Region/Countries: Asia, India Industry: Water / Clean Technology Date: April 2017

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Even as its population continues to increase, India is working to provide all of its inhabitants with clean drinking water and wastewater treatment.

Water scarcity in India is expected to worsen as the total population increases to 1.6 billion by 2050. Population growth has led to added stress on groundwater resources and pollution of surface water. A lack of water conservation measures like rainwater harvesting is adding to India’s water woes.

According to a 2016 Central Water Commission report, water levels in 91 major reservoirs in the country are alarmingly low – at just 25 percent of capacity – 30 percent lower than the previous year, and 25 percent less than the average storage levels in a decade.

$3 billion has been allocated to India’s Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to expand and improve drinking water supply in the country.

Per capita water availability is estimated to decrease to 1,140 cubic meters per year by 2050. In urban areas, about 60 percent of the population depends on surface water sources, but the availability and quality of the water supply are unreliable. Of 1.7 million rural homes, 1.3 million get 40 liters of water per person per day. This amount must meet all the households’ needs, including drinking, bathing, washing clothes and utensils, etc.

There are 66,093 rural homes in India where drinking water sources are contaminated by one or more substances such as arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, iron or salinity, although the numbers have declined from 84,292 over the last two years. It is estimated that each year, 37.7 million Indians are affected by waterborne diseases, 1.5 million children die of diarrhea, and 73 million working days are lost due to waterborne disease.

Of the 62,000 million liters per day (MLD) of sewage generated in urban areas, only 18,883 MLD is treated. Around 80 percent of water supplied for domestic use comes out as wastewater.

Most cities in India do not have facilities to treat human excreta or chemical industrial waste, and some existing plants are outdated. India’s wastewater treatment system needs both new technology and expanded capacity.

The market for wastewater treatment plants in India is largely disorganized, with almost half of the market share being held by small and midsize domestic players. This segment offers lucrative growth prospects in the coming years. Major players in this sector include Hindustan Dorr-Oliver, Ion Exchange, SFC Environmental Technologies, Siemens Water Technologies, Thermax, Triveni, UEM, VA Tech Wabag.

India’s packaged drinking water market is growing at a rapid pace. It was valued at $0.9 billion in 2013, with the top five players (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Bisleri, Parle and Dhariwal) accounting for 67 percent of the market share. This market is expected to grow at a compound annualized growth rate of 22 percent to reach $2.4 billion in 2018. High demand for potable water, increases in government support for water reclamation, and rising foreign investment by global market players such as Va Tech Wabag, Ecolab Inc. and Suez Environment S.A. are the major factors supporting this projected growth.

India’s water and wastewater treatment industry is in the growth phase, and offers huge opportunities for Wisconsin companies involved in producing potable water; treating wastewater and sewage and solid, liquid and chemical waste; developing water technology; and engaging in environmental services, desalination, equipment manufacturing, engineering and consulting.