The Rewarding Practice of Wastewater Management in India
Many people living in India are at risk due to disruptions in freshwater availability and wastewater concerns. Climate change-related impacts on the rainy season are already causing and will remain to have, major consequences for farming, making India much more fragile, because agriculture employs more than 60% of the nation's workforce, and roughly two-thirds of the agricultural area is rain-fed. Simultaneously, the government has introduced significant initiatives such as the "Smart City Mission" and the "Make in India" drive, both of which must be analysed through the perspective of water resources and the environmental effects.
Water resources, particularly in metropolitan areas, are under severe strain owing to increasing water requirements and sophisticated usage practices within compact yet thickly inhabited regions. Presently, our local bodies are providing water from several kilometres away to suit the needs of most settlements. This is unproductive as well as energy-intensive. As a result, a local-level plan should be in place for long-term water management. Water sustainability would be greatly aided by techniques such as the treatment and reuse of wastewater.
What is Wastewater Management?
The purpose of wastewater management is to keep water safe and healthy. This implies that water has to be hygienic enough so that humans can consume and cleanse with, as well as for companies to use for business reasons. It also has to be pure enough to discharge upon usage into seas, ponds, and other water bodies.
Approximately 80% of the water used is brought back to the environment as wastewater. If not managed effectively, this can pose a serious ecological and health risk, but good treatment may assist government agencies in satisfying the town's water demands. India now can treat about 37% of its wastewater or 22,963 million litres per day. To treat contaminated water, a radical change from "consume and discard – linear" to "utilize, treat, and repurpose - cyclic" is required. Understanding the fundamental sociological, governmental, scientific, and economic elements that will propel, enable, and maintain wastewater treatment initiatives in India is indeed critical.
History of Wastewater Management in India:
Rainwater harvesting has become progressively advocated in metropolitan areas to capture the accessible water, instead of depending on costly and inefficient methods of acquiring freshwater. The success stories of water harvesting in India are numerous and uncountable, beginning with states like Rajasthan and Goa, which receive little rainfall and whose primary goal in introducing the plan was to raise groundwater levels. The success of the state of Tamil Nadu and the city of Chennai has also enthralled people from all over the world.
The Rain Water Harvesting scheme was initiated in 2001 with the goal of revitalizing water supplies and increasing groundwater levels. Since the government declared it compulsory for all government and household facilities, the project had a rough start due to strong opposition. However, nearly 15 years later, the circumstances have changed. By boosting groundwater tables in water-scarce areas like Chennai, the initiative has gained support from environmentalists and regional inhabitants who have long relied on groundwater for their everyday requirements. The program has been adopted in rural areas as well, with a tremendous success rate.
Why wastewater management is the need of the hour?
Healthcare and climate change are two significant motivations for putting a priority on this often-overlooked area. In the near future, human well-being, farming, aquatic life, biodiversity, and our food supply, to mention a few, can all be harmed considerably by this toxic water system.
According to a 2015 assessment by the Central Pollution Control Board, India's present wastewater treatment potential is only about 30%, with the majority of it concentrated in metropolitan areas. The necessities of the hour are an immediate requirement for community involvement, as well as government and commercial endeavours. In the future, the ways we use to manage wastewater will determine our overall development, prosperity, and progress.
The Bottom Line:
India's ability to achieve significant levels of economic advancement will be strongly linked to its ability to use water sustainably, notably in the areas of recycling and repurposing, which will be critical for prospective city planning and development. Wastewater can play the role of a low-cost, long-term form of energy and nutrition, and supply other beneficial by-products such as biological and organic-mineral fertilizers. The advantages of obtaining these minerals from wastewater extend well past human and environmental health. They carry significance for food and energy stability, and also in dealing with climate change concerns, like open-pit mines.
Each one has a part to play in maintaining a hygienic and green environment. We must accept accountability for ensuring the health of the water sources. As even Mahatma Gandhi has said, "No one needs to wait for anyone else to adopt a humane and enlightened course of action”. We at www.GoingZero.in are also inspired by this ideal, and so we strive to get you the best of the best products which are all 100% vegan, chemical-free, animal-testing free, and natural zero-waste alternatives to suit your daily needs.
Written by : Soniya Sanyal