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Water neutrality in Indian industries

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: NITI Aayog

 Context: The NITI Aayog, a government think-tank, has introduced a standard definition and approach for water neutrality in Indian industries.

 

What is Water neutrality?

Water neutrality is described as achieving a balance between total freshwater consumption, including both direct and indirect usage, and quantifiable water savings resulting from efficiency strategies.

 

Explanation using an example: 

For instance, if a beverage company saves as much water through efficient production as it uses for making beverages and producing materials, it achieves water neutrality. If it saves more, it becomes water-positive; if it uses more, it’s not water-neutral.

  

Steps to achieve water neutrality:

  • Reduce water use by increasing water efficiency.
  • Install water reuse systems such as rainwater harvesting or greywater recycling.
  • Offset remaining water demand in the local region.

 

Significance:

  • This concept aims to save water, enhance its efficient utilization, and enable the validation of water neutrality claims by industries.
  • The NITI Aayog’s report estimates that following water neutrality standards could save 38.23 billion cubic meters of water over the next decade.
  • National Water Mission’s Goal 4 (Increasing water use efficiency by 20%) includes the promotion of water-neutral and water-positive technologies.
  • The Aayog emphasizes that water neutrality/positive impact assessments should consider both resource availability and quality, ensuring any remaining impacts are offset through sustainable water practices.