Vice President Hamid Ansari expresses concern over scarce water resources as well as the stark inequity in access to water

He was speaking at Centre for Science and Environment’s Second Anil Agarwal Dialogue on water and wastewater management in cities, titled ‘Excreta Does Matter’

New Delhi, March 4, 2013: “There is a serious lack of foresight in urban sewage and wastewater management in our country. This has led to a situation where India – which has the capacity to treat less than one third of its sewage – can actually treat only one-fifth. Untreated sewage is killing our water:” Vice President Hamid Ansari said here today, speaking at the Second Anil Agarwal Dialogue on water and wastewater management, titled ‘Excreta Does Matter’.

The two day annual get-together of activists, experts, scientists and lawmakers is organised by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in memory of its founder director, Anil Agarwal. This year, the Dialogue focused on the issue of urban water and wastewater management. About 200 participants from across India congregated in this event, which, says CSE director general Sunita Narain, “is perhaps the only gathering of this kind in the country where the civil society gets an opportunity to join ranks and have a dialogue with other stakeholders”.

The dialogue is aimed at furthering the agenda of CSE’s Seventh State of India’s Environment, a comprehensive survey of water and wastewater management in 71 Indian cities, titled Excreta Matters. The study finds most cities lacking a basic policy direction on how best to tackle issues of demand, supply and treatment of water, and of management of sewage. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Vice President said: “What comes out of the report is troubling. Cities have used up or polluted their local water resources. To quench their ever increasing thirst, India’s expanding cities have started sourcing water from further and further away. This has pushed up the cost of water, increased leakages to around 40 per cent, and sparked conflicts. Cities have to pay a heavy price for infrastructure and power to fetch this water: electricity accounts for nearly a third of an average urban water utility’s bill.”

“It is befitting that CSE has instituted these Dialogues which is not only a tribute to the outstanding environmentalist but also an useful platform to take forward his valuable legacy. Anil Agarwal was a visionary who realized earlier than most that for sustained economic growth and development in the country, a sustainable environment was a necessity,” he added.

Said Sunita Narain: “Cities plan for water, but forget about their waste. More water equals more waste, as almost 80 per cent of the water cities consume come back as wastewater. Cities have no clue how they will convey waste of all, treat it, clean rivers. 78 per cent of our sewage is officially untreated – and it is an optimistic figure, as we think it could be as much as 85 per cent and disposed off in our water bodies as well as in our groundwater.”

The Dialogue, which extends till tomorrow, concluded today’s proceedings with a unique ‘Lake and River Warriors’ meet, which brought together representatives from activist organizations which have been fighting some of the most contentious battles over water in India.

•    For a copy of the Vice President’s speech, the conference presentations and related matter, please visit our website,

•    For any details, please contact Souparno Banerjee at 9910864339 /


News Clippings

Vice President's speech
Workshop Programme
Presentations: Day 1 (Session 1)
Anil Agarwal Dialogues: Excreta Does Matter

By: Sunita Narain

Nature and Organization of IndiaÔÇÖs Water Economy

By: Tushaar Shah

Water Conflicts in the Context of Increasing Urbanisation and Industrialisation

By: K. J. Joy

Urban Water Reforms-Maharashtra-MSNA

By: Malini V Shankar

Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project

By: Amitabh Kant

Optimising Local Water Resources and Availability in Urban and Peri-urban Chennai

By: S.Janakarajan

Man Sagar Restoration Model...success through INNOVATION

By: Rajeev Lunkad

Presentations: Day 1 (Session 2)
Lakes of Hyderabad: Would they survive?

By: Anjal Prakash

BangaloreÔÇÖs Lakes and Impact on Ground Water

By: Bhargavi S.Rao

Agriculture to Tourism and Deepening Environmental Crisis in Lake Vembanad

By: NC Narayanan

Presentations: Day 1 (Session 3)

By: Himanshu Kulkarni

Urban Groundwater Monitoring and 377 million live Management

By: Sushil Gupta



Presentations: Day 1 (Session 4)

By: Deepak Kantawala

Challenges of Sewage Treatment in India

By: Prof. Shyam R. Asolekar

Urban Sanitation : Experiences and Lessons

By: Srinivas Chary Vedala

STP Technologies & Their Cost Effectiveness

By: Prof. Arunabha Majumder

Time to think Out of the Box Need of Wastewater Reuse in India

By: Uday Kelkar

Economics of Sewage Management

By: Abhay Kantak

Implementation of City Sanitation Planfrom planning to practical intervention

By: Dirk Walther

Innovative Technologies for Urban Waste Water Treatment

By: Mukesh Grover

Presentations: Day 1

(Special Session)

Anil Agarwal Dialogues Excreta Does Matter

By: Sunita Narain

Presentations: Day 2 (Session7)
Modern Problems: Traditional Solutions Climate Change/ Water & Food Security

By: Rajendra Singh

Safeguarding Rivers and Watersheds

By: Leo F. Saldanha


By: R.M.Bhardwaj

Noyyal River Pollution excreta happens!!!!

By: T. Mohan



The Musi River: a case for resource recovery?

By: Priyanie Amerasinghe

Presentations: Day 2 (Session 8)
Green Bridges-Ecotechnological Solutions for the Basin Governance

By: Sandeep Joshi


By: Prof H S Shankar

Centre for Science and Environment Anil Agarwal dialogues 4th March 2013 at New

By: T.Sampath Kumar

DEWATS Cost and its Determinants a case study from India

By: Tsephel S K Nair

Restoration of Mithi River




BioÔÇÉremediation An ecological alternative to treat wastewater

By: Sanjay Aggarwal

Presentations: Day 2 (Session 9)
Small Cities are different than large ones ÔÇô not just smaller!

By: Ashish Mathur

Urban Wastewater for Rural Agriculture: Emerging Relations

By: Alka Palrecha

Waste water utilisation practice in the East Kolkata Wetlands and why it could not be replicated

By: Dhrubajyoti Ghosh

Sustainable Waste-water re-use A strategic necessity for Indian cities

By: anand_madhavan


By: Dr. Nandini Sharma

Application of Human Urine ÔÇô Productivity and Impacts

By: Rahul Bakare

Best water reuse practices in industry

By: Ramani Iyer

Media Clippings

Hindustan Times: New Delhi, Mar. 06, 2013

Need strict norms to control river pollution

EENADU: Delhi, Mar. 06, 2013

Nation/ Pakistan/ 06/03/2013

80pc of Indian sewage flows into rivers

Ny Daily News: Mar. 5, 2013

Eighty percent of Indian sewage 'flows untreated into rivers

Radiancemedia: March 4, 2013

Vice President Hamid Ansari expresses concern over scarce water resources and inequity in access to water at CSEÔÇÖs Second Anil Agarwal Dialogue, ÔÇÿExcreta Does MatterÔÇÖ

Epaper.Jagran: March 5, 2013

The Hindu: March 5, 2013

Sewage disposal most flawed part of urban planning in India

Hindustan Times: March 04, 2013

Water crisis looming large before us: Hamid Ansari

Economic Times: March 5, 2013

Around 80 pc of sewage in Indian cities flows into water systems

Timesof India: March 5, 2013

Around 80% of sewage in Indian cities flows into water systems
Excreta Matters (Web Section)
AAD on Green Clearances 2012