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Mohammed Naser Azeez, Managing Director, Aquality Water Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

India: Water resources are under serious threat across the globe and India is also facing grave water challenges. Availability of safe drinking water, inefficient water use practices and inadequate wastewater treatment are some of the greatest issues India is facing currently. The groundwater withdrawal rate as compared to available supplies is extremely high due to better economic activities coupled with rapid urbanization and population growth. The combined effect of increasing population and expanding cities will see the demand for fresh water supply rising exponentially.

India’s water demand will exceed supply by two times in the coming 6-8 years indicating severe water scarcity in the country. It is already facing a water shortage beyond expectations as over 600 million people in the country have less than average water available for them. The normal all-India per capita water availability is expected to be reduced to 1,341 cubic meters by 2025 and touch a low of 1,191 cubic meters by 2050. This shortage of water for industrial and residential use is expected to increase the demand for water treatment systems in the long run. In response to the rising concern, there is an urgent need to develop adequate and quality water infrastructure; to meet both domestic and industrial water demands in the country. The rapidly shrinking freshwater resources and growing wastewater complexities will drive the demand for water and wastewater treatment equipment and technologies in India.

The Union Budget 2022-23 has echoed the concern when the Finance Minister has announced huge fund allocation for rural water supply schemes along with irrigation and river interlinking projects. The awareness of India becoming a water-scarce country is frightening and the Government has taken suitable steps in addressing the challenge. The Jal Jeevan Mission is an ambitious scheme that envisages providing safe piped drinking water to all rural households thus eliminating the water contamination issues for the rural population who more often suffers from diseases borne out of contaminated water. The scheme will certainly make life better for over a billion people in the country.

The Rs. 60,000 Crore allocation towards providing tap water connection to 3.8 Crore additional rural households in 2022-23 period will see large scale development of water infrastructure facilities. At Aquality Water Solutions, we are very hopeful that robust water and wastewater treatment facilities will be created providing indigenous manufacturers and distributors of water treatment systems a good chance to become a part of this development. I feel that at most places in our rural areas, a regular electricity supply is still an issue and it should be better if we plan to have a compact and hybrid water treatment plant installed that will work even without direct electricity supply having been used the solar panels to generate and store electricity in the system. This type of water treatment system will be very appropriate for India’s rural habitations.

The announcement and huge fund allocation under different schemes for water supply, irrigation, wastewater management, sanitation, and river interlinking projects are expected to benefit the water sector, specifically the Water Treatment Equipment and Pipe Manufacturers. Companies operating in these segments can get a major boost as the projects under various government schemes will be implemented this year to create sustainable water infrastructure.

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