India has 16 percent of the world's population, but comparatively only 2.5 percent of the earth's land mass and 4 percent of its water resources. These already limited water resources are depleting rapidly while at the same time the demands on them are increasing. India has intermittent drinking water supplies and poor transmission and distribution networks for water. Currently, 75 percent of the rural population and 85 percent of the urban population have access to public water supplies. However, municipal agencies in many Indian towns and cities are unable to increase their water supply capacities to match population growth, especially in the urban areas. According to a recent government assessment, the water requirement for industrial use will quadruple from the current 30 billion cubic meters to 120 billion cubic meters by 2025.
The Indian water sector consists of both a drinking water/bottled water segment and a wastewater treatment equipment segment. Both are growing at a relatively high pace due to increasing health concerns and a scarcity of clean water. The total Indian water market exceeds $ 8 billion. The government sector contributes a little more than 50 percent, with the rest of the business coming from the private industrial sector. The overall water market is growing at 10 -12 percent annually, with even higher growth rates in the industrial and drinking water segments. The wastewater treatment market segment is highly fragmented and unorganized. Imports constitute approximately $110 million of the $690 million market for municipal and industrial water treatment equipment. The U.S. is India's principal source of imports of water treatment equipment, with an estimated share of 40 percent.
A growing population has increased the demand for drinking water and rapid urbanization has required increased sewage treatment. Many industries had to adopt water-recycling systems due to the scarcity of water. Growing public concern, media pressure, and renewed legislation has left industries with no option but to install water treatment equipment. At the state and local level, there is a compulsory requirement of environment clearances from pollution control boards. The recent Supreme Court directive to move polluting units out of Delhi is also likely to act as an impetus to future sets of water treatment equipment. In addition, many existing treatment plants will need to be replaced or upgraded to meet with more stringent standards.
The water treatment market is moving gradually from chemical treatment and demineralisation plants to membrane technology. However, several large user segments such as refineries and power plants continue to use demineralisation technology. Zero discharge systems and wastewater recycling are becoming increasingly popular in India.
Role of Automation in Water & Waste Water Treatment Industry
Water being a critical utility in many industries (pharma, electronics, power, etc), it is important to evaluate the benefits of automation on water and wastewater treatment plants. Let us consider certain examples to understand the importance of automation in water & waste water treatment.
Bottled water Industry & beverage Industry: If the conductivity and pH of the treated water are not monitored and controlled, they will not meet the norms specified for packaged / bottled water specified by BIS.
Pharma industry: This industry requires high purity water for formulations (purified water) and Injectables. The quality parameters to be maintained are Conductivity (<1mS/cm) and TOC (<500 ppb). Apart from this, most high purity water systems today prefer non-chemical treatment processes favoring RO-EDI-UF system. One of the feed limitations to RO is that there should be no free chlorine content. This necessitates the need of an ORP (Oxidation-Reduction Potential) meter.
Waste water treatment: The key design parameters for efficient waste water treatment includes monitoring dissolved oxygen (DO) levels during various cycles of operation. In the absence of instrumentation to monitor it, the treated effluent will not be able to consistently meet the discharge norms with respect to BOD/COD/ammonical nitrogen/phosphorous levels.