“CDD India uses and also advocates for a decentralised approach in integrated water management.”
Most treatment systems are set up in the low-lying regions of the city to capitalise on the gravitational flow of the wastewater. The treated wastewater requires electrical power to be pumped back up for reuse, which is not a sustainable solution for developing countries like India and many others in the Global South. Treating the wastewater closest to the source reduces the conveyance burden and improves the chances of reuse, thus enhancing water circularity. The centralised approach is resource intensive, technically complicated for operation and maintenance and thus prone to large-scale failures too. If there is a breakdown in a centralised system, it can have widespread consequences for waste management in an entire region. Centralised systems often have a one-size-fits-all approach, which doesn’t cater to the specific needs of different communities. This lack of flexibility leads to inefficiencies and is not sustainable for our interventions.
CDD India takes a decentralised approach to bridge these gaps. We closely work with the community and consider all challenges. Our solutions are contextual and tailored to the situation on the ground. This reduces the need for long-distance waste hauling and processing. It is especially beneficial in slums, remote areas, and rural regions where on-site sanitation systems are prevalent and a centralised system is not the most preferred approach. Decentralised systems are also recommended as the preferred approach by SBM rural and Urban in the government guidelines.
We collaborate with the community to empower them to have a more active role in the judicious use of fresh water, resulting in increased ownership, awareness, and accountability. This participation has the potential to improve behaviour towards a sustainable environment. Smaller decentralised units offer the chance to experiment and adopt innovative technologies. It also prevents complete system lapse. One part of the system failing does not impact other systems like in the case of centralised systems.