Making India a Water-secure Nation

16 Oct 2020

During the Independence Day speech this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on the issue of water conservation and called out to the nation to contribute towards this effort. “The movement towards water conservation has to take place at the grassroots level. It cannot become a mere Government programme. People from all walks of life have to be integrated in this movement,” he said during the event. 

India is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world today and even as the country continues to fight a pandemic that has impacted the economy like never before, the need to switch to sustainable water management practices has become equally urgent. Through the CII-Triveni Water Institute (CII-TWI), Government, industry and civil society have come together to address water related issues through a planned approach. The institute engages with stakeholders for enabling water security in the country and some of the interventions undertaken by the institute are: 

Water Pinch Analysis – A systematic technique for reducing water consumption and wastewater generation by integrating water-use activities and processes. One of the key targets is maximizing water reuse and minimizing the amount of wastewater. 
Water Resource Evaluation and Planning Tool (WATSCAN) – An integrated IT driven, GIS and remote sensing-based information system. It identifies and designs water management strategies and demonstrates improved water scenarios, which if implemented result in better water availability in the project areas. 
Remote Water Audit and Data Analytics – Remote auditing is the process by which auditors couple information and communication technology with data analytics to assess the accuracy of data and internal controls, gather electronic evidence, and interact with clients, all without the need to be physically present. 

Over the last few years, several Indian companies have reaped immense benefits by implementing the institute’s water management practices. Some of the projects completed by CII-TWI this year include: 

Remote water audit conducted for a firm in Visakhapatnam. The institute identified a reduction potential of 29% in fresh-water demand. 
Watershed evaluation undertaken in Maharashtra using the WATSCAN tool to devise community-centric water management interventions. 

During the year, CII has been implemented strategies for stabilizing/improving water resource scenario in the selected areas. Given below are a few projects that CII-TWI is currently implementing: 

Water risk and evaluation studies and Water Pinch analysis across six manufacturing plants of an organization.
Water resource evaluation for a plant in Dolvi. 
Integrated water resource management study to ensure water security and to move towards water neutrality for a company in Nandyal.

Community alliances 

Through interventions aimed at conserving water and implementing water management strategies, the institute has been positively impacting the lives and livelihoods at the community level too. Rejuvenation of lakes and ponds; adoption and conservation of wetlands; building aquifers, watersheds and rainwater catchments are some of the initiatives taken up under the institute’s outreach programmes. Some of the projects undertaken during the year include: 

Water resource evaluation for Bhujaria Talab in Madhya Pradesh was undertaken this year to develop WATSCAN interventions for rejuvenation and sustainable conservation of the lake. 
Inclusive watershed management is being scaled up to 12 villages of Aurangabad district and 8 in Solapur district of Maharashtra. 
The CII SR Water Alliance is a community-based conservation model and it has completed restoration of six water bodies. 

A way forward can be achieved by reducing consumption of water as well as encouraging a water-frugal culture by bringing into focus products and processes that consume less water. Joint collaborations between Industry and Government are needed in projects such as installation of common effluent treatment plants, recycling water for processes and preventing waste-water run-off, among others.

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