Across the world, the challenges of water supply are becoming more complex. But imagine a water crisis in a city known for floods. In 2019, barely four years after unprecedented floods brought Chennai to a halt, a severe water shortage hit India's southern metropolis, and officials declared "Day Zero". To save the city, the size of New York, water had to be brought in by train from some 200 kilometers away.

Much thought has since been given to Chennai's water woes. Now, taking a leaf from Singapore's acclaimed initiative, the city has begun to recycle wastewater at scale to meet the non-drinking water needs of its industries.

Its two Tertiary Treatment Reverse Osmosis plants are the first facilities of this nature and scale in India. The plants will serve industries in Chennai's northern belt and the neighboring areas of Sriperumbudur, Oragadam and Vallamvadagal.

Industries here will receive water from sewage treatment plants that has been treated until it is of the same quality as the raw water that has traditionally been supplied to them. -

A version of this article appears in the print on April 2, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.