GMDA ropes in IIT-Roorkee for a comprehensive water plan for Gurugram
The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has roped in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee to prepare a comprehensive water management plan for the city, said officials concerned on Sunday.
The GMDA is the master water supplier of the city. It treats raw Yamuna water, which it receives from the Haryana irrigation department, at its two water treatment plants at Basai and Chandu Budhera. It then distributes the water to industries, commercial establishments, villages, urban residential sectors and private colonies through its vast distribution network.
The GMDA currently supplies 450 to 490 million litres daily (MLD), as per the requirement, directly to the private colonies and indirectly through the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram(MCG) and the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Corporation(HSIIC) to the rest of the sectors.
Some of the major challenges that the GMDA faces include control of the line loss, unequal water distribution and pilferage or water theft. In the current manual system, the authority does not have control over the misuse of water by end-users, leakages and pilferages. As such, it is estimated that the GMDA fails to save approximately 20% of line loss and 25% of revenue spent on annual maintenance.
V Umashankar, chief executive officer, GMDA, said, “We have asked experts at IIT, Roorkee to prepare for us a detailed project report for the better use of treated and recycled water with an emphasis on the prioritisation of investments.”
The current water management suffers from several loopholes, including unequal distribution, uncontrollable leakage and pilferage, causing a loss of approximately 400-500 MLD of water every summer, he added.
Umashankar further added that the GMDA needs a comprehensive water management system so that they can track water usage from the beginning at the treatment plant to the end, which includes the users.
“We have roughly 520 bulk users, who shall also be controlled under the new integrated water management system. We will be able to track the use of water through supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA),” he said.
IIT, Roorkee, has earlier worked on water and recycled water management plans for Noida and Greater Noida, Chennai and other cities.
Dr AA Kazmi, professor, civil engineering and environment, IIT, Roorkee said, “The present water distribution system and management needs an overhaul. The authority should also educate people to use water in a judicious manner, much like places such as Singapore, America and other countries, where high water tariff is imposed, prompting people to use water cautiously.” Kazmi is in charge of the preparation of the detailed project report for the GMDA.
“Gurugram has witnessed a population explosion in the last 10 years. As such, it is the right time to prepare a comprehensive water management plan for the city in which the focus should be on checking the misuse of water by end-users, prevention of leakages, use of recycled water and reduction of the maintenance costs,” Kazmi said, adding that authority should create awareness among residents to conserve water.
The GMDA treated water contains 250-300 TDS(total dissolved solids), which can be treated simply through normal filters instead of expensive RO filtration systems, which cause a loss of 70% water that goes down the drain.
Lalit Arora, chief engineer, GMDA, said, “Increasing tariff is not possible. However, we will try to create awareness among people to not use RO systems, which lead to water wastage. We are a non-profit organisation and we need the support of residents to conserve water. We have a roughly 150-km-long distribution network and a large number of people who are engaged in the maintenance of the network.”
The GMDA treated water should ideally be used for drinking and cooking purposes only. However, people use it to wash their cars, flush toilets, and in construction work.
The GMDA does not have a dearth of water. Yet the city reels under water crises every summer, only because of faulty water management, said a resident.
“ The GMDA should strictly regulate water supply if it wants to improve water distribution for 45 lakh people as per the Master Plan, 2031,” said Kartar Singh, who retired from the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran(HSVP) and is currently working as a consultant with a private agency on water management.