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OEM Update
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‘No Dearth of Technology in Water Industry’

May 18, 2011 12:01 pm

“Pricing of water is the core of problems for water treatment industry. However there is no scarcity of technology or capability”, feels Sandeep CK, Vice President – Corporate Marketing, Ion Exchange (India) Ltd
 
How big is India’s water treatment industry and where does it stand on the global map?
India’s water industry is estimated at around Rs. 12,000 to 15,000 crore for industrial water treatment and waste water treatment alone. A much larger market exists in the municipal water treatment and sewage treatment.
 
While the overall market size is relatively lower compared to highly developed economies like that of the United States, it is about half that of the market size that exists in countries like China.
 
Do we have enough water treatment plants in the country, to meet the growing demand from the industrial sector? If not, why is the country still lagging behind in this area?   
The industries typically depend on treatment of fresh water from rivers & lakes and usually have their own captive treatment plants. Capacity of existing water treatment plants in the municipal sector is not a major constraint, though availability of water and efficiency in the existing plants are a matter of concern. The industry is now looking at alternate resources of water which include recycled effluent, recycled city sewage and treated sea water. Additionally many communities still lack sufficient water and sanitation.
 
How far the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974; the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977 and the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 have succeeded in making water treatment mandatory and assisted the growth of water treatment industry?
I presume these refer to waste water treatment. While installation of waste water treatment equipment are being made mandatory by these laws, the cost of water in many parts of the country which is still subsidized do not make recycling an option in these areas.
 
What do you think are the deficiencies in the current policy framework, in addressing the country’s water treatment requirements?
The biggest concern is the pricing of water leading to the problems such as:
•      Unavailability of water in most urban and semi urban centres due to indiscriminate use
•      Poor having to pay more for water than the rich
•      No incentive for recycling and recovery
•      Poor operation and maintenance of existing utilities leading to low efficiency.

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