Press release 2020-02-21

Focus on clean water when IVL opens office in India

IVL continues to grow internationally – most recently in India where a new office has opened in the multi-million city Mumbai. A significant part of our activities there will focus on water treatment, an IVL area of strength. In one of the larger projects, IVL will ensure that two large wastewater treatment plants projected in Mumbai follow good building practice.

– It is positive that we are now established in India and able to make a contribution with our water treatment expertise. In countries like India, which are depleting groundwater reserves, there is great need for comprehensive solutions to reuse wastewater and exploit the resources it contains, says Östen Ekengren, vice president of IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

The Indian economy has developed rapidly in the 21st century. At the same time, the country is one of the world’s largest polluters and has crying environmental needs. For example, Mumbai, with its over 18 million inhabitants, still lacks effective wastewater treatment – just like many other cities in India.

– Uncontrolled wastewater emissions are a major problem in India. It has been estimated that as much as 90 per cent of all wastewater in the country is discharged without any treatment whatsoever. This has resulted in the pollution of a large part of India’s surface water, and in some areas the groundwater as well, says Rupali Deshmukh, business developer at IVL.

Another major problem is water availability. India is one of the world’s largest and most populous countries – 17.5 per cent of the world’s population lives in India – but the country possesses only 4 per cent of the world’s water resources. With climate change, urbanization and rapid industrialization, water shortages are only expected to get worse in the future.

To tackle a slew of water shortages, the Indian government has introduced a number of key initiatives – among others those run under the auspices of “Swach Bharat”, or Clean India campaign. One of the ambitions here is the construction in the coming decade of sewage treatment plants in all major cities. In Mumbai, city authorities have decided to build seven large facilities. IVL has been contracted to participate in the construction of two of these. IVL’s role is to oversee, from an environmental perspective, the quality assurance of the design and plans for the facilities, to propose improvements and technical solutions in sewage technology and to ensure that the plants are in constructed accordance with good practice.

To this end IVL has recently established an office in Mumbai run by both Swedish and Indian staff.

– Putting functioning wastewater treatment in place will contribute to better health and living standards for many people in Mumbai, and we appreciate being given the opportunity to participate in this initiative, says Rupali Deshmukh.

An important aspect of IVL’s development work is the reuse of purified wastewater. IVL has previously shown that with the right technology, wastewater can be recycled both cost-effectively and so cleanly that it can be returned to the groundwater or reused in agriculture and industry.

– It’s a question of looking at things in new ways and seeing wastewater as a resource. With the right technology, in addition to providing clean reusable water, purification plants can also generate biogas and nutrients that can be returned to nature, says Östen Ekengren.

For more information, please contact:
Östen Ekengren, osten.ekengren@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 65 43
Rupali Deshmukh, rupali.deshmukh@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 65 56

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