The Gist of Kurukshetra: August 2015


The Gist of Kurukshetra: August 2015


Innovative Government Initiatives For Rural Drinking Water Supply

Drinking water is water safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. Over large parts of the world, humans have inadequate access to potable water and use sources contaminated with disease vector, pathogens or unacceptable levels of toxins or suspended solids. Drinking or using such water in food preparation leads to widespread acute and chronic illnesses and is a major cause of death and suffering worldwide in many different countries. According to WHO in 2010, 89 per cent of the world’s population, or 6.1 billion people, used improved drinking water sources, exceeding the MDG target (88 per cent); 92 per cent are expected to have access in 2015. In 2015 the WHO/ UNICEF JMP projects that 605 million will still not have access. To provide safe drinking water; Government has taken some urgent actions, some new projects and programmes related to drinking water have been initiated.

The National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is a flagship programme of the Government and a component of the Bharat Nirman with the objective of ensuring provision of safe and adequate drinking water supply through hand pumps, piped water supply etc. to all rural areas, households and persons. The NRDWP (formerly’ Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme ARWSP) subsumes the programme of ARWSP, Swajaldhara and National Rural Water Quality Monitoring & Surveillance. Under this Centrally Sponsored Scheme financial assistance is provided to States/ UTs for coverage of all rural habitations, including quality affected habitations with safe drinking water provision; Sustainability measures for drinking water sources and systems; Operation and Maintenance of existing rural water supply schemes, Support activities like IEC, training, MIS and Computerization etc. and Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance. A provision of Rs. 11,000 crore has been made for NRDWP and the rural water supply sector including Rs. 1100 crore earmarked for North-Eastern Region and Sikkim. Further, 22 per cent of the total allocation i.e. 2420 crore and 10 per cent amounting to Rs. 1100 crore is earmarked for meeting expenditure on Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan respectively for the year 2014-15. [B] Budget 2015-16: Many of our drinking water sources have excess impurities like f1ouride, arsenic and manmade contaminations due to untreated sewage, industrial effluents and leaching of pesticides and fertilizers. Total Rs. 3,600 crore has been earmarked under National Rural Drinking Water Programme for providing safe drinking water in approximately 20,000 habitations affected with arsenic, fluoride, heavy/toxic elements, pesticides/ fertilizers through community water purification plants in next 3 years.

Udates in National Rural Drinking Water Programme [2014-15]: Provision of safe drinking water is a basic necessity. Rural drinking water supply is a State subject and has been included in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution of India, among the subjects that may be entrusted to Panchayats by the States. The recent updates in NRDW programme are given as follows: [i] Safe Drinking Water [2015]: In year 2015 government through the National Rural Drinking Water Programme has adopted the goal to provide every person in rural areas with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic needs on sustainable basis. In next eight years, 90 per cent of the household will be covered and provided with safe drinking water. [ii] Domestic water tap connections [2014-15]: The objective of the whole programme is to provide pure drinking water to rural people to protect them from water borne diseases. To fulfill this objective one major step from the Government side is to provide domestic tap connections in all the households. [iii]potable drinking water supply Government has decided that [i] by 2022, at least 90 per cent of households are provided with piped water supply; at least 80 per cent of rural households have piped water supply with a household connections; less than 10 per cent use public taps and less than 10 per cent use hand pumps or other safe adequate private water sources at present: [ii] provide enabling support and environment for all Panchayati Raj Institutions and local communities to manage 100 per cent of rural drinking water systems.

[B] Drinking Water and Sanitation Awareness Week [16-22 March 2015]: In view of low awareness in villages on use of toilets and safe handling of water, Government has decided to launch a “National Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation Awareness Week” across all states. The week from March 16 to March 22, was observed as World Water Day, to “accelerate awareness in villages” across the country on sanitation and rural drinking water. The focus of the campaign was to “create total awareness on Swachh Bharat Mission to keep villages clean, build and use of toilets, importance of hand washing with soap, safe handling and storage of drinking water and water conservation. The States also conducted a week long ‘state elocution contest’ on subjects like use of toilet, clean India mission and water conservation.

Future Plans of Government: Jal Suddhi: A major plan to provide clean and purified water to over 21,000 habitations will be launch in the next three years. At least 17,000 such habitations get contaminated water with dangerous pollutants including uranium, fluoride, iron, nitrate, toxic elements, pesticides and fertilizers. To be named as “ Jal Shuddhi” the programme will benefit around 47 million people in several districts of states including Punjab, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka where water contamination is acute. According to sources, under this scheme community water purifiers will be installed in villages affected due to contaminated water Innovative Technologies for Rural Drinking water [2015]: An Exhibition cum workshop was organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water Supply in Janurary, 2015. Many exhibitors presented innovative rural drinking water technologies in this workshop. Some innovative technologies were:

[1] PurAIl online water purification device: PurAIl solutions are online NON-ELECTRIC water purification solutions which work on a simple chemical based technology. It has an online Chlorine CPU with replaceable water purification cartridges, for continuous operation. PurAIl solutions use NSF approved and certified chemical (NSF- National Science Foundation, USA) for drinking water, which delivers an appropriate dose of chlorine and controls disease-causing organisms in water systems.

[2] Capacitive Deionization Technology (CDI) using carbon aerogel: Untreated water flows through an unrestricted capacitor type module consisting of numerous pairs of high-surface area carbon aerogel electrodes. Carbon aerogel contains a very high specific surface area (400-1100 m2/g BET) and a very low electrical resistivity (< 40 m-ohm-cm). The positive and negative electrodes respectively adsorb anions and cations in the water solution upon polarization of each electrode pair by a direct current (DC) power source.

Water on the Wheels-Jal Doot: This is integration of following three technologies. [a] UF-Membrane based surface water filtration technique. [b] PTO shaft drive to meet the power required where no power is available. [c] Multistage filtration - sand filtration > water softener > silver impregnated coconut shell carbon > micro filtration > ultra filtration. Solar Operated/Stand Alone Ground Water Treatment Plant: This system also works using solar Energy. [a] Suitable for treatment of Arsenic, Fluoride and TDS . [b] Arsenic is removed using disposable granulated media. [c) Fluoride is removed by using regenerative / disposable type Granular Media. [d]
Surface water is treated with micro and ultra filtration. [e] Saline water is treated with RO system.

[4] Jal-TARA Water Filter: Sand filters commonly used for water treatment are of two types a slow sand (2 to 6m3/ m2/day) and rapid sand (100 to 150 m3/m2/day) filters. Though there are many other ways of treating water, no single process is as effective in simultaneously improving microbiological and physio-chemical qualities of water as slow sand filtration. It is for this reason that slow sand filters are very much favoured in developing countries where land and labour constraints are not pressing, and the ease of operation, maintenance and cost are most important. Jal-TARA filter has been developed by Development Alternatives, New Delhi.

[5] Aqua+ and Antenne WATA Technology: The current standard of sodium hypochlorited as per IS: 11673 : 1993 reaffirmed 2003 prescribe strength to be at 4% concentration. The beauty of Aqua+ is that it treats the water and makes it safe for drinking even at a lower concentration of 0.6%. Therefore a new grade need to be added to the existing BIS standard to encourage electro-chlorinator based sodium hypochlorited production.

[6] Supremus Aqua standalone water purification system : Supremus Aqua is stand alone water treatement systems having capacity of 1000 LPH/600 LPH and based on low pressure Ultra-Filtration technology conforming to WHO requiurements for safe drinking water. It operates without electricity and only requires daily back wash as part of its maintenance. There is no replacement of parts of its maintenance. There is no replacement of parts and no wastage of water. Low pressure ultra-filtration membrane technology is highly effective in removing all non dissolved elements in feed waters. The system removes Pathogens. Total Suspended Solids and Turbidity from water.

[7] Disinfection by Electro chlorination: The process is based on the partial electrolysis of sodium chloride (brine solution). The direct current is aaplied on and brine is dissociated into Na+and CL-ions, causing chemical reactions. The chlorine and hydroxide ions react to form hypochlorited. By adding sodium-hypochlorite to water, hypochlorus acid (HOCL) is formed.

[8] Water Treatment using nanofiltration (NF) membrane : This technology simplifies RO treatment by mitigating the effects of membrane fouling. It users nano filtration (NF) membrane which is selective from of an RO membrane. NF rejects bacteria and viruses completely similar to RO, but it selectively removes hardness salts to a greater extent than NaCl salt and therefore requires far less pressure than RO.

[9] Iron Removal by using Iron Specific Resin (INDION ISR) : INDION ISR iron removal technology which is far superior to the existing technologies finds application in hand pump, tube well and tap as source of water. As compared to the existing technologies, this technology is robust and can handle greater iron load per cubic feet.

Need for: there is an urgent need for participation of stakeholders, proper funding arrangement and proper monitoring and evaluation system in the rural drinking water programmes. Some suggestions are

[1] Participation of stakeholders: Emphasis must be laid on the participation of stakeholders at all levels, from planning, design and location to implementation and management.
[2] Village Water Committees: ‘Village Water Committees’ should be actively involved in the maintenance of drinking water supply schemes and a system of beneficiary participation introduced.
[3] Funding Arrangement: Suitable institutional and funding arrangements through community participation need to be evolved to get the installations working.
[4] Participatory Communication: Participation of village women and NGOs, voluntary organisations should also be encouraged.
[5] Information, Education and Knowledge: Information, education and knowledge should be given on the health and hygiene issue.
[6] Water quality monitoring and surveillance systems: In view of the increasing problem of water quality and the resultant health hazards, it is necessary to institutionalise water quality monitoring and surveillance systems. Water quality surveillance should be done by an independent organisation, more appropriately by the Health Department which should be provided with adequate funds for the task.
[7] Water Quality Management: The choice of technology in case of schemes related to water quality (detection of fluoride, iron, arsenic), shall be district/block specific. Further research is required to improve available technologies for treatment of chemically contaminated water, in terms of their simplification and increased cost effectiveness.

Drinking water has been included as flagship program of the Government. In India, investments in community water supply projects have increased steadily from the 1st plan to the 12th plan. However, the health benefits in terms of reduction in waterborne disease have not been commensurate with the investments made. Though health sector is bearing the burden of water related infectious diseases, presently it does not have adequate institution or expertise for monitoring and surveillance of community water supply programmes in the country.
 

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