Addressing Water Pollution: A Review of Zero Liquid Discharge Policy in Tirupur, India
thesisposted on 05.05.2019, 00:00 by Savannah K Hook, Ishan Patel, Ramesh Sivanpillai
Dyeing and bleaching in Tirupur, India both drives the economy and is a large source of pollution in the Noyyal River. As a result of direct discharge of bleach and dyes into water resources water quality below Tirupur is unfit for human consumption or agricultural uses. In response to the lowered water quality, the competing agricultural industry surrounding Tirupur began to suffer. Tension built between local farmers and locals in the knitwear industry and in 2006 the Supreme Court of India attempted to solve this complex problem by requiring all bleaching and dyeing units to install Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) technology for treatment of effluents, before releasing the used water back into the Noyyal River. This paper provides analysis of the policy including an overview of the technology and limits of ZLD. We provide contextual background on the Noyyal River Basin and conflicts between the textile industry and other stakeholders before outlining attempted solutions. In response to the enactment of ZLD, we highlight the reaction of and impacts to the textile industry. Our paper analyzes the costs associated with ZLD and government interventions to reduce the costs. Next, we evaluate the effectiveness of ZLD in terms of health impacts, perceived outcomes from other stakeholders like agriculturalists in the area, and next steps in treating existing polluted water resources. Lastly, we make recommendations for more effective policy solutions to pollution form the textile industry by highlighting the key shortcomings of ZLD in Tirupur, India.