water problem in Telangana

  • 96% of the water consumed in the HMDA region is ‘virtual’ water, which is meant for industrial usage, says study
  • Around 96% of water consumed in the HMDA region is ‘virtual’ water, and only 4% is used directly by people

Hyderabad: Urban areas under the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA), covering seven districts, consume 20 times more water compared to rural areas, according to a year-long study by the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H).

As much as 96% of the water used in the region was “virtual”, while only 4% was consumed directly by the people, found the report, published in peer-reviewed international journal Sustainable Cities and Society.

“Virtual” water, or freshwater used to produce a commodity, was most used by the food industry (70%), followed by the power sector (25%), said an IIT-H press note.

The assessment of virtual water content in products was done across four broad categories—food consumption, fossil fuel, power and direct water (municipal drinking water). The study found that surprisingly the fossil fuel sector used only 1% of the total water consumed in the HMDA region. “Such hidden consumption patterns put enormous pressure on the already taxed water resources, which necessitates a proactive plan for conservation activities,” the release said.