Although the last five years have seen rolling out of many water infrastructure projects, there is still more needs to be done, says Pawan Mathur, Director-Water & Heat Segment, Itron India, in an email interview with Sudheer Vathiyath.
How do you assess the current scenario in the urban water sector in India?
India is a water-scarce country with a growing population. The urban water sector has been buzzing with developments and new initiatives as clean, healthy and affordable drinking water becomes more precious and a basic necessity with growing demand.
Our innovative solutions empower the world's utilities to responsibly manage energy and water. We are committed to doing the same in India.
Do you think that the government is doing enough for an efficient and sustainable water supply system?
Majority of the urban water infrastructure in India has been ageing. As a result, the efficiency of the overall system has reduced. In India, Non Revenue Water today is composed of a big percentage of physical losses and loss due to inaccurate metering. With funding initiatives like JNNURM, the government has initiated major development projects in the urban water sector. Although the last five years have seen rolling out of many water infrastructure projects, there is still more needs to be done. We are optimistic that such initiatives will continue in the future.
What is the role of technology in the urban water supply services in India?
Fresh water is a scarce resource which is becoming dearer as demand in urban areas for domestic as well as industrial consumption escalates day by day. We at Itron believe that to manage any resource, first it needs to be measured accurately and that is where we contribute with advanced meter reading technology. With techÂnoÂlogy, we can find innovative and low cost ways to address the challenges faced by India's urban water supply services. Itron's advanced meter reading technology can address this issue, while avoiding the need for expensive relocation of water pipes.This also helps to keep the cost of water affordable for India. Innovative technology in this segment will play a major role in the time to come to ensure efficient distribution of water and to reduce Non Revenue Water.
What upgrades in water distribution systems do Indian cities need?
The replacing of ageing water infrastructure which includes old pipes and water meters with better pipes and accurate meters is a major upgrade which will help achieve sustainable water supply in urban areas.
Could you elaborate on Itron's technologies and services? What are some of the technologies from Itron that India can use?
Itron provides end-to-end solutions to measure, collect, manage and analyse data. In India, automated metering solutions contribute to managing water by ensuring that it is measured accurately at various distribution points and end points. Data collected from (AMR) meters can be used for various purposes such as leak detection, accurate billing, capacity planning and optimising pumping times. Leakage detection system is crucial to detect impurities and organic material from entering the water supply.
Do you think that India is a good market for Itron to grow with? What are the opportunities you see here?
Definitely. We are very much confident in the growth opportunities in India. Itron also has a strong project team along with a network of sales offices and distributors. As new technologies like AMR are gaining wider acceptance and success among Indian utilities, we look forward to implement these systems.