A 2005 water audit by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation recorded water losses at 62%. Energy costs in 2004-05 were 21.1 crore rupees, accounting for nearly 50% of the city’s water operation and maintenance. The city knew that it had to improve its energy management, both to save resources and to help prolong the life of the city’s water supply equipment.
After the audit, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s initiated a study of its water situation that found that pumping system efficiency was low and there was significant potential to both increase energy efficiency and decrease operational costs. The audit recommended setting up an automated water management system. Based on the recommendation, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation rationalised water distribution and pumping systems to reduce static and friction. It replaced old, inefficient pumps with energy efficient pumps; improved pump machinery; and installed remote monitoring systems to operate the pumps at prescribed efficiency levels.
The city’s strategy led to a 106.96 Kwh/MLD reduction in energy consumption. It also helped the city to recover 7 MLD of backwash water and save more than 10 crore rupees in operation and management costs. Pumping efficiency rose from 40% to 75%. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s experience shows that a structured approach, specific investment funding, and timely implementation can help to achieve tangible savings.