In the beginning of 2018, Shri. Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and his counterpart from Israel, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu jointly announced that "both countries are working together on a Five Year Joint Work Plan for strategic cooperation in agriculture and water". Though the details of the cooperation is yet to take a final shape, it is high time for India to know how water is “treated” in India and Israel.
Isarel, is currently undergoing one of toughest of its kind scarcity of water. However, the country remains as one of the role models for the water rich states. The nation currently treats and reuses 95% of it’s wastewater. About 85 percent of that highly purified sewage gets reused for agriculture. Another 10 percent is used to increase river flow and fight forest fires. The remaining five percent is released into the sea.(See more news on Israel's initatives in reuse of water: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170425-israel-supplies-water-to-outlawed-outpost-in-the-jordan-valley/)
When compared to Israel India remains far behind in smart usage of water amid severe scarcity of water for domestic, agricultural and industrial needs. According to estimates by the Cental Pollution Control Board-CPCB, currently, only 30 per cent of India’s wastewater is recycled. How India is lagging behind with regard to treatment of wastewater, is evident from the state of sewage systems in the country. Most of urban India’s sewage systems lead directly to rivers or lakes. Various estimates shows that such untreated sewage flown to natural water bodies comes to more than 70% of the total sewage generated!
Israel is working hard to achieve the mark 100% treatment and reuse of water, which can in turn add 70 million cubic meters to its overall natural water resources available. Because it was just a few years ago Israel, a country two-thirds arid, declared an end to the water shortage. Whereas India, which is such a vast country, has a huge amount of waste water generated day by day, flow it to rivers and ruins the precious fresh water resources!
India accounts for only 4 per cent of the world’s water resources despite hosting 17 per cent of the world’s population, says a study conducted by the World Bank. It means the water crisis is a looming large for India. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) estimates that by 2030, India’s water demand is expected to rise to 1.5 trillion cubic meters. Perhaps the only way through which India can bridge the divide between water haves and have nots is waste water recycling and reuse. In other words, absence of proper infrastructure and awareness with regard to wastewater recycling is the root cause for over exploitation of India’s water resources.
A paradigm shift in the water consumption pattern is imperative in India. The shift from“use and throw – linear” to a “use, treat, and reuse – circular” is needed to manage wastewater. By reusing water, the India can significantly increase the utility gained out of all available water. The reused water can also be used towards meeting the country’s vast agricultural demand. Ultimately it will help preserving the available fresh water resources for the coming generations.
Let Israel, which strives for 100% treatment and reuse of water be our source of inspiration. Israeli water sector has achieved this distinction because they could converge the means of infrastructure, technology, and awareness generation, with active intervention of the state.
What is remarkable id Israel experience in water reuse is the high-level waste water monitoring systems based on real time data about sewage and treated water, based on internet of things (IoT). This helps to corrective measures to maintain quality of treated water in no time. Let us hope that India would learn from Israel’s experience.(Get more information on real time data about sewage and treated water, based on internet of things (IoT), log on to: http://www.greenvironmentindia.com/innovation.html)
Click the link to know more about India-Israel joint statement on Strategic Partnership: http://www.mea.gov.in/bilateral-documents.htm?dtl/29357/IndiaIsrael+Joint+Statement+during+visit+of+Prime+Minister+of+Israel+to+India+January+15+2018
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