“Need to raise awareness about the reuse of wastewater in the textile industry”
MAHARASHTRA, one of the major contributors to India’s textile and clothing production, also has the largest number of polluted rivers in the country. A 2019 report from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) said about 67% of textile industries polluted. Center for Responsible Business and The ReFashion Hub have developed a set of policy recommendations that can promote wastewater reuse and water management to address the problem of water contamination and water scarcity in the state.
The national campaign was launched in collaboration with Alliance for Water Stewardship and YWater to raise awareness of wastewater reuse in the textile industry. In Maharashtra, industrial facilities are rated on a scale of one to five stars depending on their level of particulate emissions. While five stars indicate compliance, one star indicates high pollution and non-compliance. According to the MPCB, in the whole of Maharashtra, 20 textile units belong to the “two star” category, while 23 textile units belong to the “one star” category. Devyani Hari, Director of Programs, CRB, said: “The water crisis in Maharashtra is a serious concern, which has led to a whole range of reforms and programs in the water sector. The national water policy program took shape in 2003, followed by the formation of the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) in 2005. These programs and reforms aim to adopt a multisectoral approach to better manage water, with the hydrographic basin as a unit of development. . “
“It involves stakeholders and water users from several industrial and agricultural sectors in determining prices, water allocation, etc. In 2019, the state government fulfilled its commitment to promote wastewater reuse, ”she said. Several regulations have come into force to mandate the treatment of wastewater reuse in industrial treatment, such as cooling in thermal power stations, heavy machinery and other non-potable uses. “It has created provisions for the transfer of water rights (WET) and issued certificates for wastewater reuse (WRC). Currently, industries located in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) areas are required to recycle up to 50 percent of their water consumption, ”she added.
Several consultations and virtual stakeholder meetings were organized in Maharashtra by CRB with support from The Refashion Hub to assess awareness of water reuse and wastewater treatment. Inputs were sought from stakeholders in Maharashtra’s textile industry, on the current scenario of wastewater reuse in the textile industry and on policies and incentives that can bring positive transformation. Several stakeholders believed that a regional approach was essential to tackle water scarcity and pollution. Collecting data through studies on water sources, availability and quality of water in relation to groundwater (underground and surface level) in the region would help to develop water indicators.