Water supply systems in developing countries like India suffer from many issues such as inadequate and poor design, ageing infrastructure, operation and maintenance problems, and economic stress. In a bid to tackle these bottlenecks, the concept of 24×7 water supply has gained significant interest in India. The idea of 24×7 water supply was initiated in 2005 with the conceptualisation of the first pilot project in Karnataka’s Hubbali-Dharwad, Gulbarga and Belgaum municipalities. The establishment of modern water utilities in these cities was aimed at ensuring universal and continuous access to water supply, regardless of the income level and housing status. Since then, 24×7 water supply projects have been undertaken in many other cities such as Nagpur, Delhi, Pune and Chandigarh.
Indian Infrastructure takes a look at the developments in some of the 24×7 water supply projects across Indian cities…
Coimbatore 24×7 water supply
The Coimbatore 24×7 water supply project is regarded as one of the flagship projects of the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC). The project entails an investment of Rs 29.72 billion, covering 60 wards in five zones that form a part of the old city area of Coimbatore. In a notable development, the CCMC launched a smart 24×7 water supply project at Cheran Nagar in Kavundampalayam on April 25, 2022. It is a first-of-its-kind internet of things-based water supply project and is funded by the central government’s Department of Science and Technology – Water Technology Initiative. It is a two-year pilot project. The system is implemented through five distribution metering areas (DMAs) where a total of 1,800 houses will receive equal amounts of water. The total amount of water supply to each household will be approximately 675 litres. In order to ensure this, two DMAs and 33 sub-DMAs have been installed in the area to monitor and control water supply.
Puri 24×7 water supply
In July 2021, Puri became the first Indian city to provide 24×7 water supply to its 0.25 million residents and over 200 million annual tourists. The Sujal-Drink from Tap Mission implemented by the city supplies 24×7 quality drinking water directly through taps. It was launched in July 2021. Under the mission, 120 drinking water fountains were fitted on the road leading to the Jagannath temple. In addition to this, nearly 32,000 metered taps were set up across the town. The all-inclusive mission also caters to 66,000 slum dwellers.
Chandigarh 24×7 water supply
Chandigarh’s Manimajra 24×7 water supply project, being implemented by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, involves new waterworks with 4 million gallons of additional storage, 13,700 smart meters, 20 km of new lines and automated monitoring of the water supply system. The existing 37 tube wells will be phased out. The Government of Punjab laid the foundation stone for the development of the project on November 13, 2021.
In May 2021, the cost of the project was revised from Rs 4.4 billion to Rs 5.91 billion due to the addition of new components. The new components included the upgradation of Sector 39 waterworks and the replacement of 2 km of pipelines in different areas. The overall work is expected to be completed by August 2023. The construction work on the project was expected to commence by March 2022, however, an update on the same is not available.
Panjim 24×7 water supply
With the administrative approvals and expenditure sanctions in place, Panjim, the capital of Goa, is expected to get a 24×7 water supply system with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). The sanctions have been granted for eight components (out of 13) by Imagine Panjim Smart City Development Limited. The Public Works Department Division III will be in charge of all these projects. It is expected that the 13 components will entail a total investment of Rs 0.77 billion.
Most water utilities and urban local bodies across the country are working to improve their water infrastructure facilities to meet the burgeoning demand for water. In order to ensure better water supply in the country, the implementation of 24×7 water supply projects, involving improvements to the existing water infrastructure, has become imperative. Along with the focus on infrastructure development, it is also essential to equip water utilities with the financial, technical and digital knowledge to ensure timely completion of water supply projects. Further, the incorporation of a single GIS database for all utilities, SCADA, a reduction in non-revenue water, public awareness and appropriate policy interventions should be put in place to improve the country’s water supply.