In managing water, Surat takes lead
India’s ‘Diamond City’ offers a lesson for the country’s ever-expanding cities on water management and the optimal use of water, which is rapidly becoming a scarce resource. Surat’s civic body is setting up state-of-the-art sewage treatment plants (STPs) to ensure every drop of waste water is treated and reused for purposes other than drinking.From March 2019, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) will be supplying 115 MLD (million litres per day) treated water to industries located within the city, in order to meet the entire industrial requirement of water through treated or recycled water.The entire quantum of water will be treated from domestic sewerage water in tertiary treatment plants at the Bamroli and Dindoli areas for supplying to mainly textile factories in the Pandesara and Sachin industrial clusters housing over 400 dying and printing units.“At present, we are supplying 40 MLD treated water to industries in Pandesara in the city. This is the largest capacity of tertiary water treatment in the country. In fact, Surat was the first city in the country to start selling recycled water to industries in 2014. Now, we are expanding the capacity to take it up to 115 MLD by March 2019,” Surat Municipal Commissioner M. Thennarasan told The Hindu.Surat’s cost effective water management system is most advantageous for its contribution towards reducing the dependency on conventional resources of water, and thus optimal use of the resource.So far, the SMC has invested ₹ 280 crore in creating tertiary water treatment facilities in the city. “By March next year, the corporation will save 115 MLD fresh water by supplying recycled water to industries,” Mr. Thennasaran said, adding, “The SMC charges industrial units ₹ 23 per 1,000 litres of water.”Recycling technologyThe civic body’s efforts to create infrastructure for water management is in line with the State government’s policy of promoting the use of recycled water for non-drinking purposes, and reducing dependence on ground water.“Gujarat is a water scarce State, so we have to be innovative in managing our water resources in the most efficient manner,” Gujarat’s Chief Secretary Dr. J. N. Singh said.Mr. Thennarasan added that the civic body intends to go further and supply recycled water to industrial clusters like Hazira, outside the city. “In future, we want to cover industrial estates not located in the municipal area in our network as per the State government’s policy,” he said.Fact checkIndia is facing its worst water shortage in history, according to a new report prepared by the Niti Aayog. Nearly 600 million Indians faced high to extreme water stress and about 2,00,000 people die every year in the country because of inadequate access to safe water.