Reduction in freshwater demand
India is sitting on a potential water crisis time bomb. Freshwater supplies are unable to keep up with population and urbanization. Groundwater levels in India are among the fastest depleting in the entire World, according to a NASA report. Read more about drought in India.
Toilet flushing consumes approximately 25 per cent of household fresh water. With wastewater recycling in India virtually non-existent, greywater recycling has a potential to conserve as much as 25-40 per cent fresh water flowing in the Indian water lines.
According to a World Bank study, percentage of Indian population with access to sanitation improved from 17 per cent in 1990 to 40 per cent in 2015. However, more than 50% of the country’s population still doesn’t have access to proper sanitation. As per another UNICEF report the national Indian average of sanitation, hygiene and water safety is only 34 per cent of which urban population constitutes 58 per cent and the rural population accounts to a paltry 23 per cent. Over 75 % of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe households of India do not have access to safe sanitation. India currently has the highest number of children who suffer from stunting due to poor sanitation. Read more about sanitation in India.
Achieving freedom from open defecation is not possible only by building new toilets. Sufficient availability of water for toilets flushing is more important than building toilets itself. Greywater recycling offers huge potential in this area. Cheaply reusing as much as 40% greywater provides a consistent source of water for toilet flushing.
Reduction in sewage production
Sewage handling and treating capacity in India is truly abysmal. Wastewater treatment has long been a neglected area in urban water planning. Current sewage treatment infrastructure in India can treat only 30% wastewater. The rest is randomly dumped in rivers, seas, lakes and wells, polluting three-fourths of the country’s water bodies. Read more about water pollution in India.
Greywater generated in household is mixed with sewage and carried in the same sewage pipelines. Diverting household greywater for recycling and reuse will potentially reduce sewage production by as much as 40%. In the context of environmental conservation, this is the biggest advantage of using greywater recycling for toilet flushing.