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Toolkit for "Preparing City Action Plans for Reuse of Treated Used Water"

National Institute of Urban Affairs, National Mission for Clean Ganga and Council on Energy, Environment and Water
January 2024 | Circular Economy, Sustainable Water

Suggested citation: National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). 2024. Toolkit for "Preparing City Action Plans for Reuse of Treated Used Water". Delhi, India: National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA).



India is witnessing high pressure on its limited freshwater resources. As per India's Composite Water Management Index, about 70 per cent of the country's water supply is contaminated (NITI Aayog 2019). Thus, both the quantity of freshwater available and its quality are of concern. The situation will likely worsen in the urban areas with rapid unplanned urbanisation and industrialisation putting pressure on stressed freshwater resources. Therefore, there is a need to look beyond the conventional freshwater supplies. Reusing treated used water offers one such opportunity for cities.

This toolkit aims to guide Indian cities in adopting a step-by-step approach to planning for treated used water (TUW) reuse by assessing the current availability of treated used water, identifying suitable avenues for its reuse, and implementing reuse projects on the ground.

Key Highlights

  • The overall objective of this toolkit is to assist member cities of the River Cities Alliance (RCA) and other cities in India in preparing an action plan for managing TUW within their city limits. While the central focus is on the Ganga basin cities, the document also applies to other cities in India.
  • The major components of the toolkit include assessment of existing used water infrastructure in the city (both centralised and decentralised), mapping the existing TUW available for reuse, identifying reuse avenues and setting targets, planning and designing interventions, enabling policy and regulatory measures, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • It also focuses on business models that can be adopted by urban local bodies as well as engaging local communities through awareness campaigns and public consultations to implement reuse projects successfully.
"The toolkit has been developed as a guiding document for urban local bodies in India, providing a step-by-step approach for developing long-term and sustainable treated used water reuse plans at the city level."

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