Waste water Recycling – A Multi-Billion Dollar opportunity for India

The global dynamics are changing rapidly, faster growth in world population together with rising standard of living and increasing consumption demand of water has resulted in resource crunch.

It is estimated that by 2050 earth’s population will become 9 billion from the current population of 7 billion with the standard of living continue to rise. India is the biggest consumer of the freshwater in the world today, with about 750 billion cubic meters annually, according to the World Bank. The demand of water is increasing that exceeds the current resources available on earth. At present, there are almost a billion people who do not have access to safe drinking water. More than 80% of the used water is not treated before disposing it off to water bodies. Water used for sanitation purposes is rarely recycled in India’s urban areas. Wastewater recycling infrastructure in India’s urban areas is not properly financed and designed.  According to the immediate scenario, we need to recycle and reuse water. Clearly, we need more efficient water technologies and water management processes to meet our needs.

The existing wastewater treatment processes are expensive and require complex operations and maintenance. Also improper design, poor maintenance, frequent electricity breakdowns and lack of skilled manpower are other difficulties that existing companies are dealing with.

India’s water and waste water treatment industry is projected to reach $805 million by 2023. This growth in the market can be attributed to rising population, increasing urbanization and industrialization, growing investment in sewage treatment plants and river cleaning programs and strict government policies on polluted water discharge by industries. This is a problem with huge opportunity where Indian government is open for solutions from MSMEs, Start-ups & innovators using next-gen technologies. It’s included in government’s think tank NITI Aayog’s  Atal Innovation Mission. They’ve invited MSMEs, start-ups & inventors across the country to solve it. Winning ideas will not only get reward of up to 1Crore but also the mentorship and incubation facilities as per the requirements of the project.

In developing countries like India, the problems associated with wastewater reuse arise from its lack of treatment. There cannot be a one size fits all. Each pocket has its own unique set of challenges and hence identifying the real problem and creating customizable solutions to tackle it should be the need of the hour.



New generation of sewage treatment technologies and processes such as membrane filtration, nanotechnology, automatic variable filtration technology, microbial fuel cells etc. are needed to be circumvented according to our needs.

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