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  1. 1. WATER-ELIXIR OF LIFE The thirst of water for India’s rapid development is growing day by day. In spite of adequate average rainfall in India, there is large area under the less water conditions/drought prone. There are lot of places, where the quality of groundwater is not good. Another issue lies in interstate distribution of rivers. Water supply of the 90% of India’s territory is served by inter-state rivers. It has created growing number of conflicts across the states and to the whole country on water sharing issues.  Some of the major reasons behind water scarcity are;  Population growth and Food production (Agriculture)  Increasing construction/ infrastructure development Activities  Massive urbanization and industrialization throughout the country  Climatic change and variability- Depleting of natural resources due to changing climate conditions (Deforestation etc.)  Lack of implementation of effective water management systems Why should India address water scarcity? India’s population is expected to increase from 1.13 Bn in 2005 to 1.66 Bn by 2050. Out of that the urban population is expected to grow from 29.2% of the total population in 2007 to 55.2% by 2050. First and foremost result of the increasing population is the growing demand for more food-grains and allied agricultural produce. It results in expanding area of land under the crops especially high yielding crop varieties. It is estimated that the production of water-intensive crops is expected to grow by 80% between 2000 and 2050. For example Rice, wheat and sugarcane together constitute about 90% of India’s crop production and are the most water-consuming crops. In addition, states with the highest production of rice and/or wheat are expected to face groundwater depletion of up to 75% by 2050. Another area of concern is the water Intensive Industries. India’s economic growth has been gargantuan in the last decade. Foreign direct investment equity inflow in the industrial sector has grown to $17.68 Bn in 2007–2008. Steel and energy sector will need to keep pace in order to fulfil the demands of sectors like manufacturing and production. Annual per capita consumption of power is expected to reach its maximum level as compared to present installed power generation capacity. As per the ministry of power, thermal power plants which are the most water-intensive industrial units, constitute around 65% of the installed power capacity in India. Industrial water consumption is expected to shoot up its growth between 2000 and 2050 QUICK FACTS Capital city: New Delhi Population of 1.2 billion
  2. 2. 97 million lack safe water 814 million have no sanitation services Infant mortality rate of 5% 30% live in poverty All of this will result in increased consumption of water. That is why there is urgent requirement to address the issue of water scarcity in India to make better policy decisions which will affect its availability in future. . If the conditions remain same; water will turn out to be the world’s most precious resource soon. While drilling a well can be easy, delivering water and sanitation solutions that are sustainable in the long haul is not and involves a number of important components. So,here we are proposing an ACT to provide clean drinking water. SAFE DINKING WATER ACT APPROACH:  Identify risks  Address  Prevent  Monitor IDENTIFY RISKS: Land should be divided on the basis of water-use.  AGRICULTURAL SECTOR  INDUSTRIAL SECTOR  Heavy industries  Light industries  DOMESTIC Local threats and drought prone areas should be identified. ADDRESS:
  3. 3. Considering the terrain, climatic conditions etc. a suitable water conservation programme and rain water harvesting programme should be chosen. MONITOR: A CORE GROUP HAS TO BE MADE, WHICH CONSISTS OF REPRESENTATIVES FROM:  NGOs  Municipalities  Government  Business sector  Other Stakeholders The core group should study land units that come under its jurisdiction and submit a report based on the study, within a span of 6 months. The plan should be uploaded in the MINISTY OF FOREST & NATURAL RESOURCES where it is open to public scrutiny. The public should be given opportunity to provide their feedback before the ACT is proposed and passed. OTHER METHODS:  SUBSIDIES FOR RAINWATER HARVESTING PROJECTS  PROMOTION OF GREEN ENGINEERINGERING  REDUCING PRESSURE ON THE WATER TABLE  BARRING USE OF MULTIPLE WATER METERS SANITATION –AN OVERVIEW Most Indian’s still do not have access to modern sanitation: for example, rural sanitation coverage was estimated to have reached only 21% by 2008 according to the UNICEF/WHO joint monitoring programme. It is estimated that:
  4. 4. • Only 31 per cent of India’s population use improved sanitation (2008) • In rural India 21 per cent use improved sanitation facilities (2008) • One Hundred Forty Five million people in rural India gained access to improved sanitation between 1990-2008 • Two hundred and Eleven Million people gained access to improved sanitation in whole of India between 1990-2008 • India is home to 638 million people defecating in the open; over 50 per cent of the population. • In Bangladesh and Brazil, only seven per cent of the population defecate in the open. In China, only four per cent of the population defecate in the open. Good hygiene practices and access to sanitation facilities are critical to achieving sustainable improvements in community health. Clean water may be available in a household, but if hand- washing and other practices are not routinely followed, the promised health benefits will not materialize. Similarly, access to a latrine does not ensure that the latrine will be used or properly maintained. Without a good understanding of the link between hygiene and disease, the health benefits of safe water and sanitation can be easily lost. Our schemes link common illnesses (such as diarrhea) with proper hygiene (such as hand-washing before eating or preparing food). Linking sanitation with common health concerns increases community commitment and involvement. HERE WE ARE POPOSING TWO PROPER SANITATION SCHEMES: What is ECOSAN? Ecological Sanitation (ECOSAN) is an environment friendly sustainable sanitation system which regards human waste as resource for agricultural purposes and food security. In contrast to the common practice of linear waste management which views waste or excreta as something that needs to be disposed, ECOSAN seeks to close the loop of nutrients cycle, conserve water and our surrounding environment. The basic principle of ECOSAN is to close the loop between sanitation and agriculture without compromising health and is based on the following three fundamental principles: a. Preventing pollution rather than attempting to control it after we pollute b. Sanitizing the urine and faeces c. Using the safe products for agricultural purposes Basic principles of ECOSAN Latrine: Offers a safe sanitation solution that prevents disease and promotes health by successfully and hygienically removing pathogen-rich excreta from the immediate environment.
  5. 5. Environmentally sound as it doesn’t contaminate groundwater or save scarce water resources. Recovers and recycles the nutrients from the excreta and thus creates a valuable resource to reduce the need for artificial fertilizers in agriculture from what is usually regarded as a waste product. Inadequacy of current options The sanitation practices promoted today are either based on hiding human excreta in deep pits (‘drop-and-store’) or on flushing them away and diluting them in rivers, lakes and the sea (‘flush-and discharge’).Drop-and-store systems can be simple and relatively low-cost but have many drawbacks. The problems people normally face from the conventional sanitation system are: o They are not working properly at all And do not ensure safe and healthy sanitation but increase health risks from severe water pollution due to On Site Sanitation systems o No recycling of water and nutrients leading to Loss of valuable nutrients for agriculture o Are largely linear end-of-pipe technology systems. Merits of ECOSAN Ironically, more water is being wasted for flushing toilets than its use for drinking. Conventional sanitation facility is intricate in terms of commission and operation. It harbours many loopholes. It adds more wastewater than manageable. Rivers and ponds now are merely open sewer for most period of the year. Therefore, there is a need to revive the concept of ECOSAN so as to fully recognize and utilize the value of excreta. The demand of ECOSAN latrines, based on the literatures, can be said to be fuelled by: o Declining fertility of land o Increased cost of artificial fertilizer, and related poverty o High number of subsistence farmers in the urban and peri-urban areas o Minimum usage of water  Possibilities of ground water contamination reduced  Besides, ECOSAN latrine, a hygienic sanitation option, prevents pollution, fights infections, saves water, promotes zero waste management and encourages food production. In addition, it helps: o Promotion of recycling o Conservation of resources and contribution to the preservation of soil  fertility
  6. 6. o Improvement of agricultural productivity and hence contributes to food security o Increasing user comfort/security, in particular for women and  interdisciplinary approach. o Cyclic Material-flow instead of disposal. o ECOSAN stands for turning waste into a useful and marketable resource Dealing with liquids A basic question when designing an ECOSAN system is whether to divert urine or to mix urine and faeces in a single receptacle. If the latter approach is used, effective processing will, with few exceptions, require later separation of liquids and solids. Thus we start with two basic options: divert urine; or mix urine and faeces. Diverting urine: There are a number of good reasons for not mixing urine and faeces: o it keeps the volume of potentially dangerous material small; o the urine remains relatively free from pathogenic organisms; o urine and faeces require different treatments; o it simplifies pathogen destruction in faeces; o it reduces odour; o it prevents excess humidity in the processing vault; and o the uncontaminated urine is an excellent fertilizer. Urine diversion requires a specially designed seat-riser or squatting slab or pan that is functionally reliable and socially acceptable. The basic idea of how to avoid mixing urine and faeces is simple: the toilet user should sit or squat over some kind of dividing wall so that faeces drop behind the wall and urine passes in front of the wall.In recent years several factories have started producing squatting pans as well as seat-risers with urine diversion. The faeces drop down into either a composting or a dehydrating chamber. Once collected the urine can either be used directly in the garden, infiltrated into an evapotranspiration bed, or stored on site for later collection either as liquid fertilizer or further processed into a dry powder fertilizer Mixing urine and faeces Systems based on liquid separation do not require a special design of the seat-riser or squatting plate. Urine, faeces, and in some systems a small amount of water, go down the same hole. Another possibility is to drain the liquid from the processing chamber through a net or a perforated floor as in the example below. One of the main points that must be considered in liquid separation systems is that, as the liquids have been in contact with faeces, they must be evaporated, sterilized or otherwise treated before they can be recycled as fertilizer. In rural, basic toilets in warm and dry
  7. 7. climate it is possible to process liquids and solids together. Urine and faeces go down the same hole. Dry soil or a mixture of soil and ash are added to the urine-faeces mix in the pit. Biological activity, in the combination of excreta and added soil, results in a useful soil conditioner and fertilizer over time. Since some of the liquids percolate into the soil, these types are not suited to areas with a high water-table. Types of latrines considered under ECOSAN  Urine Diversion (UD) Latrines:  Wet ECOSAN (Urine Diversion) Latrines  Dry ECOSAN (Dehydration) Latrines  Composting Latrines UD Major difference between UD toilet and other types is that a UD toilet has two outlets and 2 collection systems: one for urine and other for faeces in order to keep excreta fractions separate UD Dehydration (Dry ECOSAN) latrines: Principles o The faeces / excreta are collected in a dry state in a chamber below the toilet (or squatting hole) and excreta in-side the processing vault are dried with the help of sun, natural evaporation and ventilation. o Moisture content below 25% facilitates rapid pathogen destruction. o No flush water is used at all. They use simple system to drain off the urine to a storage container. Once the chamber is almost full, the content need to be removed, further stored, used as a soil conditioner, buried or composted either in home or in local centre. o The product from UDD toilet is not compost but rich in carbon and fibrous material, phosphorous and potassium. Wet ECOSAN (twin pit pour flush) A Wet ECOSAN latrine separates urine and faeces but water is used for flushing the faeces and the faeces is sent along with the anal cleansing and flush water. The main benefits of this type of ECOSAN is that using the toilet is easier as water can be used for flushing which is a common practice in Nepal, and a separate location for anal cleaning is not required. Furthermore, as it is not much different from the more common types of toilets and there is no need to handle faeces regularly, it may be socially more acceptable than the dry ECOSAN. The main disadvantage is that it uses the same amount of water as an ordinary toilet and utilizing the faeces can be difficult.
  8. 8. Composting latrines Basic concept Use natural processes to produce compost from faeces (and co-substrates); basic principle is the biological degradation of excreta and toilet paper in a specially designed containers and enhance the process by the use of additives and adsorbents like carboniferous materials (such as sawdust, straw, hay, shredded paper, kitchen waste, etc.) thus balancing carbon-nitrogen ratio; Cleansing water (if used) can be discharged into the composting compartment (if excess liquid is drained away) IMPLEMENTATION & CONSTRUCTION: Preparatory stage of implementation a. Raising awareness b. Promotion of ECOSAN latrines Socio-cultural aspects of ECOSAN o Convenience and comfort o Privacy and safety o For women and girls, avoidance of sexual harassment and assault o Less embarrassment with visitors o Dignity and social status Common problems and trouble shooting Leakage of urine through the joint between pan and urine pipe: Urine leakage can be a problem in an ECOSAN toilet. Masons must be careful during construction, specially casting of slab, to ensure that the joint between pan and urine pipe is fitted properly. If such problem occurs, cement putting can be applied at the urine hole. Water enters into the faeces chamber during toilet cleaning: In the dry ECOSAN, the faeces vault needs to be kept as dry as possible to assist in the dehydration of the faeces and accelerate the die- off rate of pathogens in the faeces. However sometimes, water may enter the vault through the pan, through the vault opening or seepage from the walls or ground. The following measures should be taken to prevent water entering the vault: The pan should be raised slightly (about 1cm) above the floor special care needs to be taken while cleaning the toilet to avoid water from getting in the vault users, especially guests, should be instructed not to put water in the vault. The vault opening should be tightly closed if water does get into the faeces vault, some more ash or other dry materials should be put in the vault to assist in the absorption of the water.
  9. 9. Smell of urine inside the toilet: When urine is collected, it is important to store it in such a way to prevent odours and loss of nitrogen to the air. The loss on nitrogen to the air can be minimized by storage in a covered container with restricted ventilation, however this can create odour problem inside the toilet. Following measures should be taken to minimize the odour of smell inside the toilet: The end of urine collection pipe should be inserted below the lowest level of urine collected in the container. After each urination, small amount of water should be used. CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS What are Constructed wetlands? Constructed wetlands are among the recently proven efficient technologies for wastewater treatment. Compared to conventional treatment systems, constructed wetlands are low cost, are easily operated and maintained, and have a strong potential for application in developing countries, particularly by small rural communities. However, these systems have not found widespread use, due to lack of awareness, and local expertise in developing the technology on a local basis. Important natural resources have become severely threatened by poorly controlled wastewater deposition by shoreline communities, agriculture and industry. The impact of this is as follows:  A twofold increase in algal productivity leading to decline in water transparency  Phytoplankton, particularly, the cyanobacteria (blue green algae), have dominated the zooplankton.  Phosphate concentration has doubled and is currently in excess of algal requirements.  About 50% of the lake bottom is anoxic. Compared to conventional treatment systems, wetland technology is cheaper, more easily operated and more efficient to maintain. Minimal fossil fuel is required and no chemicals are necessary. An additional benefit gained by using wetlands for wastewater treatment is the multi-purpose sustainable utilization of the facility for uses such as swamp fisheries, biomass production, seasonal agriculture, water supply, public recreation, wild life conservation and scientific study .Being low-cost and low-technology systems, wetlands are potential alternative or supplementary systems for wastewater treatment in developing countries. On the basis of the dominant plants, wetlands can be classified into three groups: salt and freshwater swamps, marshes and bogs. Swamps are flooded areas dominated by water-tolerant woody plants and trees, marshes are dominated by soft-stemmed plants and bogs are dominated by mosses and acid-loving plants. The functional role of natural wetlands in water quality improvements has offered a compelling argument for wetland preservation. Although studies have shown that natural wetlands are able to provide high levels of wastewater treatment ,there has been concern over (1) possible harmful effects of toxic materials and pathogens in wastewaters; and (2) long-term degradation of wetlands due to additional nutrient and hydraulic loadings from wastewater. Efforts have therefore been made towards using constructed wetlands (CWs) for wastewater treatment.
  10. 10. Wetland systems reduce or remove contaminants including organic matter, inorganic matter, trace organics and pathogens from the water. Reduction is said to be accomplished by diverse treatment mechanisms including sedimentation, filtration, chemical precipitation and adsorption, microbial interactions and uptake by vegetation .However, these mechanisms are complex and not yet entirely understood. In recent years, a number of studies have aimed at understanding nutrient accumulation, release and removal processes in wetlands. The role played by wetland plants (macrophytes) in influencing the treatment processes in wetlands is well documented in this table below. Table 3. Nutrient uptake capacities of a number of emergent, free-floating, and submerged macrophytes (Brix, 1994) Macrophyte [Uptake capabilities (kg ha−1yr−1)] Nitrogen Phosphoro us Cyperus papyrus 1100 50 Phragmites australis 2500 120 Typha latifolia 1000 180 Eichhornia crassipes 2400 350 Pistia stratiodes 900 40 Potamogeton pectinatus 500 40 Ceratophylum demersum 100 10 Microorganisms play a central role in biogeochemical transformation of nutrients and their capability in removing toxic organic compounds added to wetlands has been reported .The results of a recent study show that organic matter turn over and nutrient cycling appears to be strongly correlated with electron acceptor availability and redox conditions in wetland soils. CWs for wastewater treatment involve the use of engineered systems that are designed and constructed to utilize natural processes. These systems are designed to mimic natural wetland systems, utilizing wetland plants, soil, and associated microorganisms to remove contaminants from wastewater effluents. Most CWs emulate marshes because soft-stemmed plants in the marshes require the shortest time compared to plants in bogs and swamps for full development and operational performance . In developed countries, CWs are used for treating various wastewater types e.g. domestic wastewater, landfill leachate, urban storm-water, and for polishing advanced treated wastewater effluents for return to freshwater resources The extensive root system of the weed provides a large surface area for attached microorganisms thus increasing the potential for decomposition of organic matter. Plant uptake is the major process for nutrient removal from wastewater systems containing water hyacinth plants, and it is related to nutrient loading to the system . Nitrogen is removed through plant uptake (with harvesting), ammonia is removed through volatilization and nitrification/dentrification, and phosphorus is removed through plant uptake. Treatment systems with water hyacinth are sufficiently developed to
  11. 11. be successfully applied in the tropics and sub-tropics where climatic conditions favor luxuriant and continuous growth of the macrophyte for the whole year. Water hyacinth wastewater treatment systems This wastewater treatment systems produce large amounts of excess biomass given the rapid growth rate of the plant. To sustain an effective treatment system, the management plan must include provision for harvesting and use of the excess plant material. Integration of WH-systems for wastewater treatment into methane/carbon dioxide production projects as means of using excess water hyacinth biomass has proved successful. At a sewage loading of 440 kg ha−1 day−1 and a hydraulic retention time of 3 days, the water hyacinth system removed 81% of BOD5 and 80% of suspended solids. From a pond area of 0.75 ha, a biomass production of 68 mg ha−1 year−1 was achieved. A methane yield of 0.47 m3 kg−1 VS added was obtained in the anaerobic digester For water hyacinth wastewater treatment systems integrated with methane production or animal feed production, optimization of productivity of water hyacinth has been shown to require frequent harvesting to maintain moderate high plant densities. This practice is suitable for maximum removal of phosphorus but not for maximum removal of nitrogen . Depending on the scale, the cost factor to be involved in extra biomass harvesting must be considered. DISADVANTAGES Despite its enormous potential for large-scale wastewater treatment and biomass production, use of the water hyacinth on full scale in developed countries has not been extensively pursued. One of the reason may be poor performance in Northern Hemisphere winters given its optimum growing temperature range between 20 and 30°C. Another likely reason is the economic feasibility of the systems. The major cost for water hyacinth systems integrated with energy production are (1) purchase of land and construction; (2) periodic harvesting; and (3) construction, operation and maintenance of an anaerobic digestion system. Given these expenses, WH systems may not compete well with the existing energy generating systems. Potential Although about a half of the world's wetland area (>450 million ha) is found in the tropics ,the rate of adoption of wetlands technology for wastewater treatment in these regions has been slow. Additionally, developed world ‘advisors’ may be entrenched in appropriate technologies for their countries and are unable to transfer their conceptual thinking to the realities and cultures of the third world. Thus, rather than assisting developing countries to develop their own constructed wetland technologies, the tendency has been to translocate ‘northern’ designs to tropical environments. Depending on the country's policy and financial situation, other reasons may hold. The potential for application of wetland technology in the developing world is enormous. As mentioned earlier, most of the developing countries have warm tropical and subtropical climates
  12. 12. that are conducive for higher biological activity and productivity, hence better performance of wetland systems. Tropical and subtropical regions are known to sustain a rich diversity of biota that may be used in wetlands. Although land may be a limiting factor in dense urban areas, constructed wetlands are potentially well suited to smaller communities where municipal land surrounding schools, hospitals, hotels and rural areas is not in short supply. This section looks at efforts made in exploring this potential. There is limited information on the level of development of wetland technology in developing countries. It appears that in some countries, basic research is being carried out, while in others, the technology has reached pilot and full scale levels for various applications. For convenience, information on types of CWs, i.e. CWs with free floating and emergent macrophytes will be reviewed separately. These include large land requirements, lack of knowledge of tropical wetland ecology and native wetland species, prevalence of mixed domestic/industrial wastewaters, and limited knowledge and experience with CW design and management. Clearly, developing countries interested in implementing this technology must identify specific research needs and develop appropriate strategies based on local parameters. A clear understanding of the biological, hydraulic and chemical processes involved is essential. For instance, information is limited concerning tropical plant species suitable for sustainable CW development. Further investigations are needed to identify and characterize tropical plant candidates in terms of their tolerance to high nutrient levels and suitability in regional climatic conditions and wastewater types. Most importantly, careful economic analysis must be conducted to determine whether CW treatment technology that is cost-effective, environmentally sensitive, and technically reliable for a given project location can be feasibly developed . Despite their many advantages, CWs have limitations as a waste treatment technology, some of which are of special concern to tropical developing countries. Assessing the feasibility of utilizing sustainable wetland technologies in developing countries will require a coordinated multidisciplinary approach involving environmental and social scientists, engineers and policymakers. It should be remembered that CWs might not always be the best alternative low cost, effective wastewater treatment systems. DRAWBACKS AND SOLUTIONS Cost of development and maintenance. Important economic considerations include: 1.1.Suitable free-land availability: If land must be purchased, it will add up considerably to the capital costs. 1.2.A relatively flat topography to minimize the construction costs.
  13. 13. 1.3.Nature of soils: Need for relatively impermeable soils to protect groundwater, nonporous liner may be installed at additional cost. 1.4.Operating and maintenance costs including harvesting of vegetation and nuisance control (e.g. insect vectors, nuisance animal Adequate water availability: Availability of water to maintain the required regime. This is particularly important to and areas where evapotranspiration has been demonstrated to exceed total water inflow during summer months for SF wetlands and caused operational problems. It is therefore crucial that appropriate design models to predict wetland hydraulics be applied. Selection and management of suitable macrophyte species: Appropriate choice of species adapted to tropical environments is of great significance. In the tropics where growth rates are high, the frequency and hence the cost of harvesting has to be considered. Use of very fast growing plants e.g. the water hyacinth that requires frequent harvesting is not likely to be feasible. Economic utilization of excess biomass and frequent harvesting costs should be well assessed before choosing such a plant. Ability to control disease vectors: Wetlands being wet for most of the time, are potential breeding habitats for disease vectors. Mosquitoes which are vectors of malaria, filariasis and encephalitis and snail vectors of schistosomiasis find very good habitats in wetlands. These diseases are endemic in many parts of developing countries in the tropics and efforts to eradicate these diseases have proved futile.Mosquito problems with free water surface flow constructed wetlands have been experienced before. In order to avoid wetlands becoming public health risks by aggravating the existing condition with malaria, mosquito control must be integrated in the design as well as the operation of a wetland. The suggested steps based on previous studies ,1)strategic removal of marginal and floating vegetation to provide open water areas to wind action and for easy access to mosquito larvae predator fish such as Gambusia affinis; 2) introduction of nematodes parasitic to mosquitoes; 3) application of low organic loading to avoid anaerobic conditions in the water column, and 4) application of chemical agents that has no residual effect in the environment e.g. products of an insect pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (B.t.i.). CONCLUSION WATER-BASIC RIGHT OF ALL HUMANS Even with such advances, though, it seems unlikely that the above mentioned schemes alone will be able to solve the world’s water and sanitary problems. Other approaches will be needed. Yet another strategy for improving water availability and safety would be small decentralized distillation units, an especially attractive approach in places where infrastructure and distribution problems are severe. One of the main issues is economical distribution of water to rural and low- income areas. Some current projects are striving to produce inexpensive distillation units that can remove contaminants from any water source. A unit smaller than a dishwasher could provide daily clean water for 100 people.
  14. 14. Such approaches will help to address the very real problem of inequitable distribution of water resources. Even within a given country, clean, cheap water may be available to the rich while the poor have to seek out supplies, at higher costs, from intermediary providers or unsafe natural sources. Technological solutions to the world’s water problems must be implemented within systems that recognize and address these inequities. India’s Sanitation for All: How to Make It Happen Providing environmentally safe sanitation to millions of people is a significant challenge. The task is doubly difficult in a country where the introduction of new technologies can challenge people’s traditions and beliefs. This report examines the current state of sanitation services in India and offers TWOrecommendations that can help key stakeholders work toward universal sanitation coverage in India: scaling up pro-poor sanitation programs, customizing investments, exploring cost effective options, applying proper planning and sequencing, adopting community-based solutions, and forging innovative partnerships.