Rethinking wastewater: Chennai’s journey towards water security

Chennai Water Jugs1140x500 Jpg

Rethinking wastewater: Chennai’s journey towards water security


Chennai, a city on the southeastern coast of India and the state capital of Tamil Nadu, has one of the India’s fastest-growing urban economies1. The region is the nation’s automotive hub and home to several other manufacturing industries ranging from petrochemicals to electronic hardware, textiles, and apparel. Urbanization and economic growth, over the last two decades have seen Chennai’s population increase 1.5 times, making it the fourth-largest city in India with over 10 million people.

Chennai historically relied on rainfed lakes with a combined storage capacity of about 11,000 million cubic feet, supplemented with groundwater that provided up to an additional 120 million liters of water per day (MLD). However, the demand for water in the city has increased more than 50% over the past ten years due to industrial development, increasing population, and larger per capita needs triggered by economic growth and lifestyles.

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