Facilitating Smart Informed Water Decisions

22 Mar 2018

Water scarcity and pollution presents a significant risk to companies, with the potential to disrupt their operations. Even companies that have managed the resource well within their fence through various improved water efficiency measures, are prone to risk of closure due to water resource challenges from outside the fence, in their respective watersheds.

Cognisant of the growing challenge, CII–Triveni Water Institute (CII-TWI), works towards providing integrated water management solutions through the use of innovative state-of-the-art digital analytic tools and frameworks such as WATSCAN, WatSmart, WATSCAN-FLOOD that can assess water risks and help in guiding decisions for prioritising investments.

Set up with the vision of enabling India make substantial progress towards achieving water security by 2022, the Institute works across sectors and with diverse stakeholders in managing water.

22nd March is celebrated as World Water Day and focuses attention on the importance of water and its significant role in supporting economic, social and human development. On this water day, we bring forward some of the initiatives undertaken by CII-TWI in managing and conserving water and also encourage the use of such practises among others.

Key Activities at CII-TWI

Water Audits: What gets measured gets managed

Industry is an important stakeholder in water resources and as a responsible member of the community, needs to be proactive in combating water risks. CII-TWI through its comprehensive water audits across sectors has guided industry in deciding options on reducing water usage, minimizing wastewater generation and maximizing recovery.

CII has undertaken more than 125 industrial water audits with the following outcomes

Water saving of approximately 100 billion litres achieved, equivalent to supplying two days drinking water to entire rural population of India
Payback and Rate of Return mostly less than 1 year for water saving strategies
30 – 40 % reduction in wastewater achieved through low to medium cost strategies

Facilitating smart water decisions in industry: Innovative and Integrated Tools

The Institute provides integrated solutions to water resource management through use of scientific and digital tools such as CII’s WATSCAN Tool—a unique customised world class tool that links satellite information, on ground databases and processes information (spatial and temporal) carried in millions of pixels on a GIS platform to facilitate decisions. Application of WATSCAN enables water smart decisions & intelligent water solutions.

WATSCAN has been applied across scales from villages to river basins successfully to ascertain water risks and thereby helps in devising appropriate strategies for an improved water scenario.

WATSCAN evaluation of water demand-supply gaps in 20 districts of India across Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana Odisha and Jharkhand, provided a quantifiable road map of moving these drought prone zones to drought proof ones.

WATSCAN has identified the following gaps for the drought prone districts

In normal rainfall years, average water availability per hectare is around 4000-5500 m3/Ha whereas water demand is around 5000-7000 m3/Ha
In bad rainfall years, average water availability per hectare is around 2000-3000 m3/Ha whereas water demand is around 5000-7000 m3/Ha. This has led to fall in the groundwater table by more than 1 metre per year in many parts
Districts experienced 2-3 drought years in every 10 years and the situation gets critical when the droughts occur in succession

WATSCAN aims to bridge demand-supply gaps by

Digitally identifying critical zones and villages where intervention is needed
Prioritizing investments and siting interventions resulting in reduced delivery slippages by 40 – 50 %, thereby making investments effective, credible, and transparent
Enabling maximum impact with limited resources
Improving per hectare water availability by 35 – 45 % through resource optimization, use efficiency, NEW Water (Municipal interface), and Additional Water (Soil Moisture Conservation)

WATSCAN has also been successfully applied for various plant specific watersheds to evaluate water risks to plant operations that enable identification of appropriate strategies for water resource management investments.

WATSCAN Application to Aurangabad District Watershed: Outcomes

The results from WATSCAN, based on millions of pixels analysed using satellite datasets, identifies areas of high and low water generation, water accumulation and water losses.

The water availability in a normal rainfall year for Aurangabad district is about 4000 m3/Ha while the demand is about 5000 m3/Ha. This availability reduces to half in a bad rainfall year. Therefore the imbalance results in excessive pressure on groundwater and over exploitation of the limited resource translating to loss of incomes, livelihoods and conflicts.

Planning water resources – appropriate interventions & locations

WATSCAN identified a basket of strategies along with the potential locations for an improved water scenario for the area. These include both demand and supply side management interventions such as improving storages through a combination of dams and dykes (surface and sub surface storage systems), enhanced monsoon storage, soil-moisture conservation, municipal-industry interface, municipal-agriculture interface, water audits that can improve the region’s water scenario.

With the adoption of strategies in a time-bound manner, WATSCAN would lead to direct outcomes such as improved per capita water, per hectare water and improved incomes and livelihoods. The new improved water balance based on adoption of identified strategies shows improved water balance by 30-40%, thereby helping in arresting the demand-supply gap.

WatSmart: Be Water Smart; Be Water Secure

CII-TWI, launched the WatSmart Tool in 2017, a first of its kind Water Smart Rating System applicable at plant level across industries capturing elements both within the fence (plant level) and beyond the fence (plant’s watershed level).

WatSmart rates plants across industries on their water smart quotient. It defines a water smart unit as being intrinsically related to ‘its’ watershed i.e. it recognizes plant water and wastewater efficiency in tandem with watershed health (resource availability and quality).


CII Triveni Water Institute has recently assessed urban floods for Gurugram district through the WATSCAN – FLOOD application. The assessment derives information from both satellite and available on-ground sources to determine water accumulation and generation in a given watershed responsible for urban flooding. Post assessment the tool also identifies solutions and areas to attenuate floods.

CII intends to apply the Tool for urban floods across towns and cities.

Responsible Water Stewards for a Water Secure Future

CII recognises innovative, scalable & good practices for water and wastewater management and presents CII National Water Awards for Excellence in water management for some of the exemplary work undertaken by the industry in these areas.

The Institute provides a vibrant platform for deliberations and dialogues at its annual Water Innovation Summit that garners support from industry and Government.

Sectoral events are also organized by the Institute to promote water use efficiency across sectors.

With many such initiatives, the CII-Triveni Water Institute works continually towards transforming water conservation and management in India by bringing more effective and sustainable water management practices at the grassroots level.

For further information:

Dr Kapil K. Narula, CEO & Executive Director, CII-Triveni Water Institute

E:; T: +91-124-4014060


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