Efficient Usage of Non-Potable Water

 Water being a state subject, management of water is mainly State Government responsibility. However, the Central Government supports States/UTs towards sustainable management of water resources. The Government of India is actively promoting the use of treated waste water for non potable use such as flushing, fire protection, vehicle washing, landscaping, horticulture etc. Further, the use of more efficient water using appliances and location specific water efficient sanitation alternatives is being encouraged.

The National Water Policy-2012 mandates recycle and reuse of water as general norm and advocates treatment to specified standards before reuse of waste water. It provides for properly planned tariff system to incentivize reuse of treated water in various sectors including industries, agriculture and others. It mentions that reuse of urban waste water from kitchen and bathrooms, after primary treatment should be encouraged in toilets ensuring no human contact. 

Besides, a National Framework on Reuse of Treated Waste Water has also been adopted by Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation. The Framework acts as a guiding document for the States to formulate their Reuse Water Policy and implement the same in a time bound manner. A draft policy template has also been developed as part of the framework to aid the preparation of reuse policy by the respective State Governments.

Under Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM-U) 2.0, launched on October 1, 2021, with a view to achieve garbage free status, which also involves a component of used water management to ensure that no untreated waste water is discharged into the environment, all used water is safely contained, transported, and treated, along with maximum reuse of treated used water, in all cities with less than1 lakh population. The cities with population more than 1 lakh are provisioned to be funded under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) 2.0 scheme of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) for used water management. The treated used water is recommended to be used for flushing toilets, gardening, agriculture, horticulture, industrial, municipal, and water body rejuvenation.

Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) BIS has formulated a special publication, namely, SP 7:2016 ‘National Building Code of India 2016 (NBC 2016)’ covering all aspects of planning, design, construction and operation and maintenance of buildings including plumbing services, planning and design of water management system and strategies for water efficiency. Part 9 of the Code ‘Plumbing Services (Including Solid Waste Management)’, Section 1 ‘Water Supply’, clause 4.2.4 and suggests use of treated waste water for purposes such as, water for flushing, landscape irrigation and cooling towers for HVAC system.