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World Water Day 2023 observed on 22nd March, Focus on Water Management in Small Cities

New Delhi: World Water Day is observed on March 22 each year to create awareness about the global water crisis. On the occasion of World Water Day, a webinar on the topic ‘Used Water Management in Small Cities’ was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The webinar on lines of this year’s theme- “Accelerating Change” highlighted the need for increased investment, innovation, and governance to ensure effective management of water resources. The Swachh Talks involved discussions around adoption of a circular economy approach by small towns in design and execution of used water management projects, showcasing best practices.

Cities like Indore, Surat, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), Tirupati, Chandigarh, Navi Mumbai, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Greater Visakhapatnam, Karad, Panchgani, Bhopal, Baramati and Mysore are Water+ certified. These 14 cities have been trailblazers in achieving the highest standards of sustainable sanitation and used water management. They have not only been able to collect and safely treat used water but have also been able to re-use water after secondary/ tertiary treatment.

The Union Budget 2023-24 lays highlights on the Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (UIDF) for Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. It also emphasis the commitment to realizing the goal of circular economy and focuses on Waste to Wealth while emphasizing on ‘Sustainable Cities for Tomorrow’.

In order to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put the focus on sanitation, the Hon’ble Prime Minister had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014. Over the past eight years, urban India has witnessed a radical change in the field of urban sanitation.

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, launched by the Prime Minister on 1st October, 2021 with the overall vision of creating ‘Garbage Free Cities’, introduced Used Water Management (UWM) as a newly funded component for towns with less than 1 lakh population. The Mission is committed towards improving the overall Used Water Management ecosystem in Urban India by ensuring that no un-treated used water is discharged into water bodies.

In convergence with AMRUT and AMRUT 2.0 Mission, run by the Ministry, ambitious targets of setting up STPs and creating water treatment & recycling ecosystem in Cities is envisaged.

Also with the Water+ protocol cities are also assessed and certified on collection, transportation, treatment and reuse of both used water and faecal sludge to prevent environmental pollution. In the Ganga Towns, the implementation is being done in convergence with Namami Gange Mission under Ministry of Jal Shakti.

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