📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

Thirsty Cities: How Collaborative Efforts Contribute To Water Conservation The water storage in the major reservoirs and river basins in the country has dropped less than the average storage recorded in a decade for the corresponding period.

By Priyanka Tanwer

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Photo Curtesy: Freepik

An acute water crisis in Bengaluru has been creating headlines for the past few days and recently, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said that the city was facing a shortage of 500 million liters of water every day, which is about a fifth of the city's daily total demand.

However, the scarcity is not just Bengaluru's fight; it is a nationwide crisis that is looming over India's urban landscape with restricted water in adjoining areas of Telangana and Maharashtra.

Not just this, there are several major cities which could soon be grappling with water shortages. These cities include Mumbai, Chennai, Lucknow, Jaipur, Bathinda, and Delhi.

According to the data released by Central Water Commission, the water storage in the major reservoirs and river basins in the country has dropped less than the average storage recorded in a decade for the corresponding period.

CWC has recorded a live storage of 56.085 billion cubic meters (BCM), which is 31 per cent of the total live storage capacity of these reservoirs. Last week, the total live storage was 33 percent.

In the first week of April, it was 35 percent as compared to 67.57 BCM for the corresponding period.

The situation is grave in the southern states including Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, having combined live storage of 9.31 BCM.

In the western states such as Maharashtra and Gujarat, live storage is about 33.9 percent of the capacity in the 49 reservoirs, CWC recorded. In the northern states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan, live storage was 32.5 percent in 10 reservoirs.

However, in this worrisome situation, several businesses are involved in maintaining the balance in the environment through their efforts and sustainable practices.


In order to conserve water and incorporate sustainable practices in its operations, Minimalist Hotels are using rainwater for various hotel activities including cleaning and watering plants.

Hotels have complex water-use structures. It is estimated that hotel water consumption in 2020 was approximately 1.613 BMC, accounting for 1.87 percent of the country's domestic water consumption.

Gautam Munjal, Founder, Minimalist Hotels says the current water crisis in India, especially prevalent in cities like Bengaluru, highlights the imperative for collective action and innovative solutions across all sectors, including the hospitality industry.

"Our team members are thoroughly trained to reduce water usage and follow various recycling procedures. They are strictly instructed to never use dishwashers and washing machines until they are full. Furthermore, whenever a guest checks in, we send a welcome email that includes a section dedicated to encouraging them to use water mindfully," Munjal said.

"Hotels have a pivotal role to play by adopting water-saving measures, investing in water-efficient technologies, and fostering awareness among guests and employees regarding the significance of responsible water usage. Collaboration among the government, private sector, civil society, and local communities is paramount to tackle the multifaceted challenges of water scarcity and to establish sustainable water management practices for the future," he added.


Several areas in the country are grappling with water scarcity driven by agricultural overexploitation and dwindling groundwater reserves. Heavy reliance on groundwater for irrigation, coupled with inefficient water usage practices, has resulted in significant aquifer depletion. At present, irrigation consumes about 84 percent of the total available water.

FarmERP, equipped with AI-based solutions, enhances irrigation scheduling and management, fostering sustainable farming practices by helping in optimize water usage in agriculture by minimizing waste from evaporation and runoff, preventing waterlogging and soil salinity.

Sanjay Borkar, CEO & Co-Founder, FarmERP said, "Implementing wastewater management standards helps mitigate environmental impacts and conserves water resources by treating and recycling wastewater. These practices can reduce agricultural water usage in India by 70-80 percent, promoting sustainable farming."

"FarmERP empowers users to map irrigation system details in its database, incorporating water analysis information for efficient management. Integration with automated irrigation and weather systems facilitates real-time data utilization. Smart water algorithms calculate precise water requirements based on current weather conditions and evapotranspiration rates, while control panel automation ensures accurate water delivery to plots. FarmERP significantly contributes to sustainable agriculture and the conservation of water resources," he added.


Since groundwater is non-renewable, and its heavy usage for agriculture, industries, and drinking water for communities demands immediate attention, Uravu Labs is contributing to providing clean and high-quality water to people while saving groundwater and reducing water scarcity.

Its water-from-air technology offers significant environmental benefits by saving two times the amount of groundwater and eliminating the need for reverse osmosis systems.

"Installing Uravu's 10,000 LPD system could save up to 7.1 million liters of groundwater and reduce carbon emissions by 18.1 tonnes. Over the long term, customers can reduce costs by eliminating the need to purchase water from alternative sources such as packaged jars," Swapnil Shrivastav, CEO and co-founder of Uravu Labs said.

"For products like the water generators and the machine itself, we target to partner with major corporates and their CSR foundations, and also leading NGOs, to implement our solutions in low-income communities. In low-income communities, the idea would be to first target high-impact areas like schools and hospitals, where demographics such as children and women are most affected by issues of water quality or water scarcity," he added.

Associations and Consultants

There are several associations and consultants who monitor water consumption in the country and look at the various challenges in prevention of water wastage. They come up with various initiatives and policies in collaboration with government and other private businesses to help in maintaining balance between the water demand and supply.

The water crisis presents multifaceted challenges due to population growth, urbanization, and climate change and the IET Water Working Group perceives these challenges with a focus on addressing the imbalance between water supply and demand, inefficient management practices, and the impacts of climate variability.

Ajith Chandran, Chair, The IET Water Working Group said, "By fostering partnerships and information dissemination among government, academia, industry, and civil society, the IET Water Working Group creates an enabling environment for innovation and collective action. Supporting young engineers and entrepreneurs further promotes a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, driving sustainable solutions to India's water challenges."

He said that collaboration with local stakeholders and policymakers stands as a critical imperative. The IET Water Working Group is steadfast in its commitment to nurturing meaningful partnerships, ensuring the relevance and efficacy of our proposed solutions. Leveraging our engagements with influential figures in the corporate sector, we advocate for concerted industry-led efforts to proactively address water challenges.

Bishwadeep Ghose, Country Director, Water for People India also seconded with Chandran and said that industry collaboration with civic agencies and domain experts is essential to devise science-backed strategies that account for contingencies like climate change.

"A decentralized, community-led approach to groundwater management is crucial, emphasizing the importance of engaging local communities in decision-making processes. Additionally, while treated grey water holds immense potential to meet non-potable demands, its mainstreaming requires stringent quality checks. Therefore, industry can play a significant role in investing in technologies and infrastructure for treating and utilizing grey water effectively," he added.

Water for People India works with community members, businesses, and governments to develop and implement tailored solutions that meet the unique needs of each community. It has also implemented integrated water and sanitation projects across various districts in India. These projects not only focus on providing access to clean drinking water but also emphasize the importance of sanitation and hygiene practices.

Meanwhile, Pranay Kumar, Executive Director, REPL said that Investing in infrastructure upgrades, such as decentralized water treatment facilities and grey-water recycling systems, can augment water supply resilience. Collaborating with local governments to enact and enforce water-use restrictions during periods of drought can help manage demand effectively.

He also said that governmental policies play a crucial role in promoting water conservation initiatives by providing regulatory frameworks, financial incentives, and public awareness campaigns.

"One key policy reform is the implementation of tiered water pricing structures, where higher volumes of water usage incur progressively higher rates. This encourages individuals and communities to conserve water by linking consumption directly to cost," he added.

Priyanka Tanwer

Feature Writer

With eight years of experience covering various beats for the digital and print media, now covering electric vehicles and sustainability for Entrepreneur India, keeping a nose for innovation and new technology in this futuristic sector.     
Side Hustle

These Coworkers-Turned-Friends Started a Side Hustle on Amazon — Now It's a 'Full Hustle' Earning Over $20 Million a Year: 'Jump in With Both Feet'

Achal Patel and Russell Gong met at a large consulting firm and "bonded over a shared vision to create a mission-led company."

Business News

These Are the 10 Most Profitable Cities for Airbnb Hosts, According to a New Report

Here's where Airbnb property owners and hosts are making the most money.

Side Hustle

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Successful Business

A hobby, interest or charity project can turn into a money-making business if you know the right steps to take.

Science & Technology

Service as a Strategy — How to Build a Sustainable, Future-Ready Tech Business

The benefits of transitioning from traditional SaaS models to service-based models — and how to do it successfully.

Business News

Samsung's New Ad Pokes Fun at Apple's Controversial 'Crush' Ad

Creative universes overlap in a new ad from Samsung.


Want to Be More Productive? Here's How Google Executives Structure Their Schedules

These five tactics from inside Google will help you focus and protect your time.