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Editor’s Note: A ‘Green’ Infrastructure in Our Menu

According to the findings of a new report which I recently read, the global market for water infrastructure repair technology (WIRT) market reached USD 68.8 billion in 2016. And it is expected to reach USD 92.3 billion by 2021.

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Water authorities around the world have been facing some serious backlash on how they manage their water infrastructure and plan their water resources for the future. Whether it is the problem of ‘Day Zero’ in Cape Town of South Africa, or closer to home in metropolitan cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai where water loss and stormwater management practices, at best, can be described only as reactive measures to the problems. In this issues, we have explored few trends as well as project case studies to understand the issues and share the best practices.

According to the findings of a new report which I recently read, the global market for water infrastructure repair technology (WIRT) market reached USD 68.8 billion in 2016. And it is expected to reach USD 92.3 billion by 2021 – with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.1% through 2021. This shows that there are opportunities for project companies and water experts, and the need for exciting new technologies which must be cost-efficient in long-run.

While there is a consensus that the infrastructure improvements must be the top priority in plans of smart cities, their sustainability and efficiency, in the long run, are a cause for concern.

New trenchless pipe repair technologies and remote assessment & monitoring of networks are some of the areas where we still need to achieve a lot on the ground, specifically in the developing countries. Smart water meters will also help the water utilities a lot, for example in India, in creating a robust water supply network where not only the usage will be efficient but the billing and other relevant services will be more reliable for customers.

While there could be different views on the need of huge budgets, funds and resources to create and maintain a smart water infrastructure, we tend to forget that even those water utilities in India which have a cash reserve bigger than the budget of some states have failed to implement the solutions suggested by water experts. Our performance in managing the problems of urban floods, stormwater, leakage detection and water loss shows where we are. And that is only part of the problem. New and regular investments in our infrastructure are important, but we cannot hide behind the lack of funds and resources every time. We need to our basics right.

Our focus should also be on “overall asset management” instead of only a few areas highlighted in the projects or in media. Then we would be able to create a system where each component supports the others. And that, perhaps, is the key to achieving a green and sustainable water infrastructure.

In the Tech Focus section (on Water Safety & Security) this month, we have an interesting interview with Prof. András Szöllösi-Nagy. Read his views on ‘water governance’ and you will get a good insight into the topic. We have also done interviews with two industry stalwarts from India this month – Rajiv Mittal, MD & Group CEO of VA Tech WABAG and Ranganath NK, MD of Grundfos Pumps India.

As always, I welcome editorial contributions on all the topics which you find significant for the water sector. Keep sharing…

MAYUR SHARMA
Editor
[email protected]

“If you only design menus that are essentially junk or fast food, the whole infrastructure supports junk.”
– Jamie Oliver

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