The recent study by CEEW, ‘Reuse of Treated Wastewater in India’, underlines the significance of incorporating treated wastewater into the fold.
WD News: According to a recent independent assessment by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), the market value of treated wastewater in India will be Rs.830 million in 2025 and Rs 1.9 billion in 2050 if we have the means to sell it to certain sectors.
Based on anticipated sewage generation and treatment capacities, India will produce more than 35,000 million cubic metres of wastewater by 2050. This has a tonne of possibilities for reuse. By 2050, this water, if purified, could irrigate 26 times the area of New Delhi, shows the report.
According to the study, 28 million metric tonnes (MT) of selected horticulture crops’ output could have been produced in 2021 by irrigating them with the available treated wastewater. Further sales of this product may have brought in Rs. 966 billion. Also, using wastewater for irrigation in 2021 would have prevented the emission of 1.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) and 50 million rupees worth of fertiliser.
Nitin Bassi, Programme Lead, CEEW, said, “At 1,486 cubic meters of water available per capita per annum, India is a water-stressed country. Promoting the reuse of treated wastewater will reduce pressure on freshwater resources and lead to several benefits and positive externalities.”
In 2021, 1.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions might have been avoided by reusing TWW in irrigation. As per the research, 1.38 Mha of groundwater-irrigated land would have received 1.38 Mha of irrigation from the treated wastewater that was available in 2021, which would have reduced pumping in 3.5% of the area. Also, this would have resulted in a million tonnes less of greenhouse gas emissions. Also, because TWW naturally contains nutrients, less fertiliser would have been needed, which would have decreased GHG emissions by 0.3 million tonnes.
Saiba Gupta, Research Analyst, CEEW, said, “States must define reuse-specific wastewater treatment standards for safe reuse across different sectors.”
Image courtesy: Pixabay