Research | Centre for Science and Environment


The research as a part of COE activity at CSE includes policy research on decentralized wastewater management (DWWT), rainwater harvesting (RWH) and water efficiency(see presentation). As a part of CoE mandate, CSE has prepared and submitted various reports and policy papers in the area of sustainable water management to Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).

Decentralised Wastewater Treatment
Decentralised Wastewater Treatment: A way to manage septage in Shimla

CSE has submitted a report on septage management in Shimla as a part of its deliverable as CoE in the area of Water Management under MoUD.

The main city of Shimla is connected to a centralised sewerage network but the outer areas are not adequately connected to this network. This paper explores the alternative methods of wastewater treatment and reuse based on the decentralised approach. It also covers techno- economic feasibility of the project for Shimla city and highlights the status of sewage management in the region along with role of septic tanks in unconnected areas.

CSE proposed implementation of Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) in the identified zones by making improvements to the existing system. Decentralised system is an economical, cost effective alternative and offers long-term sustainability of the system.

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Policy paper on Septage Management in India

CSE has developed a "Policy Paper on Septage Management in India" as deliverable of Centre of Excellence in the area of sustainable water management under the Ministry of Urban Development.This document on septage management aims to assist the Government of India towards preparation of national level septage management policies and guidelines.

Access to improved sanitation in urban India has risen but the management of onsite sanitation systems such as septic tanks remains a neglected component of urban sanitation and wastewater management.

Septage, which is a fluid mixture of untreated and partially treated sewage solids, liquids and sludge of human or domestic origin, flows out of septic tanks and enters waterways or is generally disposed into nearest water body or low lying areas.

This leads to serious health and environmental implications. This situation demands a well- defined regulation, guidelines and management strategy for septage in the country. The septage management approach, discussed in this report, is an effort to assure that septage can be managed in a responsible, safe, and consistent manner across the states.

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The policy paper can also be viewed at the website of Ministry of Urban Development under National Urban Sanitation Policy
Rainwater Harvesting

Capturing Rainwater: A way to augment Chandigarh’s water resources


CSE has submitted a report on city wide rainwater harvesting for Chandigarh as a part of its work as CoE under MoUD. Chandigarh does not have any surface water source and there is a steep decline in the groundwater level in the city. The city has very few options for sourcing water, hence recharging the confined aquifers from where water is being tapped, becomes a necessity. Every summer, newspaper reports quote residents residing on the second and third floors in the southern sectors of the city complaining about the shortage of drinking water.

Residents have also held a series of protests in several parts of the city.

The water shortage is likely to get worse in the coming years as the population is already more than double the planned capacity for the city. CSE proposes way to augment the water sources of the city through harvesting the rainwater endowment of the city.

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Green Building Water Management

Rating System for Water Efficient Fixtures: A way to sustainable water management in India


CSE has developed a paper titled ‘Rating System for Water Efficient Fixtures in India’, as a part of its work as CoE under MoUD.

Building water use constitutes a very high percentage in the total city water use profile. The nature of water use within a building is a directly related to the building functions, type of equipments installed etc. Fixtures in bathrooms, toilet and kitchen consume more than 40% of total building water use. This is a cause of concern since India is facing severe water crisis in terms of declining availability and quality affecting millions of people. But, there is ample potential for efficiency improvement!

At present, India has no standards or specifications of water efficiency for water using fixtures in toilets and kitchens.Several countries across the world have initiated rating system for water efficient fixtures to facilitate consumers to identify products that are more water efficient. CSE through this paper has attempted to highlight the present status and need for introducing a water efficiency rating system for water using fixtures.

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Roadmap for Rating System for Water Efficient Fixtures: A Way to Sustainable Water Management in India

CSE has developed a"Roadmap for Rating System for Water Efficient Fixtures: A Way to Sustainable Water Management in India" as deliverable of Centre of Excellence under the Ministry of Urban Development. This document includes, background of the preparation of roadmap including the draft framework proposed for introduction of rating system for water efficient fixtures in India. The document intends to facilitate understanding on the existing legal and institutional options available for mainstreaming the rating system.In addition, it also proposes additional options that can be considered to facilitate effective implementation of this crucial water reform.

Besides this, the document covers another crucial aspect related to instruments and tools available in the form of manual, standards, guidelines etc. to improve understanding and implementation of water policies especially on aspects like conservation, efficiency etc. The final section provides details on the proposed roadmap inclusive of roles and responsibilities, time frame, dissemination, support agencies etc. to undertake and implement the rating system for water efficient fixtures in India.

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