The state government has identified four potential sites across the state to set up plants that will treat and manage water in areas that are plagued by water woes.
Depending on varied degrees of water-related problems, the government has zeroed in on Chiplun, Palghar, Akola and Sangli which faces problems such as water scarcity, seawater intrusion, water evaporation and industrial contamination
respectively. These sites will house facilities to counter water scarcity through technology-based solutions from both within and outside India.
Setting up of these pilot plants is part of a nationwide effort after the Supreme Court in April directed the department of science and technology to come up with technological solutions to deal with water scarcity.
Soon after, the department launched a water mission titled ‘Technology Mission: Winning, Augmenting and Renovation for water’.
According to US-based, Worldwatch Institute, India will be a highly water stressed country from 2020 with a projection of less than 1,000 cubic metres of water being available per person a year.
“Water scarcity is a very serious issue and we are looking globally at solutions. It will be a combination of technology from India and abroad. The technology intervention from other countries will be modified keeping local needs in mind,” said Lakshman Prasad, convener of the mission.
To start with, the pilot project aimed at providing solutions will be implemented across 50 sites across India with a population of 10,000. If successful, it will then be scaled up to cater to a population of one lakh in the same or
different water basins.
“While various state governments have suggested sites for these plants, surveys are being carried out to check the feasibility,” said a state government official requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
Added Prasad, “We have to check if there is a demand for water in a particular area for domestic, irrigation or industrial purposes as well as the supply potential in those areas.”
The mission has identified 25 water challenges ranging from inadequate harvesting of rainwater resources, non-potability on account of salinity to inadequate water body management practices including lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and ground water sources as well as inadequate floodwater management systems.