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WATER CONSUMPTION NORMS AND UTILITIES MANAGEMENT

Conference Paper · November 2016

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WAC-2016
 

WATER CONSUMPTION NORMS AND UTILITIES


MANAGEMENT
 

ABSTRACT
Potable water supply deprivation prevails in major metropolitan cities of India. The per capita water
availability in these cities is nowhere near the standards laid down by Bureau of Indian Standards or
Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation. Optimization of water usage in
sustainable construction is yet to be captured in the design codes. This paper shall demonstrate
through Case Studies and Global Literature Survey that the actual water consumption for sutainable
living in residential and business (office) buildings in India is significantly less than what is currently
specified in the IS codes and CPHEEO manual. Water saving of 30-40% achieved in usage needs to
be accounted for in source, storage, treatment and distribution network planning and design to
achieve better economics.

Keywords: Water consumption; Water metering; Indian Metros; Utilities Management: Sustainable
Solutions

INTRODUCTION

With rapid urbanization and increasing population, demand for water has increased many fold in India
in last two decades. It is projected that by 2022 India will become the most populous country in the
world. As of 2011 Census of India, there are 46 metropolitan cities, having a population of over 1
million and above; and 8 mega-cities viz. Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad,
Chennai, Kolkata, & Surat, having a population more than 4 million. Renewable water availability
below 2,000 cum/person/year is taken as an indicator of water scarcity and India is already in the
danger zone. While agriculture amounts to approx.. 55% of gross water usage, the domestic water
usage is approx. 34%. Residential and Business Buildings account for more than 80% of the domestic
water use on annual basis. Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India mandated
Environment Impact Assessment as pre-requisite for sanctioning of large construction projects by all
states in 2005 and water conservation norms with special emphasis on use of treated wastewater for
non-potable applications became mandatory. However, there is still lack of clarity on water
consumption norms with various codes and reference manuals being practiced e.g IS codes,
CPHEEO manuals and local state byelaws. The domestic water consumption for a community
exceeding 1,00,000 population with flush toilets is projected as 150-200 Litres per capita per day
(LPCD). For a business building the water consumption has been fixed at 45 LPCD. All government
buildings now need to be at least GRIHA 3 star rated projects. With emphasis on water conservation
in building usage and ban on use of fresh water for construction, flushing, irrigation and industrial
cooling, it is time to relook in the water consumption norms also. Indian metro utilities water losses in
transmission is approximately 40% plus while the same in progressive Asian states like Singapore
and Japan is less than 5%. It needs to be understood that one of the major problems in India is not
physical scarcity of water rather continuing poor water management. Requirement of the day is to
rationalize the water consumption norms, smart metering, smart water distribution, regulations on
water pricing, reuse and maintenance. It is important to develop a framework towards optimizing the
water consumption norms to realistic consumption which shall have positive impact on management
of water utilities in Indian Metro Cities.

Authors(s): 1. Mr. Girish Chandra Mishra, Director, Saviram Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Noida and PhD Candidate at
RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA; 2. Dr. Vanita Ahuja, Professor and Program Director, School of
Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA
WAC-2016
 

URBAN WATER CYCLE


 
It may be noted that in 2005, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India issued mandate
under Environmental Protection Rules of 1986 for prior Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and
approval of all large construction projects exceeding 20,000 sqm built-up area or plotted development
exceeding 50 HA plot area. Use of potable fresh water is no longer allowed for non-potable usage like
flushing, horticulture and industrial cooling. National Green Tribunal has banned use of fresh water for
all construction activities in Delhi-NCR and only treated STP effluent water can be used for it. This
has changed the urban water cycle as demonstrated in Figure 1 below:

 
Out of the overall water consumption in India, the break-up of water use is as below [1]:

Agriculture : 54.6%

Industry : 6.4%

Domestic use : 33.8%

Miscellaneous : 5.2%

Authors(s): 1. Mr. Girish Chandra Mishra, Director, Saviram Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Noida and PhD Candidate at
RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA; 2. Dr. Vanita Ahuja, Professor and Program Director, School of
Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA
WAC-2016
 

The Central Pollution Control Board has specified the following water quality for source of water for
potable use:

Class of
Designated-Best-Use Criteria
water
 Total Coliforms Organism MPN/100ml shall
be 50 or less
Drinking Water Source without  pH between 6.5 and 8.5
conventional treatment but after A  Dissolved Oxygen 6mg/l or more
disinfection  Biochemical Oxygen Demand 5 days 20°C
2mg/l or less

 Total Coliforms Organism MPN/100ml shall


be 500 or less pH between 6.5 and 8.5
Dissolved Oxygen 5mg/l or more
Outdoor bathing (Organised) B
 Biochemical Oxygen Demand 5 days 20°C
3mg/l or less

 Total Coliforms Organism MPN/100ml shall


be 5000 or less pH between 6 to 9 Dissolved
Drinking water source after Oxygen 4mg/l or more
conventional treatment and C
 Biochemical Oxygen Demand 5 days 20°C
disinfection
3mg/l or less

 pH between 6.5 to 8.5 Dissolved Oxygen


Propagation of Wild life and 4mg/l or more
D
Fisheries  Free Ammonia (as N) 1.2 mg/l or less

 pH betwwn 6.0 to 8.5


 Electrical Conductivity at 25°C micro
Irrigation, Industrial Cooling, mhos/cm Max.2250
E
Controlled Waste disposal  Sodium absorption Ratio Max. 26
 Boron Max. 2mg/l

Below-E Not Meeting A, B, C, D & E Criteria

The EIA guidelines specify water harvesting by installation of sewage treatment and recycling plant
and making the tertiary- treated effluent fit for reuse in non-potable applications like flushing,
horticulture and industrial cooling.

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

EIA norms wrt water conservation stipulate the following:

1. Use of water conserving fixtures to reduce the water demand from 30-40%
2. Use of recycled STP water for non-potable application to optimize the use of fresh water

It may be further noted that Govt. of India has mandated all new government buildings to be GRIHA 3
star rated and the same requires use of water metering in bulk usage points and sub-metering in local
areas/levels. With use of meters in various zones and applications of water supply, a robust data bank

Authors(s): 1. Mr. Girish Chandra Mishra, Director, Saviram Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Noida and PhD Candidate at
RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA; 2. Dr. Vanita Ahuja, Professor and Program Director, School of
Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA
WAC-2016
 

is likely to get developed which shall be used to re-verify the conventional water norms and water
reduction achieved in buildings constructed under EIA rules and will bring necessary changes in the

water supply design, planning and management practices. A comparison of traditional vs sustainable
urban water management is presented in Table 1 below:

FACTORS AFFECTING WATER DEMAND

The water demand is based on various determinants like climate, culture, eating habits, working
environment, social-economical development; and physiology[7]. It has been seen that the distance

Authors(s): 1. Mr. Girish Chandra Mishra, Director, Saviram Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Noida and PhD Candidate at
RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA; 2. Dr. Vanita Ahuja, Professor and Program Director, School of
Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA
WAC-2016
 

travelled by a pipe to supply water from a source (likely leakage factor) and metering (deterrent
against water wastage) also affect the water demand as indicated in Figure 2.

 
Figure 2. Factors Affecting Water Demand 
It has been demonstrated in studies in several projects constructed in last one decade under GRIHA,
IGBC-LEED and USGBC-LEED, that the actual water consumption can be reduced by from 30-55%
by using water saving fixtures and reusing recycled STP water for non-potable use. An extract from a
news article is reproduced below in Figure 3 wrt minimum 10% water saving in flushing by using a 6 lit
per flush water closet against conventional 10 lit per flush. Additional water saving can be achieved by
using water saving fixtures in lavatory basins and in shower mixers/shower heads. It may be noted
that installation of water meters in not mandatory in many cities of India-most prominent example
being NCR township of NOIDA. It is to be noted that water metering is being promoted as a pre-
requisite in Smart City Planning Indicators also and now wi-fi enabled water meters with 700 m
operational range are being used in many developed countries and being tried in some installations in
city of Hyderabad also.

Water Consumption Norms for Residential Apartment Houses (Flats)


There are minimum three reference documents to be followed by a planner/engineer to arrive on a
water consumption statement in India- EIA norms by State Environmental Appraisal Committees, IS
codes published by Bureau of Indian Standards, and local municipal board norms. Two examples can
be taken for comparison as below:

State District/Town Water Demand for Residential Apartment Housing (Flats)

SEAC norms (EIA) IS Code norms Local Building


Byelaws

Haryana Gurgaon 135 lpcd 150 lpcd 172.5 lpcd

Authors(s): 1. Mr. Girish Chandra Mishra, Director, Saviram Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Noida and PhD Candidate at
RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA; 2. Dr. Vanita Ahuja, Professor and Program Director, School of
Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA
WAC-2016
 

Uttar Pradesh Noida 86 lpcd 150 lpcd 135 lpcd

Figure 3: Water Use Reduction through Sanitary Fixtures (Reference News Article)

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies the supply and access to water in four service
categories, viz. (1) no access (water available below 5 LPCD); (2) basic access (average approx.. 20
LPCD); (3) intermediate access (average approx.. 50 LPCD); and (4) optimal access (average of 100-
200 lpcd). It may be noted that many European Countries use the water consumption norm of 100-
110 LPCD. A study was conducted in India in 2007 [7] taking the baseline water demand of 100
LPCD and it was found that average water consumption in Indian Cities is only 92 LPCD. The mean
per capita water supply in Delhi was found to be 78 LPCD, in Mumbai 90.4 LPCD and in Kolkata
115.6 LPCD. Also, the quantity of water consumed in most of the Indian Cities is not determined by
demand but supply. It is also reported that the loss of water through distribution pipe lines is over
40%. It has been reported few years ago that Delhi generated calculated . 615 MLD of sewage per
day against an installed capacity of STPs of 530 MLD but the influent discharge to the STPs was less
than 360 MLD. Hence, it is prudent to rationalize the water consumption norms at the end user’s level

Authors(s): 1. Mr. Girish Chandra Mishra, Director, Saviram Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Noida and PhD Candidate at
RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA; 2. Dr. Vanita Ahuja, Professor and Program Director, School of
Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA
WAC-2016
 

and establish use and discharge patterns in current scenario based on the development of new
technology of water saving fixtures and smart metering.

Water Consumption Norms for Business Buildings (Offices)

The water consumption norm in an Office Building as per IS codes is 45 LPCD. However, with use of
water closets with flushing cistern (3/6 lit), lavatory/sink basins with low flow faucets (less than 6 lpm)
and urinals with less than 1 lit/flush water use, the actual water requirement being recorded on the
project sites is less than half (reduction of 50%). Some of the project data is reproduced below:

Project name Year of commissioning Occupancy level Water Consumption/person

Adobe Complex,Noida 2004 100% 20 LPCD

Vatika Business Park,

Gurgaon 2007 100% 22 LPCD

Makers’ Maxity, Mumbai 2007 100% 22 LPCD

DLF SEZ, Chennai 2008 100% 20 LPCD

HCL SEZ, NOIDA 2014 100% 20 LPCD

It may be noted that in absence of revision of the IS code norms, the municipal authorities insist on
water and sewage utilities to be planned for 45 LPCD. The city infrastructure is also planned
accordingly and is underutilized. There is a need to review these norms and adopt the same
corrective measures in the new codes and standards being developed. It is important to note that the
baseline requirement needs correction in this case since the Indian Environmental Laws make the
use of water saving fixtures, reuse of recycled STP treated water and rainwater harvesting a pre-
requisite for project design development.

Conclusions

Water is recyclable but availability of fresh water is limited. Consumption of fresh water in agricultural
and industrial activities is also equally important for the economic sustainability of a nation but with
increasing urbanization and population growth the stress on the water sources is increasing day by
day in India. Many metro cities in the country like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Gurgaon etc. have
been receiving much less water than what is being mentioned in the design codes and planning
norms, Also, the leakages in the distribution system are very high. Instead of resorting to adhocism in
water system by increasing the water demand values while not even meeting the minimum standards
at point of use needs introspection. It is important to establish the actual water consumption standards
by developing a statistics of water consumption in various parts of the country by proper, correct and
continuous metering and adopting the knowledge gained by monitoring the water usage in current
crop of sustainable green buildings. If the water savings as observed by the Authors in Residential
and Business Buildings can be adopted in building standards there is a likely correction of 30% in the
water consumption norms which will favour positively for the projected 25% incremental population of
the Country in next 25 years.

Authors(s): 1. Mr. Girish Chandra Mishra, Director, Saviram Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Noida and PhD Candidate at
RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA; 2. Dr. Vanita Ahuja, Professor and Program Director, School of
Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA
WAC-2016
 

 
References

1. Bhati Priyavarat and Sangeetha Suresh (2015): State of India’s Environment 2015, A Down
to Earth Annual, Pages 110-139, Article Title ‘Water and Sanitation’
2. Figureres, C M et al (2005): Rethinking Water Management, Earthscan Publications, London
3. Manual on Norms and Standards for Environmental Clearance of Large Projects, Chapter 2
Water Management, Pages 59-108; Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India.
4. UNESCO-IHE (2011): SWITCH Project Report, Managing Water in the City of Future
5. UNESCO-IHE (2011): The SWITCH Transition Manual, , Managing Water in the City of
Future
6. Zheng (2010), PhD Thesis:Safe Water Reuse
7. Shaban Abdul and Sharma RN (2007):Water Consumption Patterns in Domestic Households
in Major Cities, Economic and Political Weekly, June 9
8. Makki, Stewart, Beal, Panuwatwanich (2015): Novel Bottom-up Urban Water Demand
Forecasting Model, Resources Conservation and Recycling, Volume 95, February, 2015.

Authors(s): 1. Mr. Girish Chandra Mishra, Director, Saviram Engineering Consultants Pvt. Ltd, Noida and PhD Candidate at
RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA; 2. Dr. Vanita Ahuja, Professor and Program Director, School of
Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University, NOIDA

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