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Centre asks States to adopt Gujarat’s ‘reusing treated waste water’ policy
In view of impending potable water crisis in majority of States, the Centre seems to have found a ray of hope in the Gujarat Government’s month-old policy for ‘reusing treated waste water’.
Being seen as a game changer in urban sewage management and saving drinking water, the Union Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry has asked the States to consider implementation of the policy “that is an initiative and a concrete step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal: 6 ensuring clean water and sanitation for all in the State.”
The policy envisions maximising the collection and treatment of sewage generated, and reusing the treated waste water on a sustainable basis, thereby reducing dependency on fresh water resources and seeks to promote treated Waste Water (TWW) as an economic resource.
In a letter to all the States, the Ministry has pointed out that the Gujarat’s policy mandates the usage of TWW for thermal power plants, industries, construction activities and municipal purposes. The policy was launched by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel at a function in Gandhinagar on May 28.
JP Gupta, Principal Secretary (Water Supply), Gujarat Government said that that once the policy comes into force, the fresh water supply for various activities would be discontinued.
The policy also lays down complete administrative, financial and operational framework along with time-frames to be followed for its implementation. It is expected that within two years more than 500 MLD of water will be made available for reuse while it is likely to reach 5000 MLD by 2030
Also, better water quality standards and treatment norms with efficient technology options are primary focus areas of policy.
Appreciating the policy targets, the Secretary said that “this is an initiative and a concrete step towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal: 6 on ensuring clean water and sanitation for all in the State. We hope that the policy will initiate a paradigm shift in water resources management and will be a game changer in urban sewage management.”
The Ministry feels that the policy would reduce dependence on drinking water availability which is already under severe pressure. This has been admitted by Niti Aayog also in its recently released report.
India is suffering from ‘the worst water crisis’ in its history with about 60 crore people facing high to extreme water stress and about two lakh people dying every year due to inadequate access to safe water, the report titled ‘Composite Water Management Index’ said.
Released by Union Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkari, the report said that the crisis is only going to get worse.
“By 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying severe water scarcity for hundreds of millions of people and an eventual 6 per cent loss in the country’s GDP,” the report noted.
Citing data from independent agencies, the report pointed out that with nearly 70 per cent of water being contaminated, India is placed at 120th amongst 122 countries in the water quality index.
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