Thursday, January 24, 2008

Indirect Potable Reuse for India

Planned indiret potable reuse (IPR), using advanced water treatment processes such as membrane filtration, has predominatly been the preserve of highly developed weathly countries such as the USA (and soon, Australia). However, it seems that such high-tech IPR practices may not be so endemic to such highly developed countries for very much longer.

An article in today’s Khaleej Times (published from Dubai, UAE) reports plans afoot to develop an advanced membrane-based IPR scheme for the city of Bangalore in India.

Bangalore is, in fact, among the most developed cities in India, thanks largely to a thriving technology industry. The New York Times reported in 2006:

“Bangalore is now home to more than 1,000 technology firms, ranging from tiny two-person start-ups to large multinational companies like Intel, Texas Instruments and Cisco Systems. In a teeming city of seven million, the industry employs about 300,000 workers, who are turning into a rising middle-class…”

“Young, comparatively well-paid technology workers, many in their 20s, dress in the latest American and European clothing labels, speak in accented English, drive foreign cars and shop in fancy malls. Home prices are shooting up in the city, and in the last couple of years, local newspapers advertise apartments and villas costing more than $1 million.”

Nonetheless, advanced water and sanitation infrastructure are not characteristics that most Indian cities are known for. Sewage is discharged into major rivers from many Indian cities after only very poor or no treatment. Such practices are –tragically- major contributors to the appaling public health conditions that continue to plague cities like Calcutta and Delhi.

So it was with a high degree of optimisim that I read this article reflecting the on-going development of Bangalore. It is to be hoped that knowledge, skills and capability developed in this city will, in time, be transferable to other Indian cities desperatly in need of improved water management.

I don’t have any further information on the proposed Bangalore scheme, other than what is in the article below. However if you do, I’d be grateful to know more.

Bangalore early evening (photo © Andy2Boyz)

Bangalore to Recycle Used Water for Drinking Purposes
Khaleej Times
24 January 2008

BANGALORE - The growing demand for water has forced the authorities in Bangalore to take up a project to promote use of recycled water for drinking purposes.

The demand for drinking water has reached 1.2 billion litres per day in Bangalore against the availability of 930 million litres per day. The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) has decided to implement a Rs4.72 billion project to recycle water for drinking purposes under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

According to a statement from BWSSB, the project has been sanctioned by JNNURM’s Screening Committee, which met in New Delhi last week. Under the project, BWSSB will collect used water in Visvesvaraya valley on the outskirts of the city. “The used water will undergo tertiary treatment, ultra filtration and membrane process. This will help the authorities to supply an additional 135 million litres per day once the project is completed by 2010”, the statement said.

Presently, the drinking water supply to Bangalore is being met by River Cauvery, which flows at a distance of almost 120kms from Bangalore, and the Thippegondanahalli reservoir. But, the 810 million litres from Cauvery and 150 million litres from Thippegondanahalli reservoir are inadequate creating a shortfall of more than 250 million litres per day.


Anonymous said...

Now that Snow Manners has been unable to rescue Toowoomba from the scourge of recycled water, perhaps he might want to try his luck in India...

Anonymous said...

Sorry to have to use your blog site for this particularr comment Stuart, but the 4350 blog site seems to be unable to accept this response to a letter by Cr Manners of Toowoomba.

I am trusting that readers of that blog site will find their way here, and so get to read this response.

Cr Manner's letter is all very well, but he also has not stated fully the recommendations of the Taskforce report.

For the long term security of a water supply to Toowoomba the main recommendation was for a link into the south east grid via Wivenhoe. Whether it is to Cressbrook or Perseverance makes little difference.

Emu Creek Dam was also once again assessed as an option, having previously been assessed as part of the 2004 TCC report on water supplies for the future, then again in the PB 2006 report, and once again came up short as a long term supply, mainly on reliability and cost grounds.

The next main recommendation of the Taskforce report was for the link to Wivenhoe to be fast tracked so that an early supply could be secured as part of drought contingency. The fast tracking of the Wivenhoe option was favoured over implementing the Norwin groundwater option because ultimately it would become part of the long term supply, and so was a better option to direct capital funds.

The state government did not initially accept this part of the recommendations, instead stating that the pipeline would be in place by 2012, about the same time when Traveston dam will be completed.

The announcement by the premier of the $20 million to start the investigation of fast tracking the line is just a belated acceptance of the recommendation of the Taskforce report.

Should Cr Manners succeed in his bid to be mayor, his demands of the state government to change direction and review this issue will most likely fall on deaf ears. The state government has outlined the strategy to secure water for Toowoomba-now they will just implement that strategy.

Cr Manners as mayor can use his in-house technical and administration staff to review the issue again if he wishes-he will have those resources at his disposal. But it is doubtful that they will be able to find any new evidence that indicates that the link to Wivenhoe is not the optimum long term option to secure a reliable water source for Toowoomba.

Coal Seam Gas water, Norwin, even a long term reliance on the GAB and Basalts have been assessed at one point or another, and each have very serious doubts about the level of reliability required for a large volume of supply over the long term. And as options, the capital cost to access these resources, particularly the coal seam gas water and the western GAB water would be large in comparison to the link to Wivenhoe.

The Wivenhoe link has been on the drawing board as the optimum long term water supply to Toowoomba for a long time, even before the whole recycling strategy was put forward. Of course a recycling scheme for Toowoomba would also be an ideal component of the water supply to Toowoomba, which would have allowed a delay in the need for a link to Wivenhoe, but that issue has been decided.

Cr Manners and co. have already successfully scuttled a good idea put forward by this current council. Why should the community now allow him an opportunity to scuttle this strategy?

Thanks for letting me use this site for this posting.

It seems that the free flow of deabte on the waterfutures and 4350 site is reserved only for those making supoortive comments about Cr Manners, or derogatory comments about his opponents.

The council are thin-skinned said...

"It seems that the free flow of deabte on the waterfutures and 4350 site is reserved only for those making supoortive comments about Cr Manners, or derogatory comments about his opponents."

Boy the Toowoomba City Council really get their knickers in a knot when comments are moderated during an election period.

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