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Water and Wastewater Management



Water and Wastewater Management:

Water Management is the activity of planning, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources. Water being a transparent, tasteless, odourless and chemical substance is the main constituent of Earth’s living organisms. One of the biggest concerns for our water- based resources is the sustainability of the current and future water resource allocation. As water becomes more scarce, the importance of how it is managed grows vastly. Finding a balance between what is required by humans and what is needed in the environment is a vital step in the sustainability of water resources.

Wastewater is any water that has been affected by human use. It is used water from any combination of domestic, industrial, commercial or agricultural activities together with surface or groundwater. At a global level, around 80% of wastewater produced is discharged into the environment untreated, causing widespread water pollution.

Wastewater Management has become an extremely important area of focus due to its increasing health awareness and population pressure. The goal of wastewater management is to clean and protect water. This implies that water must be clean enough so that it can be used by people for drinking and washing, and by industry for commercial purposes.

Stages in the wastewater management


Sources of water

Ground water:It is the water present beneath Earth's surface in soil pore spaces. It is used for public water supplies. Polluted groundwater is less visible and more difficult to clean up than pollution in rivers and lakes. Groundwater pollution results from improper disposal of wastes on land. Major sources include industrial and household chemicals and garbage landfills, excessive fertilizers and pesticides used in agriculture. In India, groundwater regulation is controlled and maintained by the central government and four organizations:

  • 1) Central Water Commission
  • 2) Central Ground Water
  • 3) Central Ground Water Authority
  • 4) Central Pollution Control Board

Surface water:It is any water that collects on the surface of the earth which includes oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, or wetlands. Fresh surface water is maintained by rainfall or other precipitation, and it's lost through seepage through the ground, evaporation, or use by plants and animals.

Rain water:Rainwater harvesting is a process for collecting and storing rainwater from rooftops, land surface or rock catchments using techniques such as underground check dams. The factors responsible for the increase in the growth of the rainwater harvesting market include increasing awareness among people regarding scarcity of water, depleted water resources, ever increasing population, and rapid industrialization.

Sea water: It is water from a sea or ocean. On average, seawater in the world's oceans has a salinity of about 3.5%. It constitutes a rich source of various commercially important chemical elements. Much of the world’s magnesium is recovered from seawater. Sea water when desalted, can furnish a limitless supply of drinking water. Many large desalination plants have been built in dry areas along seacoasts in the Middle East and elsewhere to relieve shortages of fresh water.

Water Pollution

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, oceans, aquifers, etc usually as a result of human activities.

Remedies for controlling water pollution

  • Waste water treatment: It consists of removing pollutants from wastewater through a physical, chemical or biological process. The more efficient these processes are, the cleaner the water becomes.
  • Green agriculture: Globally, agriculture accounts for 70% of water resources, so it is essential to have climate-friendly crops, efficient irrigation that reduces the need for water and energy-efficient food production. It is also crucial to limit the chemicals that enter the water.
  • Storm water management: “Stormwater management is the effort to reduce runoff of rainwater or melted snow into streets, lawns and other sites and the improvement of water quality” according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is crucial to avoid pollutants from contaminating the water and helps to use water more efficiently and effectively.
  • Air pollution prevention: Air pollution has a direct impact on water contamination as 25% of human induced CO2 emissions are absorbed by oceans. It causes a rapid acidification of our oceans, and threatens marine life and corals. Preventing air pollution is the best way to prevent this from happening.
  • Plastic waste reduction: 80% of plastic in our oceans is from land sources. In order to reduce the amount of plastic entering ocean, we need to reduce our use of plastic globally, and to improve plastic waste management.
  • Water conservation: It is central in making sure the world has better access to clean water. It means being aware that water is a scarce resource, taking care of it accordingly, and managing it responsibly.