Grundfos Pumps India Private Ltd.
May 10, 2016

There is a need for effective water management framework to make Smart Cities well equipped and be water smart. Providing safe drinking water, efficiently managing wastewater and water losses, correct water distribution techniques and preventing urban flooding.

By 2050, the urban population is expected to touch 850 million from the current 350 million. With the urban population growing, the per capita water accessibility will reduce to 1,140 cubic meters by 2050. This therefore calls for the need to embrace sustainable water management practices.

Water is the fundamental and the most essential resource for agriculture, industrial and domestic usage. As per the National Water policy announced in 2012, India has 18% of the world's population, but only 4% of world water, which implies the challenge that is faced to ensure access to sufficient and clean water for all. The water quality is a huge concern in India as well and it is projected that approximately one lakh individuals die every year from waterborne diseases. As per a UN report India is ranked 120 out of 122 nations based on its quality of water and it also states that and over 50 percent of the country is likely to face high-to-extremely-high water stress.

A recent study by the 2030 World Water Resource states that by 2030, 40 percent of the total population in the country will not have drinking water if the situation remains the same. To make the Smart City initiative by the Government of India will need to put in place a holistic approach to water and wastewater management. Rainwater harvesting, efficient water management, water recycling and reuse are some of the aspects that will need a prominent place while planning these Smart Cities.

To further strengthen the water management, water recycling, storm water drainage and distribution systems with smart ICT applications need to be implemented. Intelligent pump solutions, demand driven distribution systems, water meters and leakage sensors are a few of the technologies that need to be utilized to monitor the quantity of water used and also handle water leakage and water loss.

Efficient waste water treatment needs to be instigated, in order to meet the water challenges. The Central Pollution Control Board points out incompetent state of waste-water collection and treatment in urban India. Out of the estimated 62,000 million liters of wastewater is being generated daily in the 819 large towns and cities of India only about 18,883 million liters per day is being treated to some level. Now, this clearly explains why the lakes and rivers are in a muddle and there is a lack of available clean water.

The Indian water and wastewater treatment market are growing at a steady rate of 10-12 percent year on year and is estimated to reach Rs. 10,230 crore in 2016, according to Frost & Sullivan. The current wastewater treatment capacity in the country is only around 30 percent of the total generation, but only 55 percent of this is operational.

Today, we have many departments to handle water for diverse needs like agriculture, industry and domestic usage. To ensure a more holistic approach, it would be ideal to have water managed by one department. This would enable better visibility and management of this precious resource.

Intelligent water management is the answer to ensuring that the Smart Cities can live up to their name.

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