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Fostering Resource Circularity and Efficiency in the Management of Urban Water Systems in India

  • Published on November 17, 2021

Wasteful water management and disintegrated working arrangement of urban water utilities along with growing water demand have led to serious water scarcity in many Indian cities. This issue brief is based on the studies on water flow assessments and water-energy nexus in tier II Indian cities. The brief reflects on the potential of resource circularity in urban water systems while enhancing efficiency, equity, and resilience of urban water systems by adopting Integrated Urban Water Management (IUWM) and accommodating decentralised and nature-based solutions in municipal systems. The brief also discusses solutions to the multitude of issues and challenges identified in urban water and wastewater systems to meet the increasing water demand efficiently and sustainably by use of data points of the city of Dehradun.

This issue brief on urban water-energy nexus comments on the potenal of resource circularity while enhancing efficiency, equity and resilience of urban water systems, and the advantage that decentralised soluons offer to contribute to this aim. It is based on a study of water flow assessments in er II cies in India. The objecve of the study was to build an understanding of the relaonship between the efficiency environmental impacts of the urban water system. Energy consumpon, GHG emissions and water resource flows were studied and linkages between increasing system efficiencies and resource resilience were idenfied. While flow assessments were conducted for four cies, two Indian cies – Dehradun and Bhubaneswar were studied in detail and data collected from the published public sources was also validated through stakeholder engagement and some primary studies. The study is limited to the energy assessment and associated environmental impacts of material flows, and energy consumpon recorded in the municipal ulity system. The water extracted from unauthorised personal borewells or/and any other means of water sources in the community outside the public ulity system and the wastewater generated from the consumpon of the resource extracted outside the system is recognised but not included in the calculaons. The study acknowledges that source and sink sustainability is crical to the urban water system resilience and addresses the opmisaon of the urban municipal water system to reduce stresses on sources and sinks outside the city.

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