Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding wastage of water due to use of reverse osmosis, 29/06/2021

  • 29/06/2021

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Friends through its General Secretary Vs Ministry of Water Resources dated 29/06/2021.

The matter dealt with the permissibility of use of reverse osmosis (RO) system where total dissolved solids (TDS) level is below a particular threshold and where RO system destroys minerals rendering use of RO treated water harmful for human health. Further question dealt with was the undue wastage of water rejected in the process.

The application was filed for execution and enforcement of NGT order, May 20, 2019, which was passed taking into consideration the expert committee report, April 30, 2019.

The NGT, May 20, 2019 had directed the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to issue "appropriate notification prohibiting use of RO where TDS in water is less than 500 mg/l and wherever RO is permitted, a requirement is laid down for recovery of water be more than 60%. Further provision be laid down for recovery of water upto 75% and use of such RO reject water for purposes such as utensil washing, flushing, gardening, cleaning of vehicles and floor mopping".

Huge wastage of water takes place in the use of RO and such use merely advances the commercial interests at the cost of loss of water which needs to be checked, the Tribunal said, June 29, 2021 and directed the MoEF&CC to ensure further action before October 29, 2021.