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Safeguarding Water resources in INdia with Green and Sustainable technologies

Final Report Summary - SWINGS (Safeguarding Water resources in INdia with Green and Sustainable technologies)

Executive Summary:
India as the rest of world as a result of climate change and over exploitation of resources is facing a water crisis. Although over the past decades, the Indian Government has made improvements as regards availability and quality of water, the subcontinent is on track to become the world’s most populated country in less than a decade, therefore increasing the demand in water use. Additionally, effective wastewater treatment is scarce and the existing facilities are poorly operated, discharging contaminants or fouled treated waters to natural courses and therefore jeopardizing public health and the environment. “Safeguarding Water Resources in India with Green and Sustainable Technologies (SWINGS)” was a cooperation project, financed under the umbrella of the joint EU-India call where the funding was provided by the FP7 program and the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India (DST), aiming at investigating low-cost and sustainable solutions for water treatment and reuse in the country. The consortium included 20 partners 10 of which were European and 10 from India and in Europe was coordinated by AIMEN from Spain, while in India Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) was responsible for the coordination. The consortium included Research Institutions, SMEs, NGOs as well as local municipal bodies that guaranteed the participation of all the sectors of society.
Different low cost treatment alternatives for wastewater were implemented and operated through combined configurations. Amongst them: Anaerobic Digestion (AD) and Constructed Wetlands (CW) were the main technologies. These two methods operate on zero energy input and therefore regarded as sustainable approach for wastewater treatment. During the degradation of organic materials through AD process, biogas is produced. Combined AD and CW systems were complemented with low cost disinfection units based on filtration, lagooning and solar methods to provide a feasible solution for Indian WW sanitation and reuse. Besides, a decision supporting system (DSS) for selection of sustainable WW treatment technologies and an optimised sustainable pathogen technique were also carried out.

Project Context and Objectives:
The SWINGS project aimed to develop/deploy optimized schemes for low-cost wastewater management (municipal wastewater) in order to make full use of water resources (irrigation, cleaning, public and/or private demands, aquaculture farm feed) and to maximise energy savings for rural areas and community levels. The project objectives as included in GA-Annex I are as follows:
WP1: To identify and specify the anaerobic, constructed wetlands and low cost disinfection application cases and to establish a stakeholder forum to discuss and agree the business and opportunities of introducing the technologies proposed to water management in India regions.
WP2: To design and test combined technologies from anaerobic, CW and disinfection systems to promote water reuse and to develop new innovative technologies for organic, nutrient and pathogen pollutant removal from WW.
WP3: To prove and validate the AD-CW configuration operation at design parameters. Organic matter and nutrient removal efficiency will be the control parameter to evaluate the operation of the systems. The aim is to achieve a BOD, COD and nutrient (N and P) removal of 80-90%, 70-80% and 40-60%, respectively.
WP4: To know the behavior of combined AD-CW technologies when they are exposed to an organic and hydraulic overload. In addition, general guidelines for the AD-CW configuration operation will be developed.
WP5: To develop low-cost, sustainable disinfection methods to treat, and especially disinfect, the effluent of the AD-CW configuration. A second objective is to performance a rapid, reliable and cost-effective monitoring technique for the measurement of pathogens in water.
WP6: To obtain a decision support system which consists in determination of the treatment levels to be achieved and sequencing of the treatment units to be applied in order to meet the ecological, environmental and sanitation requirements. The treatment units will be evaluated against some criteria of environmental economic and social nature.
WP7: To disseminate the project results, making them well known to all relevant stakeholders, end-user relate to WW treatment and water management. To foster exploitation of the project results for the benefit of the SWINGS partners and to improve the competitiveness of the water management sector.
Taking into account that the main RTD activities (all pilot plant implementation and operation) in SWINGS project were carried out in India, the execution of SWINGS has been delayed due to several circumstances. The project has incurred in deviations in the achievement of some of the objectives defined (mainly in WP4) as well as on the schedule.
Specifically, periodic delays of funding availability from DST delayed significantly the construction and implementation of large and small AMU pilot plants (WP2 and WP3). Additionally, the complicated supervision of the pilot plant construction and installation, the unavailability of specific material for pilot plant implementation, the long time necessary to get the materials, the necessity to update the pilot plant design due to unexpected issues out of the consortium scope (drainage of KALYANI ponds, low quality of IGNTU campus STP effluent, etc.) led to a delay in the adjustment and starting operation of SWINGS pilot plants in WP3.
The situation above has caused the delay in WP2 and consequently in WP3 and WP5. Therefore, WP4 “Optimisation of AD-CW configurations” was only initiated. Additionally, dissemination activities related to optimization results have been postponed until the Pilot Plants are operated and validated.
In this moment, all SWINGS pilot plants are under operation and Indian partners will be the responsible to achieve their validation since India side SWINGS project is extended until 30th November 2016. EU partners responsible (AU, UPC, KILIAN, LIMNOS, AUTARCON, SSP) of SWINGS technologies have offered their support to Indian partners in order to push up the validation and optimization of SWINGS systems.

Project Results:
Several activities were carried out in order to obtain the construction and implementation of the pilot plants proposed in SWINGS project. The final designs, construction, implementation and operation steps of the anaerobic system, horizontal and vertical constructed wetlands and the disinfection systems were elaborated, discussed and executed. Additionally, during the process, there has been continuous video and e-mail communication and multiple periodical video-link meetings have taken place during the establishment of the treatment plants.
Several stays of EU partners responsible of the pilot plant construction (KILIAN, LIMNOS, SSP, AUTARCON, AU, UPC) were carried out in order to supervise and advance the construction of each treatment unit to be implemented at each pilot plant.
Five treatment plants were deployed at pilot scale in Aligarh (Uttar Pradesh) (AMU site), Kalyani (West Bengal) (KALYANI site), Lalpur and Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh) (IGNTU site):
Pilot plants at AMU site:
Large AMU AD-CW-disinfection pilot plant: The largest treatment system was established in a surface area of 1900 m2 foe 1000 PE. The pilot plant consists of a combination of anaerobic digestion (AD) primary treatment, constructed wetlands (CW) systems and solar driven disinfection units.
Small AMU FS pilot plant: The French system (FS) consists of two stages: a vertical flow stage with 3 beds followed by a horizontal flow wetland. The two stages of the French system have a net area of around 82 m2 and were designed for approximately 30 PE.
Pilot plant at KALYANI site: The KALYANI pilot plant treats contaminated ground water and comprises bank filtration process followed by two solar-based AO and UV disinfection systems. Depending on the quality the systems can treat up to 1000 L/h.
Pilot plants at IGNTU site:
Lalpur disinfection pilot plant: An anodic oxidation (AO) disinfection system was implemented and operated at Lalpur village providing drinking water from contaminated ground water a t a flow of 10 m3/d.
Amarkantak disinfection pilot plant: In order to provide disinfected water from a sewage treatment plant (STP), a horizontal gravity fed gravel filter of 35 m2 followed by an AO system was implemented and operated at a flow of 10 m3/d.
Other important outputs of SWINGS project were the development of a sustainable pathogen monitoring technique and a decision support system (DSS).

Potential Impact:
According to the last World Water Forum, globally the amount of wastewater discharge to water bodies is approximately 2 million tons a day and is rising with development and population growth (Global Water Framework of 6th World Water Forum, 2012). On the other hand, World Water Treatment Product Demand is estimated in 37 billion€ and world demand for water treatment products is projected to increase 6.2% per year to nearly 50 billion€ in 2015 (Freedonia, 2011). In Europe, the water and WW services play a major economic role in European countries, providing close to 600,000 jobs for more than 70,000 water services operators. Investments in the sector represent overall more than 33,000 million€ annually. The turnover for this sector is around 72,000 million€ annually (WssTP SRA, 2010).
Regarding India, 38 million m3/d of WW is generated and only 35% are treated mostly up to secondary stage (CPHEEO, 2012). The Environmental Impact Assessment Notification (2006) mentions all constructions with more than 20,000 m2 area will need prior clearance permission, which includes an important component of wastewater treatment unit. To address shortfall in wastewater treatment, the Delhi Development Authority in March 2012 made it mandatory for any new group of housing, institutional and commercial building plans to have dual plumbing systems and a mini-sewage treatment plant within the premises. This initiative has been implemented in Karnataka with encouraging results. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) specifies that housing complexes that are in excess of 10,000 m2 built up area or 50 flats need to have a sewage treatment plant on their premises and the flats should have dual plumbing. This allows the treated water to be put to non-human consumption use or secondary usage such as flushing, gardening, washing cars, etc. Along with this, KSPCB also stresses on rainwater harvesting in order to bolster the water table (The Pioneer, 2012). In 2011, Pune Municipal Corporation proposed a resolution to make mandatory for all constructions with more than 80 flats (new and old) to have an on-site wastewater treatment unit (TOI, 2011). Similarly, Jaipur too is in the process of initiating compulsory wastewater treatment units on site for all building complexes.
The SWINGS results will be exploited mainly in developing countries as India market although EU market could be also a potential market where integral and cost-effective wastewater treatment plants can be implemented for wastewater reuse in agriculture field or public uses. The commercialization of decision support systems (DSS) for selection of the best WW treatment alternative in a specific location and the use of a sustainable technique for pathogen detection can also be carried out either in India or EU. The exploitable SWINGS results are the following:
1. Decentralised pilot plant design and application procedures.
2. Design of low cost WW reuse technology based on AD and CW.
3. Optimization techniques of AD-CW configuration operation.
4. Performance of low-cost natural disinfection technologies.
5. Integral WW reuse systems.
6. Use of the DSS for selection of WW treatment alternative.
7. Development of sustainable pathogen monitoring technique.
The end-users or stakeholders of exploitable SWINGS results are the following:
Companies working on wastewater management.
Companies working on drinking water provision.
Authorities: Local (municipalities), regional or national bodies.
Agricultural cooperatives.
In order to extend the potential benefits of SWINGS project, a robust activity of dissemination and exploitation had been carried out. A brief quantification of these activities is:
Peer-reviewed publications submitted: 3
Press releases: 3
Newsletter: 3
Leaflets: 3
Short video: 2
Stakeholder forums: 3
Conference, fair or seminar contributions: 22

List of Websites:
Main dissemination activities on the website: