Wastewater recycle and reuse: The need of the hour - Report of a workshop in April 2012 organised by Ministry of Urban Development

This article by Surashree Shome describes the proceedings of the one day workshop on "Wastewater Recycle and Reuse: The need of the hour'
18 Jul 2012
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A one day workshop on "Wastewater Recycle and Reuse: The need of the hour' was organized by Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, on 18 April 2012, with the support of WSP, ADB, KfW, JICA and USAID. Partners to the workshop were CII - Water Group and NJS Consultant (Japan) and NJS Engineers India Pvt Ltd.


In order to promote ongoing wastewater reuse efforts and to raise awareness amongst the policy makers, donors, civil society and other stakeholders on the value of wastewater and the need to promote wastewater reuse in India. With this objective, the workshop focused on following major points:
  1. Showcasing wastewater recycle and reuse projects in India and around the world;    
  2. Understand the drivers and policy initiatives/incentives for a successful wastewater recycle and reuse program that are required to be addressed in India
  3. What are the learning’s and what can the government do to promote wastewater recycle and reuse in India?
  4. Development of an India specific wastewater recycle and reuse guidelines document that could be used by policy decision makers both in the government as well as private industries.
Session 1: Opening Session
1. Welcome and Purpose of the workshop by Smt. Veena Kumari Meena, Director – LSG, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India
Smt. Meena welcomed all the participants and explained the purpose of the workshop. She said that infrastructure of urban India is in very poor state and is way behind to meet the demand of rapid urbanization. Existing water supply in all the cities of India is irregular and short in supply. In such an environment, it is important to understand the availability of water and the changes in water demand due to increased industrialization and rapid increase in population of urban India. Based on the available information, comprehensive planning of available fresh water and recycled water is needed to be developed. All this needs active involvement of all the stakeholders.

2. Options under City Sanitation Plans: Christopher Juan Costain, Regional Team leader, WSP
India is becoming a water scarce area. Only 13 percent of all wastewater in India is recycled. Sanitation is a not only a social challenge but also an economic challenge as good portion of GDP is lost due to poor sanitation. As per the study conducted by MoUD in 435 cities of the country, none of the city has been categorized under group ‘good’, only four cities are in 'OK' category, and  rest of the cities are either in 'Bad' or in 'Very bad' category. To develop infrastructure facilities in areas coming under corporations, municipalities and town panchayats, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra government has initiated ‘Chief Minister Integrated Urban Development Programme’.
One of the major issues regarding SWT is cost recovery, which is very crucial to invite private players, therefore the objective of SWT should not be just 'recycle' of wastewater but also to get 'revenue' from it.

3. Initiatives by MoUD on Urban Sanitation: Dr. Ashok Singhvi, Joint Secretary - UD, MoUD, GoI
About 7.87 % urban households do not have access to latrines and defecate in the open. 8.13% urban households use community latrines and 19.5% households use shared latrines. The status in respect of the urban poor is even worse. The percentage of notified and non-notified slums without latrines is 17 percent and 51 percent respectively. More than 37% of the total human excreta generated in urban India, is unsafely disposed. This imposes significant public health and environmental costs to urban areas that contribute more than 60% of the country’s GDP. Impacts of poor sanitation are especially significant for the urban poor (22% of total urban population), women, children and the elderly. The loss due to diseases caused by poor sanitation for children under 14 years alone in urban areas amounts to Rs. 500 Crore at 2001 prices (Planning Commission-United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 2006).
The vision of National Urban Sanitation Policy is:
'All Indian cities and towns become totally sanitized, healthy and liveable and ensure and sustain good public health and environmental outcomes for all their citizens with a special focus on hygienic and affordable sanitation facilities for the urban poor and women.'
National Urban Sanitation Policy conducted 'Rating of Cities' to create awareness about sanitation. The exercise of rating of cities covers 423 major cities of the country and almost 72 percent of India’s total urban population. Each city has been scored on 19 indicators which are divided into three categories: Output (50 points), Process (30 points) and Outcome (20 points). Based on the scores given for 19 indicators, cities were then classified under four color categories. The exercise reveals that none of the cities in India are in green (1st) category, only four cities, i.e. Surat, Chandigarh, Mysore and NDMC Delhi are in 2nd category, 240 cities are in 3rd category and rest 190 are in 4th category .
The rating of Cities creates a baseline which can be used to measure progress in respect of sanitation in our cities and is expected to encourage cities to perform better in years to come. Based on the results of the rating, the best performers will be recognized with a National Award- "The Nirmal Shahar Puruskar". The award aims to recognize and reward improvements made by a city towards becoming totally clean and healthy by achieving 100% sanitation.
MoUD has initiated 'City Sanitation Plan'. The objective of the plan is 'A comprehensive, holistic and city wide plan addressing universal access, safe collection, 100% treatment of solid and liquid waste'. MoUD is funding projects wherever possible from existing schemes. The Ministry of Urban Development is implementing schemes such as the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, the Urban infrastructure development scheme for small and medium towns (UIDSSMT). Both these schemes have a time span of 7 years (2005-12) with a budget of Rs1, 00,000 crore of which the share of the central government is Rs 50,000 crore. Lump sum provision of Rs.1894 crore has also been made for North Eastern states including Sikkim which provide funds for the creation of urban infrastructure facilities. Another 500 crore has been sanctioned under urban Infrastructure Development Scheme (UIDS), National Sanitation Mission Programme has sanctioned 300 crore, and fund is also allotted to improve sanitation under 'Rajiv Gandhi Awas Yojana'.
4. Keynote Address: Dr. Sudhir Krishna, Secretary –UD, MoUD, GoI
Wastewater, it’s a problem as well as solution. So, how to reuse wastewater? Cities don’t prefer wastewater treatment and reuse as they prefer to release water in water bodies than convince users to reuse it. Delhi has given some very good examples on ‘reuse of wastewater’, which should be reviewed and included in city plans.
Some of the suggestions to encourage reuse of wastewater in urban areas:
  • Proving to people that wastewater is not waste but an economic resource.
  • Wastewater manual/related documents are available in English. These should be translated in vernacular language and should be easily and freely available.
  • Document on best practices of wastewater should be prepared.
  • Prepare City Sanitation Plan. This should include end to end cost, realistic picture of available wastewater of the city, find sources of financing, how to recover the cost? Etc. Moreover, the ‘City Sanitation Plan’ should be holistic and integrated. Holistic approach should be worked out at national level also.
  • Many multinational organizations have shown interest in wastewater reuse, like World Bank, KfW etc. This fund should be leveraged for research and other needed support in wastewater.
  • Cities near the Ganga basin should leverage funds from “Ganga Action Plan’, which is supporting the cities for reuse of wastewater.
Objectives for today’s workshop
  • Comments/suggestions for ‘National Sanitation Programme’
  • To discuss the good practices on wastewater reuse
  • Panal consultants from each part of India
  • To discuss the available sources of funding?
  • How to workout the State Action Plan for all the states.
Session 2: Wastewaer recycle and reuse - International and Indian experience and Drivers, Policy and Incentive of a successful wastewater recycle and reuse programe
Session chaired by Shri Ramesh Negi, CEO, DJB
1. Why we need to recycle wastewater and how?: Opening session address by Shri Negi:
  • Wastewater is a resource which is readily available
  • Water is an issue – availability is an issue – there is a competitive demand from all the sector – the available source is wastewater
  • Cities are not comfortable because of high urban growth and increasing demand
  • Lack of natural source of water within city 

Considering all these facts, recycle and reuse of water should be made mandatory and the needed work should be prioritized. Following factors should be considered before installing the wastewater treatment plant:

  • Is the needed technology is easily available and is it affordable?
  • Is the technology environment efficient?
  • What is the funding pattern to establish and run the recycling unit?
  • Are all the cities are in position to regularize their wastewater as governance in small cities is an issue?
2. Wastewater recycle and reuse – Technology evolution and cost: Dr.Uday G. Kelkar, NJS Consultant
Appropriate ‘BALANCING ACT’ would be ‘RECYCLE and REUSE’ of wastewater. This will bring water back for use rather than disposing it considering as a ‘waste’.
To recycle the wastewater, we need to choose technology depending on the ‘purpose for which it is recycled’. This will help to cut the cost of recycling. The matrix below will help to understand the relation between the technology need and purpose.

3. Cost of Recycling Vs Cost of water: Dr.Tariq, NJS Consultant
Average cost of wastewater treatment is Rs.4.50 to 6/Kl which can be used for agriculture and garden purposes, and if the waste water has to be treated for direct drinking use with RO then approximate cost of treatment is Rs.12/Kl. On the other hand, metro cities spend more than Rs.20/Kl to bring potable water to its residents, like Chennai spends Rs.40 to 60/Kl, Hyderabad spends Rs.28/Kl, Bangalore spends Rs.24/Kl and Delhi Rs.20/Kl.
4. Wastewater recycle and reuse - International Experience: Shri Edgar Firmenich, Senior Technical Expert, KfW
KfW on behalf of 'German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development' has committed 0.5 billion Euro/year (some as a grant and rest as an interest reduced loan) to urban environment sector.
General Aspects of Water Reuse are:
  • Increase in efficiency of water use
  • Reduction of water loss
  • Reduction of evaporation/transpiration, particularly in agri and industrial water use.
However, Water Reuse Projects have its complexity which could be understood from the following diagram
Technology for water reuse projects should be selected in coherence to target of reuse. KfW has published a book based on its experience named ‘DWA Working Paper: Treatment Steps for Water Reuse’. Mr. Firmenich then shared their experience on Jorden Project which is supported by KfW. Agriuclture in Jorden is facing acute water scarcity due to climate change and water reuse is one of the available option to tackle it. Three waste water treatment plant is established which provided additional resource of 15-20 MCM/year. The treatment plants also provided additional energy through hydro-power and reduced GW abstraction. Also, great percentage of agriculture need is met.
Mr. Firmenich concluded that 'treatment plan should be designed as per the need', like in Jordan agriculture need was on summer season only, so Water Treatment Plant (WTP) treats water for agriculture in summer and water is treated for supplying drinking water to neighbouring areas in other two seasons water. So, it is important that WTP should have the flexibility to treat water for different purposes as per the demand.
5. International Practices and Indian Challenges in waste water: Subhas Verma, AEOM
He have given an overview of India Water Sector, where he discussed about the key drivers for water reuse, opportunities available for reusing wastewater, and technical, financial and social challenges of reusing wastewater.  
About 71% of waste water in Class I cities and 96% in Class II cities remain untreated. As per the 12th Planning Commission, total fund required to provide urban basic services is Rs. 129,237/- and JNNURM is the main vehicle for fund in urban development. JNNURM has also encouraged the involvement of private sector in service delivery and management. After explaining the meaning of wastewater reuse and its categories – direct and indirect, he mentioned about a book named, ‘Water Reuse: Issues, Technologies and Application’, where benefits of using wastewater and available technologies are discussed in details.
The foundation of successful water reuse programs depends on:
  • Providing reliable treatment to meet water quality requirements and environmental regulations for the intended reuse
  • Protection of public health and the Environment
  • Gaining public acceptance.
  • Economic viability
Factors to be considered while designing Water Reuse plant are 1. Water quality requirements, 2. Monitoring requirements, 3. Treatment process requirements, 4. Treatment reliability requirements, 5. Operational requirements, 6. Cross-connection control provisions, and 7. Use area controls.
Mr. Verma explained the value chain of water sector projects which includes concept-technology-design & engineering - construction - O&M. The current challenges of wastewater reuse are - funds and sustainable operation (adopting ‘right or appropriate technology, and energy efficiency). So, by adopting good & sustainable design practices, we can reduce power, chemical and residual disposal costs. Now, we have plenty of technology options and selecting appropriate technology is confusing. However, we should not get fixated on any particular type of technology instead our focus should always be on appropriate value and sustainable design and engineering. As WTP spends 50 to 59% of total cost for O&M, so focus of WTP should be on design and engineering for sustainable service delivery.
6. Experience of Bangalore – Lessons Learnt: Mr.Tippeswami, Retd.Chief Engineer, Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB)
BWSSB initiated reuse of wastewater with NJS Consultant before 1990 as it was paying a huge cost to get water to its citizens. Some of the achievements of BWSSB are:
  • Bangalore started reuse of water in 1990s, which is first in the country in municipal sector
  • Hebbal WTP is supplying non-potable water to industries from 2002.
  • Technological and Manual Guidance are prepared for institutions for rearing wastewater
  • Bangalore is supplying dual water pipeline to new layouts and also prepared a guidelines for dual water pipeline to new layout.
7. Delhi Recycle and Reuse Initiatives: Shri Ramesh negi, CEO, Delhi Jal Board
In 2011, total demand for water in Delhi was 274 lpcd, of which 172 lpcd was for domestic purpose. Most of its demand are met from Yamuna, Bhakra and GW but still the demand is higher than supply. Available opportunities to meet the demand are – arrangement of additional raw water, reuse of wastewater, and initiate best management water practices to reduce water loss. Jal Board of Delhi have identified irrigation, industries, construction, fire industry, GW recharging, dual water supply for flushing and return to raw water after treatment etc as some of the potential sectors where treated water can be reused. Currently, Delhi Board is using treated water in irrigation department, garden and supplying water to Delhi Common Wealth Village through dual pipeline. Jal Board is planning to retrieve 40 to 50 MCD of water which can be used for bus washing and construction purposes, and in power plants. Some of the constraints for establishment of WTP are:
  1. Who will bear the cost
  2. Cost of feasibility and laying distribution network
  3. Different quality standards for different use
Session 3: Economic Valuation and Financing of Reuse Projects
Session chaired by Shri AS Bhal, EA, MoUD
1. Economic Valuation of Wastewater: Shri Joseph Ravikumar, WSP
With constant increase in urban population, cities are in search for water and waste water seems a resource available within the city. In India, where only 13% of water is treated and less then that is reused, it is important to harness this resource to meet the demand of water.
It costs Rs.50/KL for Chennai Municipality to bring water from source to the users, whereas residents of Chennai are charged Rs.100/month for water, irrespective of their usage. Chennai has the distinction of having the country’s first recycling project – the city’s sewage was sold to Chennai Petroleum Company Limited (CPCL), which in turn used RO technology to filter the sewage and turn it into water for its use. The CPCL reclaims 41 MLD of the city’s sewage, and also pays Rs 12 crore per annum to Chennai Metropolitan for sewage.  
Recycling the wastewater will provide needed water to industry and agriculture sector. Our experience with Chennai suggests that –
  • To meet the O&M cost Public-Private partnership is an evident choice.
  • We need to target the industries to buy reclaimed water as they can pay the cost of reclamation. In absence of industries, agriculture sector should be targeted. It is not possible to charge farmers for supplying irrigation water but we can reduce the carbon point by supplying recycled wastewater.
2. PPP project in waste-water re-use- Surat Gujarat: Shri Anand Mahadevan, iMACS
As a part of ADB-GoI, GoG Initiative, a PPP project was developed in water supply/wastewaster recycle. Focus of the project was to reuse sewage for meeting industrial water demand in Ahmedabad and Surat city of Gujarat. As per the preliminary survey of iMACS, about 10-15% of the total water need of the industry can be met by recycle sewage generated within the city. For the purpose, preliminary profiling was conducted by iMACS and sewage treatment plant - industry cluster were identified in both the cities. Later, Ahmedabad was dropped as industry stakeholders were not willing to pay for the recycled water.
With a population of 4.5 million, Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) has provided water supply/sewerage facility to 100% of area in old Surat city, and provisioning is underway on for the extended part of the city. At present, industries in Surat are dependent on River Tapi which is enough for now but crisis will arise as early as 2015. Pandesara   Industrial Estate, which is selected for the project, have total water demand of 100 MLD of which 55% is received through SMC and rest is supplied by tankers. Bamroli STP, which is just 5 km from Pandesara Industrial Estate, has a capacity of 100 MLD, of which 65% can be utilized.

Structuring issues related to the project and solutions -
  • Perceived threat of revenue loss to SMC
    • Tertiary treated water complemented rather than replaced SMC supply
    • Contractual flexibility to expand tertiary treatment capacity in future
  • Willingness to pay
    • Estimated price (@ Rs. 16 – 18 per kl) in vicinity of prevailing price of water
  • Payment security by SMC
    • 100% off-take commitment and collection risk
    • Creation of a Payment Reserve Account
  • End-to-End solution
    • Operator responsible for delivery of water and network performance
    • O&M of STP to be transferred to Operator
A very transparent, competitive and successful bidding process was followed to invite developers. Five bids were received, of which 4 qualified after shortlisting and technical evaluation. However, the project suspended after evaluation as The SMC felt that the cost was on the higher side. Also, SMC wants the project to be done by themselves rather than giving it to PPP model. After dumping the proposal for setting up a tertiary water treatment plant one and half year ago, the SMC now plans to set up of two such plants at a cost of Rs.100 crore.
Looking forward
  • Wastewater reuse not just ‘desirable’; but a ‘strategic water security imperative’
    • Mandatory targets for Re-use may be necessary;
    • MoUD’s SLB norm of 20% wastewater re-use is a good starting point
    • Larger cities (esp. with water scarcity issues) should aspire to do a lot more
    • Closed loop evaluation: Pumping water from 300 km away or tertiary treatment & re-use?
  • Rational pricing is a pre-requisite to incentivize wastewater reuse
    • Recover at least O&M costs from ‘residential’ users;
    • Freshwater tariffs for industry should be set high enough to make recycling worthwhile
    • Limit groundwater abstraction and use for industry
  • At a Project level, appropriate / balanced risk sharing is critical; In general,
    • ULBs / utilities should not bear Technology / Operating risk
    • Off-take/ Demand risk should be retained with the ULB or with User; should not be passed onto Private Operator to the extent possible.
For any further information, please contact - Anand Madhavan at anand.m@imacs.in
3. Viability Gap Funding and Project Development experience for Kolhapur STP Project: Rahul Bedmutha, Associate Director – CRISIL Risk & Infrastructure Solutions
Kolhapur is one of the largest cities in Maharashtra. However, KMC disposes most of its sewage partially or without any treatment into the river Panchaganga. Therefore, the Pollution levels in the river have crossed allowable limits, and Pollution Control Board has filed a criminal case against KMC for not controlling the quality of sewage discharge. KMC decided to setup a 76 MLD Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) using the Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR) technology to improve its environment compliance. Thus, a detailed project report (DPR) was prepared by KMC and was submitted to National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD), MoEF for grant. (NRCD), MoEF for the STP and ancillary infrastructure. The project was sanctioned covering 70% of the estimated project cos. KMC decided to use Public Private Partnerships to fund the balance 30% of the Project Cost. For developing STP, KMC promised to provide land for developing STP and ancillary infrastructure, provide sewage through the concession period, pay capital grant provided by NRCD and pay annuity for operating and maintaining the STP. Within one year two months of launching RFQ, the Concession Agreement was signed between selected bidder and KMC.

Factors which enabled successful project implementation are:
  1. Clear demand for treating the wastewater by KMC and from users for water
  2. Support from ADB and GoI
  3. All the data required by the developer are provided
  4. Private Sector Participation: Gayatri Ramesh, WSP
Private sector investments are inevitable as there is a huge financial gap to provide drinking water and sewage facility to citizens in urban areas. However, PPPs are not solution by itself and participation of PPPs should be justified on the basis of – financial implications, complexities in executing projects and capacity constraints.
Some of the issues in implementation of PPPs project are
  • Understanding nature of sub projects
  • Clarity in roles and responsibilities; contract structuring
  • Transparent dialogues and proper dissemination to bidders
  • Payments to operators based on recommendations of Project Monitoring Committee, and
  • Non-adherence of contract conditions
In 35 cities of TN, underground sewerage systems are initiated, some of the issues at the beginning of the sub-projects were
  • Contract capacity
  • Bidders concerns unaddressed initially
  • Resulted in every city going in for 5-6 tender calls
These issues are mitigated by
  • Prospective bidders’ conference was held to address concerns
  • Bid documents accordingly changed
  • Pre-bid meetings helped in explaining the bid document to the prospective bidders rather than addressing queries only
  • After these efforts, the major sewerage scheme was contracted in the first call
What needs to be strengthened?
  • Capacity building at all levels – on a case-to-case basis
    • Confined to stakeholders concerned
    • Explain concepts, impacts and expected results
  • Thorough stake holder consultations with-
    • All political parties concerned –helps in avoiding political risk
    • Prospective Bidders – open dialogue helps in reducing procurement risk
    • Dissemination to citizens in various medium – minimizes social risk
    • Various levels of Government– helps in reducing process delays
  • Contract Structuring –
    • Analyze risks and forthcoming problems that could be addressed through contracts
    • Provide equal platform for both private and Government
    • Indicators to be developed to track the efficiencies in service delivery through PPPs
5. Conclusion by Shri AS Bhal, EA, MoUD
Based on the presentation made in the session, Shri Bhal described the key concern of the different stakeholders involved in STP.
  • Government is looking to the private sector for finance provision only
  • Government fear that private company will be interested only on the profit made from the project
  • What will happen to the asset created after the project is handed over to the government
Civic Societies
  • What if tariff is increased?
Private Sector
  • Baseline information – government given prices are lower than actual
  • Biddings are called in haste to get funds
  • Government is very stringent about technology and don’t give a choice to the private players to choose its own technology
  • Payments are guaranteed by government but usually not paid on time
  • Lack of enabling environment for private player
Financial Institution
  • Capacity of the financial institution need to be built as they are fearsome of providing fund for STPs
  • Structuring framework – Either demand or cost based  model
  • System for financing – Finance needed to build a STP varies as per the need of the buyers (is it would be used for industries or for direct use?), so we
External factors:
  • Exposure to political environment
  • Bank do not take asset created at STP as guarantee
Enabling situation for PPP model
  • Cost-supply ratio
  • Benefit of treating wastewater
  • Balanced sharing of risks
  • Payment guarantee by government etc.
Approach for development:
  • Transparency
  • Private company comes with skill and technology – it is advisable that company with quality services should be proffered.
  • Greater accountability
  • Strengthening of the capacity of the government authority
Session 4: Reuse Guidelines in India
Session chaired by Shri AS Bhal, EA, MoUD
1. Reuse guidelines overview: Ms.Allegra de Silva, CDM
She has described the history of development of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guideline in USA which was first came out in 1980 then revised in 1992 and 2004. USA is again revising its guideline which will be shortly available in the EPA site. EPA interest in updating guidelines at regular interval are mainly addressing new technology and trends, updating state regulatory information, and inclusion of ‘Total Water Management’ approach, and emphasize on ‘fit-for-purpose’ treatment goals. Then she explained about the process followed to revise the EPA guideline 2012, where EPA - coordinated with USEPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development), USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) and CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), collaborated with IWMI for consultation, and organized consultation to get the review of all the stakeholders.
Themes included in EPA guideline –
  • Total water management
  • Types of reuse – treatment is ‘fit-for-purpose’.
  • Highlight regional differences and case studies from different region
  • State regulation for different reuse application
Key drivers for waste-water reuse –
  1. Scarcity in southern states of USA because of vey high urbanization process
  2. Energy is reclaimed onsite
  3. Environment protection – USA has issued a guideline to discharge wastewater to sea, so states are now looking for the opportunities where wastewater can be reused after treatment, like in garden.
EPA ensured public outreach and participation as it is impoetant for successful project and also given a decision making opportunity to stakeholder to choose from the best available option on recycling of sewerage water.
EPA Guideline would be useful for other countries also as it includes 40-50 case studies from different countries of the world, including India. USA has emphasized state specific guideline based on EPA Guideline, and it is important that India should create India-specific document and for the purpose, it is important to follow the following process -
  1. Establish the national objectives, define reuse (in harmony with draft national water policy), catalyze adoption of rules
  2. Identify near-term opportunities
  3. Identify the lead agencies, develop partnerships, program components
  4. Encourage the matching of water sources with use for economic efficiency
Allegra K. da Silva can be reached on dasilvaak@cdmsmith.com. Also, EPA Guideline 2004 is available on the following link - www.epa.gov/nrmrl/wswrd/dw/smallsystems/pubs/625r04108.pdf
2. India Specific Recycle and Reuse Document – Is there a need? – Dr.Uday Kelkar, NJS Consultant
There are only two available International Reuse Guidelines –
  1. WHO
  2. EPA
Does India need an ‘India Specific Reuse and Recycle Wastewater Guideline? In India, population is very high and available land is shrinking, in such a condition demand of water will increase and available sources will reduce, and STP is a ‘water factory’ which can provide water to users. However, there are challenges in the process of establishment of STP, policies need to be accommodating to the STP, investment need to be made and good projects should be initiated and monitored. Some of the challenges to be resolved to encourage STP are:
  • Financial
  • Political
  • Strucural challenges – capacity building of stakeholders
  • Behavioral change as most of the people are not willing to use sewage water
  • Inter-ministry cooperation like among MoUD, Ministry of Industries and MoA.
  • Building Institutional strength
  • Stakeholders interaction for recycle and reuse    
If you do not reuse water then,
  • Increasing cost per year in water supply
  • Poor economic development
  • Poor quality of water supply to citizens will continue
Session 4: Panel Discussion
Session chaired by Dr.Ashok Singhvi, JS-UD, MoUD
1. Opening remarks by S.Vishwanath, Advisor, Arghyam
Vishwanath talked about the honey-suckers which are used to suck and clean septic tanks, sumps and any liquid waste. These vehicles provide services to many households in urban areas of India which are not connected with sewerage connections of municipalities.
In Bangalore city alone, there are 300 honey-suckers which provide services to 150 million households. These honey suckers have also helped to eliminate manual scavenging. Also, if the waste collected by the honey suckers are dumped in the agricultural field then the nutrient value of the waste could be recovered, without creating any environment pollution. Many farmers have understood and recognized the nutrient value of the waste and are composting and reselling it. However, disposal of waste by honey-suckers in lakes and open ground creates soil and groundwater pollution. Therefore, there is a need to develop an institutional and legal framework to regulate the honey-suckers. He opened the panel discussion with a remarks that whether ‘we are in wrong business?’, where we are thinking of providing sewerage connection to each household in the cities and then recycle it get water. Is it will not be appropriate if sewage can be managed by the honey-suckers model?
2. Panel Discussions: KfW, JICA, Dr. Ashok Singhvi from MoUD, USAID
Panel of industrialists opposed the suggestion as honey-sucker model will not be able to free water for reuse in industries/agriculture. Also, more than 250 technologies are available in the market to recycle wastewater, so wastewater can be recycled as per the need of the users. Honey-suckers model also pollutes groundwater; like in Cochin City, where water table is high, discharge of waste in open ground has polluted the groundwater. Also, over-congested roads of cities do not want to add another variety of vehicle (honey-suckers).  
Panel from MoUD said that choice is not between STP and Honey-suckers. We need both the technologies; STP is a large scale solution and will be appropriate for large cities and honey-suckers in towns where provision has not been made for sewerage connections.
Vishwanath commented that industries are trying to sell technology, not solution. Also, we do not have buyers as fresh water is cheaper than the recycled water in India. On this, industrialist replied that fresh water is highly subsidized in the country. As per the new policy, ‘water will be priced’ then fresh water will also cost between Rs.12/- to Rs.18/-, which is equivalent to the cost of recycled water.
Mr.Singhvi asked the participants to send suggestions for wastewater management in urban areas to the Ministry of Urban Development.

All the presentations from the workshop are available here: http://www.urbanindia.nic.in/programme/uwss/wwrr.htm.
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