Despite Efforts, Clean Water Is Scarce In India’s Industrial Gujarat State
Despite Efforts, Clean Water Is Scarce In India’s Industrial Gujarat State.
In late February, the country’s Supreme Court mandated that all polluting industries must ensure that waste water discharges meet quality standards by installing effective primary effluent treatment facilities by March 31 2017.
River and lake pollution is a major problem across much of India, and regulatory inertia toward industrial waste water has exacerbated the situation.
In Gujarat, even regions with otherwise plentiful surface water sources are affected as creeks and rivers turn into black cesspools thanks to increasing municipal waste and insufficient sewage treatment plants.
The Gujarat Pollution Control Board forced non-compliant industrial units to implement a time-bound action plan, including a series of strategies to mitigate water and air pollution within the industrial clusters.
These steps are beginning to show some results.
According to the agency’s 2014-15 annual report, industrial use of pollution-abatement technologies and upgrades in common effluent treatment plants have mitigated chemical oxygen demand and ammoniac nitrogen in water sources, both measures of industrial pollution.
And neither state nor national environmental controls have improved the quality of water in Gujarat’s rivers, lakes, creeks and coastal areas outside the specified industrial clusters.
And given the many new Gujarat government incentives aimed at improving industrial environmental governance, the investment required to upgrade environmental protections no longer looks quite so unprofitable.
Such innovation is not only now financially feasible, it could also help industries to insulate themselves against future water scarcity in the state.