Certification of engineers by a ‘Bureau of Water Efficiency’ will ensure higher standards in addressing the problems of this precious resource. Programmes about water pollution at school level will build the awareness at homes and an excellent base for future citizens. The consumer/polluter needs to bear the cost of the water/wastewater treatment and delivery/collection.MarriIndia’s growing economy will translate into increased demand for water across different sectors. Various estimates and projections indicate an increasing trend in water demand for agriculture, industrial and domestic uses in the coming decades. Estimates reveal that by 2020, India’s demand for water will exceed all sources of supply. In just 50 years, a water-rich nation has been reduced to a water-insecure one.Given the enormous challenges of urbanisation and industrialisation in the Indian economy, the government will have to play a major role by empowering ULBs, both functionally and financially. Going forward, the water sector is likely to see increased and efficient governance; a sharper focus on capacity creation, be it institutional or skill development; and an increased focus on reforms aimed at providing financial autonomy to ULBs and encouraging private sector participation.ChandaneThe present water infrastructure is inadequate and the need to cater to industrial water need in addition to drinking water supply will further strain the water procurement cycle, and impose limits on the amount of water available to fulfil the needs of urban India. Industry is the largest users of fresh water. The High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) Report on Indian Urban Infrastructure and Services estimates (at 2009-10 prices), the per capita investment needed for capital infrastructure in the water, sewerage and storm-water sector at Rs 13,329 and another Rs 840 annually for operation and maintenance. The total investment needed during 2012-2031 according to this estimation is Rs 754,627 crore for capital and Rs 817,671 crore for O&M respectively. Thus, the water supply, sewerage and storm water drainage investments amount to about 24 per cent of all urban sector requirements for capital and 41 per cent for O&M respectively.There are some steps if taken in the right direction, will help in improvement of urban water supply: decentralisation of authority, improving autonomy and accountability, sustainable infrastructure development, operation and maintenance, customer service, emphasis on sanitation and waste water management, easy financing of WSS operations and infrastructure development, accountability to ULBs and customers, improving internal procedures, engaging in public-private partnerships (PPP) etc.SubawallaWith the government and industry playing more active roles, the awareness about the water and wastewater industry in India is increasing day by day. The year 2012 saw multiple moves on the policy front with the Ministry of Water Resources publishing the Draft National Water Policy and Ministry of Urban Development publishing the Draft Revised CPHEEO Manual, both of which are positives for urban water management. These policies and guidelines are expected to bring focus on the right kind of projects for water and wastewater.SandeepThere is high awareness of increasing water scarcity and government regulations on effluent discharge. Industry should look at reducing their overall water footprint, which will lead to a more efficient, cleaner and competitive operation. The approach has to be a holistic one and cannot be looked at as an end of pipe solution where all effluents are collected and treated, and an effort is made to recycle at the final point. It is essential to start with a proper study of the entire water circuit and then arrive at processes that can bring down water usage; cut wastage; and recover and recycle at source. This will lead to advantages in: reduced utilisation of source water; nil or reduced discharge; and possibility of product recovery from waste streams.ChidanamarriEven though there is awareness about water and wastewater management, the current water and wastewater management practices are not enough for creating a sustainable environment. Only 31 per cent of the wastewater generated in 23 metropolitan cities is treated and the remaining 69 per cent is open dumped in rivers and other fresh water resources.Municipalities are under severe stress to meet the growing demand of water in urban areas. Existing water infrastructure facilities have to be revamped for efficient functioning and capacity additions need to be made. The major challenge faced by the municipal corporation is funding these projects. As water is either free or subsidised in India, municipal corporations are not able to generate sufficient revenues to develop adequate water infrastructure in India.Municipalities should come up with proper water tariffs and charge the customers according to their water usage. The tariffs should be revised every two years to keep up with the costs. This would reduce non-revenue water, water thefts and aid in implementing water management practices.GanesanAwareness about the water in urban areas must to be improved. Still, significant amount of water is getting wasted due to leak, wastage, unmetered connections, and meter errors. Water leak auditing and walk through audit for all the distribution network pipelines is a must. The entire water supply network must have accurate water meters with data loggers linked to GPRS so as to monitor regularly.Rainwater harvesting: Rain water percolation pit for individual houses, commercial complexes shall be established. Storm water drain must be linked with the nearest lake or river. This will increase the storage quantity of water for urban areas.Reuse of water: Promote the recycling and reuse of waste for gardening, toilet and other cleaning purposes.NatrajanWe must focus on recycling in urban water management due to increased urbanisation. Secondly, desalination could be an alternative source of water in urban water management in coastal areas considering the demand-supply gap.What would be an effective wastewater management model to implement in country like India?DwivediA proper, strict and stringent set of pollution norms. The EPC industry and the government machinery should work in tandem with each other to materialise things in the right perspective and achieve the socio-economic objective of conserving the fresh water sources ensuring its perennial availability by adhering to the principles of reduce (Judicious use of fresh water by curbing wastage and prohibition for non-potable uses), recycle (Provide infrastructure for treatment of sewage and conveyance of useable treated sewage) and reuse (define non-potable uses of recycled/reclaimed water and making it mandatory).NagarajanMunicipal/ULBs: The water discharge permits similar to those for industries should be mandatory for housing complexes/residential areas as well, to encourage responsible use of water. ULBs collect and transport wastewater at great expense to remote locations for centralised treatment. Distributed wastewater treatment near the main sources can reduce the expenses of collection/transport at the same time offering treated water for reuse at the main consumers.Industries: The industries should be mandated to stop use of ground water and instead, use tertiary treated sewage water from ULBs. This can be made possible either by policy or by differential pricing of treated sewage water. The machinery used for production should be evaluated for water consumption and wastewater generation. The current trend focuses on energy/fuel consumption only. Publishing of water footprint should be made mandatory for consumer and industrial products.MarriA single wastewater treatment technology would be inappropriate for a country like India which has several different geographical and geological regions, varied climatic conditions and levels of population. It is more appropriate to address the potential of identifying appropriate solutions for different regions.The five main wastewater treatment technologies that are commonly used are: i) Waste stabilisation ponds;ii) Wastewater storage and treatment reservoirs; iii) Constructed wetlands; iv) Chemically enhanced primary treatment; and v) Up flow anaerobic sludge blanket reactors. These are suitable for different conditions and have advantages and disadvantages, especially in terms of requirements for land, cost, remediation efficiency and other factors.However, from the sustainability aspect, the selection of the appropriate solution must be balanced between simple systems that do not require use of chemicals and those that have high pathogen removal. Motivating the community as a whole to work towards effective functioning of a local system is one of the critical prerequisites.The 12th Five Year Plan period is for the water sector. The backlog of investments has not yet been overcome; the focus on service outcomes needs to be mainstreamed; and institutional reforms are urgently needed. If the recommendations of the High Powered Expert Committee (HPEC) report are adopted and if a New Improved Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (NIJNNURM) is launched, attempts to fulfil this agenda are likely to gain momentum.Though different technologies are available for facilitating cost-effective treatments, all that is needed is the investments, institutional reforms, cost recovery, public sector accountability, private sector involvement and emphasis on technology; efficiency and resource sustainability.ChandaneCentral Pollution Control Board (CPCB) studies depict that there are 269 sewage treatment plants (STPs) in India, of which only 231 are operational, thus, the existing treatment capacity is just 21 per cent of the present sewage generation. The remaining untreated sewage is the main cause of pollution of rivers and lakes. The large numbers of STPs created under Central funding schemes such as the Ganga Action Plan and Yamuna Action Plan of National River Action Plan are not fully operational. The O&M and power cost in some of the sewage treatment plants is still an issue of concern. We need to promote Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS), which are locally organised and people-driven systems. A single wastewater treatment technology would be inappropriate for a country like India which has different geographical and geological regions, varied climatic conditions and levels of population. It is more appropriate to address the potential by identifying appropriate solutions for different regions.SubawallaIndia faces a severe problem of urban wastewater management due to lack of collection systems, lack of treatment capacity, poorly maintained treatment infrastructure and financial constraints of municipalities. Industrial and urban users on the other hand are facing water shortages and lack of reliable sources of water. Domestic wastewater can be safely treated to provide for all non-potable industrial and domestic needs. A wastewater management model where these needs could be connected would solve twin problems of wastewater disposal and water shortages. Structured projects around wastewater reuse for non-potable uses could also improve financial health of municipalities. Another parallel approach should be to build awareness and encourage/mandate decentralised wastewater reuse systems in townships or urban clusters beyond a certain scale.SandeepThe outlook for sustainable development and environment protection would be recycle and reuse of municipal and industrial wastewater apart from augmenting water supplies through alternate sources like seawater desalination and compulsory rainwater harvesting. The government must encourage various agencies involved in this process through a clear policy which encourages implementation and application of the latest technologies.Government through its regulating mechanism should also set the context and rules by which all other participants in the waste sector behave. It should continue to be a major capital provider for water solutions through initiatives like JNNURM (benefiting urban areas) and Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission (benefiting rural areas) and make economic policy decision that have a direct impact on minimising the demand-supply gap. In short, government must continue to evolve in its role as a facilitator and regulator for water and wastewater management practices and encourage more public-private partnerships.ChidanamarriPPP models are a win-win situation for municipal corporations, private investors and customers in India for wastewater management. Few examples of successful wastewater management implementation from PPP include:• Alandur underground sewage project – The private sector participants are IVRCL Infrastructure and Projects and VA Tech Wabag• Tirupur Water Supply and Sewage project – The private sector participants are Mahindra Water Utilities, a joint venture between Mahindra Infrastructure Developers and United Utilities• Chennai desalination project in Minjur – The private sector participants are IVRCL• Infrastructures and Projects and Befesa, SpainGanesanDecentralised wastewater treatment: It is simple to design, operate and maintain. DEWATS is capable of treating industrial and domestic waste waters. The plant can be maintained by unskilled personnel.NatrajanIn countries like India, it would be better to have power saving model as wastewater management besides water recycling. Many models are successful on Design, Build and Operate basis with 7-10 years O&M. Municipalities such as Chennai, Bangalore, and Rajasthan have implemented many projects with financial assistance from multi-lateral agencies like JICA, ADB, etc.