India’s much-needed investment in its water infrastructure is examined in the following post by Saranya Balu, an AWWA summer intern. She is studying environmental engineering as a graduate student at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
In India, most of the water utilities are governed by Municipal Corporations, and their current infrastructure supports water supply for only few hours a day. The existing water pipeline system isn’t keeping up with the increasing population and ever-growing metropolitan cities. Additionally, more than 25% of the pipelines are prone to leaks, which means investment in this infrastructure is desperately needed.
Another issue occurs when people illegally connect to the water system, which decreases water supply for others. The Mumbai Municipal Corporation detected about 2,000 illegal connections to the water supply last year alone. And a survey conducted by Administrative Staff College of India revealed that there were more than 100,000 illegal connections in the big city of Hyderabad, a state capital of Andhra Pradesh.
Adding to the water loss problem is that most water utilities repair water pipes only when leaks are detected. About 90% of the leaks are not visible, which means leak detection specialists must be brought on to examine each situation.
Investing in water infrastructure in India might increase the water supply in the distribution system, prevent illegal connections and leaks in the pipelines.
There is some good news. As an initiative, the Government of India - through the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs - launched a program called “Smart Cities Mission” last year; about 90 projects were proposed with funding needs totaling $1.8 trillion. Fifty-nine cities were selected to improve core infrastructure through innovative ideas and solutions. With this implemented program, the water and sewage infrastructure is expected to improve in India.
To learn more about AWWA’s efforts in India, visit AWWAIndia’s website. To learn more about water infrastructure needs in North America, visit our Water Infrastructure webpage.
References used for this blog post:
Asian Megatrends by Rajiv Biswas