Bloomberg News

India Only Able to Treat a Fifth of Its Sewage, VP Says

March 04, 2013

India is able to treat just a fifth of its sewage, fueling domestic conflicts as growing cities battle for water resources, pushing up prices and increasing leaks, Vice President Hamid Ansari said.

“To quench their ever-increasing thirst, India’s expanding cities have started sourcing water from further and further away,” Ansari said today at a conference in New Delhi. “This has pushed up the cost of water, increased leakages to around 40 percent and sparked conflicts.”

Shortages of clean water in India, the second most- populated country after China, have led to agricultural, industrial and domestic clashes with struggles over water supplies expected to escalate, according to a United Nations Children’s Fund report this year. Most cities lack policy on how to remedy the disposal of raw sewage in water bodies, according to a study by the Centre for Science and Environment.

“There is a serious lack of foresight in urban sewage and wastewater management in our country,” Ansari said. “Untreated sewage is killing our water.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Sally Bakewell in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at

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