In contrast the demand for fresh water is growing rapidly, estimated to go from 813 BCM today to 1,447 BCM by 2050, whereas the resource base remains constrained at 1,122 BCM. The industrial sector, which is one of the major users of fresh water, mostly puts fresh water to non-potable. Wastewater treated up to secondary level can easily be utilized for this purpose freeing up massive amounts of freshwater for domestic consumers. This can easily be achieved by improving the municipal wastewater collection, treatment and reuse thus not only recycling wastewater which is otherwise lost but also save the downstream water bodies from pollution. This is the win-win proposition of VIL’s model for the all the stakeholders, a unique example of creating value from waste whilst contributing positively to environmental sustainability.
Amongst the challenges thrown up by increased urbanization in India one of the bigger ones is massive increase in wastewater generation. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) estimates that about 80 percent of the water supplied for domestic use is discharged as wastewater. This pollutes the downstream areas as it enters untreated into these water bodies. Around 38,250 MLD of wastewater is generated by class I and class II cities in India, which is estimated to grow 3.5 times to 132,250 MLD by 2050. The current wastewater treatment capacity can handle only 30 percent of the total generation, out of which too only 55 percent is operational. This translates to an investment gap of over USD 7 Billion for class I and class II cities by 2016-17.