India is the Asian continents’ second most populous country and the discharge of untreated wastewater is causing high environmental pollution. Population growth, increasing urbanization and rapid economic development are exerting pressure on the already scarce water resources in India. Treatment and reuse of wastewater can play an important role in addressing some of the water challenges in India.
Further, investments in sustainable wastewater treatment and reuse n have a number of direct and indirect benefits such as better health conditions, increased tourist activities or biodiversity. Several studies have demonstrated the positive return stemming from investments for improved wastewater management.
However, even if technical solutions are available, often investments in wastewater treatment have added little benefits to the situation. There is a common understanding today that classical centralized solutions have little potential in the context of rapidly developing countries, such as India. For instance, even the Indian capital, Delhi is served by a mix of around 1oo wastewater treatment technologies of different scales. However, there is little information available about the actual performance of, in particular smaller scale, decentralized wastewater treatment plants with respect to their technical-environmental and socio-economic performance/impact.