“Water and climate change are intertwined. From evaporation to melting of ice, from sea rise to floods and droughts, water is the critical factor. As 3/4th of the world is covered by water, that’s why, 80 per cent of climate change is channelled through water only,” said Dipankar Biswas, GM (Project Engineering), NTPC Ltd., at the Elets India Transformation Summit.
We have been hearing a lot these days about e-mobility, urban planning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), data analytics and many such things. So, I am here to talk about something different, i.e, sustainability of humankind itself. Being representative of NTPC, I take pride in the fact that it is responsible for every fourth bulb glowing up in the country,” Dipankar Biswas said.
“Today, the whole world is talking about the crisis of climate change. Global warming and rising greenhouse gases are causing major climate haphazard’s in different parts of the world,” he said, adding that “water sustainability is a vital aspect in addressing climate change.”
Highlighting the criticality of water resilience in the public sector, he pointed out, “water and climate change are intertwined. From evaporation to melting of ice, from sea rise to flood and droughts, water is the critical factor. As 3/4th of the world is covered by water, that’s why, 80 per cent of climate change is channelled through water only.”
Detailing out the cataclysmic picture of water crisis, he referred to a study which mentioned that between 2105 -2050, the world will witness 40 per cent reduction in water availability and also 55 per cent increase in demand for water, which will further amplify the risks of climate change. Biswas said, “The day is not far when water will be traded commercially like oil. As a result, it may become unavailable for common people, making it unreachable for the lower strata of the society which will further induce poverty and large-scale catastrophe.”
“Climate change has a circular effect on any economy. From impacting health and livelihoods to inducing displacement, from energy security to economic poverty, all these negative impacts revolve in a circle.” he said, adding a reference as to how some African countries are facing the havoc of climate change.
Sharing some data about the impacts of climate change, he said that industries need to play a greater part in mitigating such challenges. “As industry is second in water-usage after agriculture, it must bring cutting edge innovation in practice. A recent study suggests that water usage by industries will be 1180 BCM in 2050 from the current 695 BCM,” he said.
Highlighting the impeccable role being played by NTPC, he shared, “NTPC, from the beginning, has been playing an instrumental role in mitigating climate change besides providing energy security to the nation. Almost 50 per cent of NTPC plants are zero liquid discharge (ZLD) compliant. We are also using air-cooled in our plant engine which saves 70 per cent of water usage. We have taken the initiative of harvesting rainwater. For this, we have got a huge reservoir and also a floating solar plant. Not only have we gone for thermal and FG based desalination, but also have a dry-ash disposal system in place. Such leftover dry coal ashes are being used in construction of roads, houses, and cement industry among others.”
“As per the government direction, all thermal power plants located in the vicinity of municipality in and around 50 kilometres are proactively using STP (sewage treatment plant) water. NTPC, from the last 35 years, is involved in afforestation at all its plants and adjoining areas. We have recently partnered with ‘UN CEO Water Mandate’ for conservation of water,” Biswas further said.
Exhorting the people of India to play a greater role in fighting climate change, he said, “Not only government and business have got a role to play, but each individual must take responsibility for their action. They must reflect upon themselves and do course correction.”
“Since, climate change is a man-made problem, we must put greater efforts in fighting it. We must, apart from viability, also look for sustainability in everything,” Biswas concluded.