With unplanned urbanization, ill-planned water management, coupled with erratic rainfall and receding water table, India is sitting on a ticking time bomb as far as availability of healthy drinking water is concerned. Over the past few decades, large parts of the country are facing challenges related to water contamination. In this context, ensuring safe and pure drinking water to the population at large has emerged as the biggest challenge.
The disposal of industrial waste in rivers and other water resources has further enhanced the problem of water contamination and leading to various water borne diseases, such as diarrhoea, cholera, and jaundice. According to the recent statistics published by the World Bank, over 75 percent of the communicable diseases in India are due to contaminated water.
Water-related diseases are the most common causes of death in India and deaths due to water-borne diseases are nearly 80 percent. Between 2012 and 2017, water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid, and viral hepatitis killed around 10,738 people in India. In order to address these challenges, the Indian government is investing substantial amount in water infrastructure development and various initiatives/schemes, such as Swajal scheme to provide safe drinking water and raise awareness regarding health risks associated with the consumption of untreated water.
Apart from the government, the private companies too are pitching in to not just minimising the contamination but also to provide ways so that the people get safe drinking water. The most commonly available solution is the water purifier. However, with the increasing contamination of the ground and even surface water, the technology for water purifier needs more innovation, which not only takes care of total dissolved solution (TDS) of water but also of the acidity (pH), harmful gases, chemicals, bacteria, biological contaminants, fungi, and other such impurities.
With the impurities mentioned above, it is not about water purifiers being a luxury, limited to the affluent. In fact, it is growingly becoming a necessity for people across the socio-economic spectrum. The water purification market is currently pegged to be at Rs. 6000 crore and is projected to grow with the CAGR of 21 percent till 2026.
Despite the strong market drivers, the challenge of educating the masses about the efficiency of water purifiers, especially across rural India, is restraining the growth of water-purifier market as a huge chunk of the population still relies on boiling water to ensure purification. However, the rising adoption of water purifiers in urban areas of India is anticipated to open up lucrative opportunities in the market.
There are various water purifier technologies available in India, such as water softener, gravity purifier, sediment purifier, ultraviolet (UV) purifier, and reverse osmosis (RO) purifier, which help in removing the impurities and combat water-borne diseases. Among these, RO and UV technologies are witnessing the maximum demand as consumers have become mindful of their excellent water purification results. There are also Wi-Fi enabled water purifier systems that can be accessed remotely.
RO is one of the most popular water purifiers in India and it not only removes bacteria and viruses but also harmful dissolved impurities from the water to the maximum level. According to analysts, the RO purifier technology segment will increase at a CAGR of 18.2 percent by the end of 2024. UV water purifiers are used in India for purification of tap and municipal corporation’s water.
There has been a consistent change in the techniques of water purification as it has escalated from using clay to filter out the sediments in old times to use of electricity and internet to provide people with pure water. Owing to the rising industrialization and increasing health concerns, the demand for water purifiers is set to rise in future as well.