The Circular Water Management solution supports businesses in increasing adoption of the 5R solutions (reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, replenish) as strategies for water management. In India, as stewarded by over ten WBCSD members, the solution focuses on knowledge and advocacy as key enablers. The knowledge exchange objective is achieved through a series of webinars for sharing of good practices on varied topics of member interest like Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD), desalination, cross-sectoral synergies for wastewater reuse etc.
The webinar series was kickstarted with ABG’s Grasim Chemicals sharing their experience of implementing a ZLD solution at their unit in Renukoot, Uttar Pradesh. ABG is India’s largest Chlor-alkali producer while the Renukoot unit is the first ZLD plant of Grasim chemicals, and the successful implementation of this plant is leading the way for other six locations to look forward in achieving the ZLD status.
ZLD is a wastewater management strategy to eliminate the discharge of liquid waste through adoption of water-efficient solutions. It has gained interest from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) in India and has been mandated for water-intensive sectors like textiles, pulp and paper, tanneries and distilleries.
In March 2015, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) of the Government of India ordered the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) of nine states along the Ganges basin to seek action plan from industries on implementation of ZLD. This has increased the focus of the industry towards water, especially consumption and treatment efficiency. As a result, adequate treatment of industrial wastewater with maximum reuse and recycling has become a growing need due to fresh water scarcity and its contamination.
The Renukoot unit used the 3R approach of reduce, reuse and recycle to reduce their water consumption by almost 45 – 50% and effluent generation by 85%. The balance wastewater after the 3R approach is passed through Double stage RO plant and Multi-Effect Evaporator to get water with TDS<100 mg/l and salts in dry form. The unit has an online effluent monitoring system with a flow meter and web camera installed based on the guidelines by the Central Pollution Control Board. Jain Irrigation quoted that “Grasim management had put in efforts to reduce water use to optimum level and maximize reuse of treated effluent before planning for ZLD. It was a very nice experience to understand optimization procedures, reduction of water consumption, and learn about ETP management through Grasim Industries.”
32 participants from 15 member companies participated in the webinar to learn about ZLD, the challenges involved and key technical, financial and operational aspects of the system deployed. The lessons learned from the webinars as well as the experiences of implementing circular management practices by businesses will be compiled into the Business Guide on Circular Water Management -specific to the Indian context.
This feeds directly into the WBCSD’s Water project approach which aims to strengthen local action on water in stressed geographies, while positioning business as a responsible stakeholder for water on key policy and advocacy platforms.