Emphasising the importance of recycled wastewater in agriculture, horticulture and for groundwater recharge, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has said that every scheme and mission will be successful only with community awareness and participation and the government is extensively working on this.

Addressing industry chamber FICCI’s India Industry Water Conclave on Wednesday, he said every drop of water is precious, every drop of recycled water is a generation of another drop of water.

“In this transformational era, to address the gap between water availability and water requirement, focusing on multi-stakeholder approach to water management which includes government, corporates and the community plays an important role and everyone should take their responsibility to make our country water secure,” Shekhawat said.

He added transformation will come from the youth of this country who can transform the mindset of older generations and masses towards water conservation.

“The use of treated water in irrigation and industrial application is important for effective utilisation of available water resources,” said Water Resources Secretary Pankaj Kumar. He also mentioned about draft National Framework for use of treated water which has been prepared by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and circulated to the State governments, industry associations, and other stakeholders for their comments.

Newer focus areas

Kumar said as the focus is shifting, towards improving the water use efficiency, deployment of sensor technology, measuring devices, plants for the treatment of used water, reuse of treated water in irrigation and industry, expansion of drip/sprinkler irrigation, and smart integrated water management systems is bound to grow and should be harnessed and deployed. These present significant opportunities for the private sector to help improve efficiency in water use in various sectors.

“Actions of industry are towards addressing the mismatch between demand and supply based on certain core principles which are sourcing sustainably, replenishing the groundwater responsibly, using efficiently in production, and recycling and reusing the grey water effectively,” said FICCI President Sanjiv Mehta.

He outlined the challenges and key areas to make the sector attractive for employment, more public-private partnerships in water services and infrastructure projects, incentivisation of greenfield sewage treatment plants and common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) on PPP basis.