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Severe Water Stress and Rising Urbanisation Have Made the State a Leading Destination for Treated Wastewater Reuse Projects
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Tamil Nadu is the second-largest contributor to India’s GDP and is a leading economic powerhouse. Favourable industrial policies, suitable infrastructure for industrial growth, a large talent pool, and a high rate of urbanisation have contributed to industrial growth and output over the last 20 years. The state is a leading destination for the automobile, chemical, textile, and electronic hardware manufacturing industries. More than 17.0% of India’s factories are present in Tamil Nadu, which is reflected in the total value of manufactured goods exported (approximately INR 2,745.60 billion in FY 2017-2018). The state lacks perennial sources of freshwater. It mainly depends on monsoon rainfall and groundwater to meet demand. Groundwater is exploited or affected by salinity in most regions. Tamil Nadu relies on neighbouring states such as Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for surface water; however, most often, these turn out to be inadequate or unreliable. The state accounts for 6.0% of India’s population but a mere 2.5% of the water resources. The rapid rise in urbanisation has led to water stress in most urban centres across the state. Rainwater harvesting has helped Tamil Nadu improve its groundwater table, but the lack of cohesive regulations and appropriate follow-up measures, complicated by the unprecedented encroachment of recharge points, has impaired progress. Desalination is considered an alternative but is expensive and lacks environmental sustainability. The reuse of treated wastewater could act as a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable alternative to freshwater resources. Treated wastewater can cater to most of the industrial demand, thereby making groundwater and surface water available for domestic consumption. Lakes and/or rivers can be rejuvenated and groundwater levels can be restored through artificial aquifer recharge. Most industries in Tamil Nadu depend on groundwater; during drought, they rely on private water suppliers that, most often, exploit agricultural wells for water extraction. The reuse of treated wastewater is a reliable source during drought or during summer when water stress is most intense. It can make urban centres resilient to climate change. According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Tamil Nadu’s urban centres produce more than 5,599 MLD of sewage. The state has infrastructure to treat 2,603.9 MLD (in operation, under construction, awaiting approval, under-utilised, or in the proposal stage) of wastewater; of this, 797.3 MLD is currently in operation. The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) has taken the lead in terms of the installation of treated wastewater reuse facilities in Koyambedu and Kodungaiyur, with capacities of 60 MLD and 45 MLD, respectively. These facilities will be commissioned by the end of 2019. The treated wastewater will be supplied to the industrial belts in the Kanchipuram and Tiruvallur districts (adjoining Chennai). Project success will set the precedent for other treated wastewater reuse projects, especially in terms of catering to industrial water demand across the state. Frost & Sullivan estimates that the treated wastewater reuse projects market in Tamil Nadu will grow from INR 3,402.3 million in 2018 to INR 7,781.2 million by 2025. The study offers the following:• A broad outlook of the state’s economic and industrial growth, • An in-depth perspective of the current water availability status, • Present-day industrial water demand (by industry type) and forecast until 2030, • Regional hotspots based on most likely locations of upcoming treated wastewater reuse projects, • Treated wastewater reuse projects market forecast till 2025. In addition, the study provides insight on treatment technology trends, growth opportunities based on ongoing Mega Trends, new business models that can enhance growth, and top predictions for the forecast period.
Key Issues Addressed
Author: Paul Hudson
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