A bureau of water conservation, on the lines of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, must be created to popularise water saving and recycling methods among domestic and industrial users, experts said here on Friday.

In a conference on water management organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the experts from industry and government sector underlined the need for a holistic approach towards efficient water use and long-term strategies to meet the growing demand. A dedicated bureau for conservation would help promote recycling of the resource.

Vibhu Nayar, Project Director, Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water Resources Management Project (IAMWARM), called upon the industrial sector to ensure self-regulation on water use and check pollution.

Industries must create a water map to assess and reduce water use in manufacturing processes.

Benchmark methods

The CII must also come up with benchmarking methods for best procedures to decrease water footprint, he said.

Highlighting government initiatives to improve water productivity, Mr. Nayar said that industries also had to contribute with cost-effective technologies. Public private partnership projects could be implemented with public sector holding ownership of assets.

Experts from the industry said that nearly 80 per cent of the industries did not have rainwater harvesting structures.

S. Raghupathy, executive director, CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, said that besides promoting green home concept, industries must redesign themselves to generate their own water resource and ensure zero water discharge.

Emphasising on water pricing policy and augmentation of storage capacity, N.K. Ranganath, chairman of the CII conference, said that the government may adopt multiple water pricing according to consumption rate or the economic strata of the consumers. It must also encourage project implementation through PPP mode.

The lack of sufficient qualified personnel to execute water related projects was highlighted at the conference.

While S. Gopal, managing director of Chemplast Sanmar, elaborated on the water conservation techniques, including recycling and zero discharge of water, R. Raghuttama Rao, managing director of ICRA management consulting services, spoke about the water availability scenario in the State and the need to make reuse of water mandatory in cities.

Tan Kok Tian, Deputy Director of Public Utilities Board, Singapore, highlighted water management there.

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