Globally over 80 of the wastewater generated goes

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Globally, over 80% of the wastewater generated goes back to the ecosystem without being treated or reused . Another fact is that 1.8 billion people use drinking water contaminated with faeces which increases their risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio . Safely managed wastewater is an affordable and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials. The benefits to our health, and in terms of economic development and environmental sustainability, business opportunities and „green‟ jobs far outweigh the costs of wastewater management. Wastewater sources: In India, about 29,000 million l/day (mld) of waste water is generated from class-I cities and class-II towns, out of which about 45% (about 13,000 mld) is generated from metro cities alone. A collection system exists for only about 30% of the wastewater through sewer lines, while treatment capacity exists for about 7,000 mld. Industrial water consumption accounts for 22% of the global water used. The industrial sector in India discharges around 30,730 million cubic metres of effluents, without proper treatment, into waterbodies. Unfortunately, most common effluent treatment plants are not performing satisfactorily due to improper operations and maintenance. Run-off from agriculture fields is another major source of pollution. Policy intervention proposed: 1. At the national and regional levels, water pollution prevention policies should be integrated into non- water policies that have implications on water quality such as agriculture and land use management, trade, industry, energy, and urban development. 2. Wate r pollution should be made a punishable offence. The effectiveness and power of the “ polluter pay principle ” should be considered. 3. Various policies, plans and strategies to protect water resources should be participatory, allowing for consultation between government, industry and the public. 4. At the local level, capacity building enables the community to make decisions and disseminate them to the appropriate authorities, thus influencing political processes. 5. Market-based strategies such as environmental taxes, pollution levies and tradable permit systems should be implemented, and can be used to fight against or abate water pollution . 6. Incentive mechanisms such as subsidies, soft loans, tax relaxation should be included in installing pollution management devices. 7. In industrial pollution management, technological attempts should be made through cleaner production-technology . 8. The application of eco-friendly inputs such as biofertilizers and pesticides in agriculture and the use of natural dyes in textile industries can reduce the pollution load considerably. 9. Since fresh water is increasingly getting scarce, wastewater generated in urban areas can be used for sub-urban agriculture, industry, and even sanitation and certain domestic applications after treatment.
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