General Studies IIIEnvironment and Ecology

Sujalam 2.0


On the World Water Day (22nd March), the Ministry of Jal Shakti launched a countrywide project to reuse grey water, or run-offs from kitchens, bathing and laundry.

Theme:  Making the Invisible Visible

About Sujalam 2.0

  • On 23rd March 2022, the Sujalam 2.0 campaign was launched by Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Union Minister of Jal Shakti.
  • This campaign has been launched for grey water management.
  • The launch event was held virtually by the Ministry of Jal Shakti’s Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS).
  • The objective of campaign is managing grey water through the participation of the people. Under this campaign, there are plans to mobilize communities such as schools, panchayats, and anganwadis to help in grey water management.
  • Funds for grey water management will be provided from the Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin Phase II or through grants under the 15th Finance Commission as well as the MGNREGS or through the convergence between all of them.
  • Grey water refers to the domestic wastewater that is generated in households, office buildings, etc. and is without faecal contamination. Sources of grey water include showers, sinks, washing machines, baths, etc.
  • Since grey water contains less pathogens compared to domestic wastewater, it is safer to treat, handle, and reuse for the purpose of landscape, toilet flushing, crop irrigation, etc.

Key Points about Sujalam Campaign

  • Sujalam Campaign will be a 100 days campaign with an aim to make more villages ODF+ by Undertaking Waste Water Management at Village Level.
  • SUJALAM Campaign also aims to create 1 million Soak-pits and also other greywater management activities for making more Villages ODF Pus in an accelerated manner.
  • In Nandurbar, a tribal district in Maharashtra, by building a large number of soakpits, they were able to reduce the incidences of malaria, dengue and other water and vector borne diseases apart from environment and ecological benefits.
  • Major Sanitation issues in Rural Areas: The disposal of wastewater and clogging of water bodies in the villages or on the outskirts of the villages.
  • Expected outcomes of the Sujalam Campaign: will boost the momentum of Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBMG) phase II activities through community participation and it will increase awareness about ODF-plus activities.

What is Grey water?

  • Grey water is defined as wastewater that is produced from household processes (e.g. washing dishes, laundry and bathing).
  • Grey water can contain harmful bacteria and even faecal matter that contaminates soil and groundwater.
  • So far, India does not have a focused policy framework for management and usage of grey water in urban and rural areas. However, some guidelines for treatment of wastewater do exist.
    • For example, the Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation (CPHEEO) has specified permitted discharge standards for treated water; use of treated wastewater in agriculture and horticulture (MoHUA, 2012).
    • The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB, 2000) directs that treated wastewater can be used as a source of artificial ground water recharge once it meets standards and is compatible with existing groundwater.

What is the Need to Address the Grey Water Crisis?

  • Saving on fresh water use can significantly reduce household water bills, but also has a broader community benefit in reducing demands on public water supply.
  • Reducing the amount of wastewater entering sewers or on-site treatment systems.
  • 2.2 billion people across the world are facing a water crisis.
    • Sustainable Development Goal 6 aims to provide universal access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.
  • It is estimated that 31 billion litres of greywater is generated every day in India.
  • Under Sujlam 2.0 campaign, over 6 lakh villages will see intense activity on solid and liquid waste management.
  • In the present context, a lot of water will flow out of rural households.
    • 6 Crore tap water connections have been provided under Jal Jeevan Mission since its launch in August 2019.
    • A total of 9.24 Crore households in the country have access to water through taps.

What are the Related Initiatives?

  • India:
    • Jal Shakti Abhiyan:
      • Launched in 2019 to cover water stressed districts, in 2021 it was taken to all rural and urban districts.
    • Atal Bhujal Yojana:
      • Launched in 2019, it is being implemented in select areas of 7 States wherein the people prepare their water security plan detailing out how they are getting water, amount of water being consumed, type of water conservation method applied and how one can moderate its usage.
  • World:
    • The Global Water System Project, which was launched in 2003 as a joint initiative of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP) and Global Environmental Change (GEC) programme, epitomises global concern about the human-induced transformation of fresh water and its impact on the earth.

Way Forward

  • There is a need to develop sustainable behaviour practices to conserve water.
  • The central government should take measures to set up water purification or Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants on an urgent basis to tackle the issue of contamination of drinking water.

Source: PIB

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