Beautiful clear waters of the Tulsi Lake Picture Credits: wikimapia.org
Beautiful clear waters of the Tulsi Lake Picture Credits: wikimapia.org

In the final day of the virtual panel discussion hosted by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in association with a city non profit body 'Mumbai First', panelists stated the recycled water plan of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) can outline the framework of reusing tertiary treated water in a phased manner.

"Long distance water sourcing and pumping is proving inefficient with huge power demand and water loss in the supply process," stated Rudresh Sugam, national technical advisor, sustainable urban development, Smart Cities project.

Dr YB Sontakke, joint director, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, highlighted the importance of environment monitoring and public awareness regarding the conservation of natural water bodies. "An approximate waste of 5,558 million litres (MLD) is generated in the water bodies of Maharashtra per day. This is a matter of concern and more awareness is necessary," Sonatakke stated.

Professor Sanjiv Sambandan, in his presentation, highlighted that the issue of waste water is not only an issue of water crisis, but also an issue of energy crisis. "An alternate pathway to wastewater treatment is social engineering, which includes providing an incentive for treating wastewater locally," Sambandan explained.

"The current estimated water deficit is 700 MLD for domestic use and gross water deficit is 790 MLD. This will continue to rise if we don't push the reuse water potential in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR)," asserted Anil Kumar, managing director, Water India Royal Haskoning DHV Consulting Private Limited. He also pointed out that the infrastructure cost of fresh water is Rs 20 crore to Rs 30 crore MLD from source distribution, which for reuse water is only Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore.

Fredrick Royan, vice president, sustainability and circular economy, in his presentation, stated that the digital transformation of water utility is crucial to enhance resilience for better financing and the long term sustainability of operations.

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