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Reuse of untreated water vital to meet urbanization, untreated water has damaging effect on natural water resources: Dr Suman Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog

Nov 23, 2022

  • Adaptation and mitigation to climate change play major role in economic development

Yamuna will be much cleaner in Delhi by the end of December 2023: DG, National Mission for Clean Ganga

NEW DELHI, 23 November 2022: Dr Suman Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog today stressed that reuse of untreated water will be vital to meet urbanization, agricultural irrigation and untreated water has a damaging effect on our natural water sources like rivers. "NITI Aayog has already set up a composite water management index and this forms part of our effort to hold the mirror up to the states within the framework of cooperative and competitive federalism," he added.

Addressing the '8th edition of FICCI India Industry Water Conclave & 10th edition of FICCI Water Awards', Dr Bery said that as climate change becomes old, adaptation and mitigation to climate change becomes the major theme in economic development and the private sector will have an important role to play in this. "It is what is being reflected by the announcement of the 10th edition of FICCI Water awards," he added.

Speaking on the water use efficiency, Dr Bery stated that freshwater supply is a fixed quantum and bulk of it is used by agriculture. Our efficiency of water use in agriculture is much lower than other water stressed countries, he added. "The issue of how to reflect the opportunity cost of water so that it is used frugal and is unexplored in India," he asserted. 

Dr Bery also stressed the need for the industry to engage with NITI Aayog at frequent intervals to increase different stakeholders' participation in the development of the sector.

He added that NITI Aayog has established a direct relationship with the states and states are central including the urban local bodies are central to the vision set by the Ministry of Jal Shakti. "Various states have approached to set up mini replicas of NITI Aayog to develop their own kind of policy development capacity," added Dr Bery.

On the issue of wastewater management, the Vice Chairman said that the NITI Aayog is working with the Ministry of Jal Shakti in working on a policy framework and in many countries, wastewater is sourced especially in applying in the irrigation in the farmland. "In India though, wastewater is considered as an untapped and unvalued resource and only some states are using treated used wastewater for industrial purpose," he emphasized.

Mr G Asok Kumar, DG, National Mission for Clean Ganga, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti said that the department is now moving beyond rivers, and we are also looking at tributaries as well. "Our biggest challenge after Ganga is now cleaning Yamuna. By the end of December 2023, Yamuna will be much cleaner in Delhi, and we will also be completing 1,300 million capacities of STP facilities by March 2023," he added.

Mr Kumar further added that water security is essential for economic growth and both water quality and quantity are important to achieve water security. Highlighting the success of the National Mission for Clean Ganga, he announced that the mission has been selected as one of the 10 flagship programs of the world and it will be announced officially, during the Montreal COP meet in December.

He also asserted the need to emphasize two new R's to be included (Rejuvenate and Respect for water) apart from the established 3 R's (recycle, reuse and reduce) of water use.

Ms Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, FICCI Water Mission and Past President, FICCI said that India's water challenges are multifaceted and diverse. India is the largest groundwater extractor in the world and 85 per cent of drinking water supplies dependent on groundwater sources. "Increased urbanization and industrialization are adding further stress on the available water resources. Freshwater must be made available for human consumption only and for the other usages, we must look forward to the alternative and reliable resources of water and wastewater is one such resource," she added.

Dr Mihir Shah, Chair, FICCI Water Awards Jury; Distinguished Professor, Shiv Nadar university said that we have been on the path of reforms in the country for past many years and has given extra ordinary results, but water is one of the sectors which has lacked the attention. "Water is the most unreformed infrastructure sector in our country. It has not been looked upon as a part of the infrastructure sector and it is the bedrock of the entire economy. We need to have fundamentally reformed water sector in the country," he added.

'FICCI Compendium of Best Practices: Recognizing Excellence in Water Management & Conservation' was released during the event.

10th edition of FICCI Water Awards was announced during the event.

Awards List:

Category - Industrial Water Use Efficiency

Category - Innovation in Water Technology

Category - Community Initiatives by Industry

1St Prize - Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (Narsapura)

1St Prize - The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)

1St Prize - Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (Khamgaon Factory)

2nd Prize - Hindalco Industries Ltd. (Belagavi Unit)

2nd Prize - Taylormade Renewables Ltd.

2nd Prize - Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd.


Special Jury's Award - Centre for Environment Concerns

Special Jury's Award - Talwandi Sabo Power Ltd.

Category - Urban Wastewater Management

Special Jury's Award - The Administration of Aurangabad (AMC & ASCDCL)



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