With the monsoon nearly a third less than what’s normaland the government on Monday launching a massive awareness campaign exhorting people to conserve water, key thermal plants across the country are wasting water and contravening a 2015 order by the Union environment ministry to use water efficiently, according to a compilation of Right To Information queries by activist group Manthan.
“Just about 51% of the plants were found to be in compliance with the regulations. Out of the total 156 plants/units, 66 claimed that they complied with the water consumption limits, while 30 admitted that they were non-compliant. For another 46 plants, either data was not available, or replies were ambiguous or the plants were closed. As other 14 plants were using sea water, they are exempted from the regulations,” Manthan said in a statement.
Thermal power plants consume, on an average, 5-7 cubic metres/MWh of water. Every reduction of 0.5 cubic metres/MWh in the specific consumption of a 1000 MW plant could save enough water in a year to irrigate 700 ha of land; or provide drinking and domestic use water to 68,000 people for an entire year, said a Central Electricity Authority report from 2012.