SDG 6.3—Water Quality and Waste Water

Hitesh Vaidya, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)

Globally, around 80 per cent of wastewater from cities is discharged directly into the natural environment without adequate treatment. This results in deterioration of quality of water bodies and turn a significant threat to both human and environmental health. In the context of India, this is a significant cause of concern as most cities do not have functional wastewater management infrastructure. This raises the question—how Indian cities can grow sustainably in the absence of wastewater management and reuse solutions?

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6.3 sets the target ‘to improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimising release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globallyby 2030’.

Wastewater is an untapped reservoir of resource, therefore, various missions under the Government of India such as Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban (SBM 2.0), National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT 2.0) have placed equal emphasis on wastewater treatment and reuse as part of developing a water secure India. This contributes directly towardsachieving the target under SDG 6.3.

This edition on SDG 6.3 – Water Quality and Waste Water – is a compilation of thirteen uniquely articulated articles related to the theme of urban water quality and wastewater management. The prime objective of this edition of the magazine is to capture and disseminate the perspective of experts on different aspects of urban water quality and wastewater management relevant for Indian cities. It takes a comprehensive approach to wastewater management, focusing on topics such as the wastewater management scenario and challenges in urban India, urban drain management, wastewater management in unauthorised colonies, reuse and recycling of treated wastewater, innovations and capacity building as part of wastewater management, and so on.

NIUA is committed to helping Indian cities improve their performance against each SDG Indicator. In addition to leveraging our internal resources, we partner with media houses, academic institutions and other government and non-government organisations, for research, capacity-building and advocacy outcomes. The collaboration of NIUA and eGov Magazine is a demonstration of the same. To come up with this special edition, teams at NIUA and eGov have enthusiastically worked together, to collate a diverse range of knowledge-base on the themes of wastewater management and ambient water quality of waterbodies. My sincere thanks to all the authors who have contributed to this special edition and shared their knowledge to make this possible.

Also Read | SDG 6.2—Sanitation and Hygiene