A modern passage to India’s Water Markets

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A crackdown on water pollution, new regulations and tougher action on offenders are driving significant investment in the Indian water and wastewater market. According to the new report from GWI, the NDA government is encouraging foreign players to establish partnerships with local companies as well as private sector participation, creating new routes into the industry.

Out of millions of litres of untreated water that flows into India’s rivers daily, only 30% is being treated to acceptable levels. Due to pollution becoming critical, the new NDA government is determined to take action.

India’s capital expenditure on water and wastewater infrastructure is set to increase by 83% over the next years, hitting an annual run rate of $16 billion by 2020. The wastewater treatment sector is expected to grow faster than water treatment, this alone reaching $6.78 billion in the next five years.
The clean-up of river Ganga, home of over 400 million Indians, has been made a top priority, with $3 billion guaranteed investment.
The CEO of Oval Observer Foundation, Sanmit Ahuja, told GWI Magazine that the river Ganga clean-up initiative “is a very good step in the right direction, but it is just not enough. You need the private sector to come in … and a market for treated water needs to be created.” (June, 2015).

India Water Markets, GWI’s new primary research report, reveals the government’s initiatives to transform India’s cities and large towns to rival those in developed nations. Projects such as AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) and the Smart Cities Mission have already been put in place, aiming to raise the quality of India’s water supply and sanitation level. Water and wastewater infrastructure is anticipated to constitute up to 40% of total investment, with $7.7 billion allocated in 500 towns and $7.4 billion put aside for upgrading 100 cities.

Rapid industrialization has added to an increase in water demand as the country tries to sustain its economic growth. Many new projects are expected to be implemented over the next coming years creating a strong market for water and wastewater.

Stricter regulations are being enforced by the government on wastewater discharge and freshwater consumption, causing many industrial units to face closure unless they meet the criteria.

Innovative treatment technologies will be required, creating demand for companies that can enable industrial users to treat their wastewater to a higher standard, using biological treatment systems, reverse osmosis, nanofiltration and membrane bioreactor systems.

Foreign players such as MyCelx and BioPetroClean have already started to infiltrate the market, providing solutions where Indian companies cannot offer the technologies needed.
The biggest areas of growth in the field of wastewater treatment will be in industries such as power, refining & petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and steel.

Low oil prices are driving the refining & petrochemical industry with many refineries in India operating at over 100% of their design capacity, while demand for ultrapure water treatment in the pharmaceutical sector is expected to grow by 15.2% by 2020.

Investment regions and greenfield industrial parks are being built in corridors across the country, such as the Delhi - Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Management of integrated water and wastewater systems will be required, as well as the outsourcing of operations in the form of EPC + O&M contracts.

By implementing stricter rules and regulations, the new Indian government is creating opportunities for local and international companies in the water industry. Ramping up action on pollution will require private sector participation and foreign expertise.

View the report page complete and the full table of contents at:

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Iulia Maria Preda
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