Mission Paani: How Norwegian Embassy in Delhi, NCR hotels bank on rainwater harvesting, treatment plans to conserve water

  • The Norwegian Embassy has installed a huge sewage treatment plant while also applying age-old technique of collecting rainwater

  • The embassy's data suggests that the in-house treatment plant saves about 124,000 litres of water annually

  • The DPCC put in place the Green Hotels Guidelines in 2008 to promote storage of rainwater and wastewater treatment in the hospitality industry

Editor's note: Network18 on 1 July launched ‘Mission Paani’, a pan-India campaign meant to spread awareness on water conservation. This article was originally published on 12 July to highlight how some establishments in Delhi-NCR are managing the paucity of potable water and the falling water table. It is being replugged in view of the the media company's grand launch event today, to boost the campaign launched in public interest. 

Water conservation and management cannot be overlooked in the National Capital Region (NCR) as it is located in a water-stressed zone. And the Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi and the hospitality industry in the region are showing the way forward on how meticulous planning can help buildings play a crucial role in water conservation.

 Mission Paani: How Norwegian Embassy in Delhi, NCR hotels bank on rainwater harvesting, treatment plans to conserve water

Representational Image. pexels.com

Situated at Chanakyapuri, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in New Delhi is a blend of old and new technologies. On one hand, the embassy has installed a huge sewage treatment plant, and on the other, it relies on an age-old technique of collecting water. The water conservation system at the diplomatic mission shows the way forward on how meticulous planning can help adapt buildings for challenges that faces the NCR today.

The in-house sewage treatment plant has the capacity to treat up to 30 kilolitres (KL) of wastewater. The embassy uses it twice, or 60 KL, daily, and then the treated water is sprinkled for irrigation.

Øystein Eriksen, head of administration, Royal Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi, says: “This sewage plant treats water through four rigorous phases before it's sprinkled for irrigation.”

The embassy's data suggests that the plant saves about 124,000 litres of water annually.

Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, Norwegian Ambassador to India, says, “We have built four big water tanks, where we collect rainwater that is used to recharge groundwater."

The hospitality industry is another high natural resource usage industry, where social responsibility holds the key. Most of the five-star hotels in Delhi, which were guzzlers of water in the past, have now fallen in line with Green Hotels Guidelines that the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) put in place in 2008 for storage of rainwater and installation of wastewater clean-up plants.

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Rothin Banerjee, director of engineering, Taj Palace, New Delhi, says, "We have managed to control the water flow by installing aerators in all taps, reducing the flow to 2.8 litres per minute. Besides, laundry wastewater is treated and there is an online tracking of usage. In case, there is a leakage, we try to address it at the earliest."

Policies alone won’t work to conserve a precious natural resource like water. The change must start with each and every individual. It’s high time for all of us to become water warriors.

Updated Date: Aug 27, 2019 11:11:37 IST