India’s urban population is growing at a fast pace and is expected to be approximately 50% of the total population by the next decade. While it can be argued that this can provide economic benefits, it also puts utilities under pressure to supply potable quality drinking water to the population. This will also impact the ability of utilities to service the demand of commercial and industrial outfits. In addition to the challenges in meeting the demand this may also lead to further increase in water tariffs in order to subsidise residential water supply. This situation warrants utilities and the government to ensure optimal use of available water resources while duly addressing the social, economic and commercial considerations. Institutionalising the reuse of treated wastewater can help utilities in addressing this challenge in an effective manner.
In this context, PwC is pleased to present this white paper on the urban wastewater sector. The paper aims at highlighting the need for developing wastewater reuse as a sector, identifying the interventions that could help in the development of this sector and also identifying suitable structures that can help in mainstreaming the implementation of wastewater reuse projects in the country. The structures have been arrived at after considering technical, financial and economic aspects of wastewater treatment, non-potable water usage in the urban scenario, with focus on industrial water usage and the risks associated with
implementation of reuse projects.