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Continuous or 24×7 water supply through the distribution network is still a distant aim for Panaji City in India. While it is endowed with water resources and the service coverage is high, supply is provided intermittently for only 2-8 hours a day. Most residents rely on their own storage tanks to have sufficient water for the rest of the day.
To achieve 24×7 water supply through the network, the city government worked with CDIA in completing a project preparation study (PPS) that recommended a range of investments to address the primary challenge of bringing the water system under control and modernizing its operations.
The PPS outlined the design for additional works to be included in the city’s proposed Design Build contract; integrated a non-revenue water (NRW) reduction program; and developed a roadmap for capacity building for the Public Works Department (PWD) that manages Panaji’s water supply.
In particular, it recommended the introduction of a full water metering system, considered a major shortcoming of the current set-up but which is critical for proper control and operations. To effectively measure the water flow, the PPS proposed the installation of bulk water meters on all transmission pipelines, from the Opa water treatment plants (WTPs) up to the distribution areas.
It likewise recommended the creation of district metering areas in all supply zones and proposed to increase the storage capacity in all supply zones to safeguard against sudden supply interruption from the Opa WTPs. Furthermore, it suggested the renovation of the electro-mechanical equipment of Opa IV WTP to ensure long-term problem-free production.
Service coverage in Panaji is already high at 79%. Yet to bring it to 100% as per Panaji’s City Development Plan, the PPS identified the necessary network extensions including the provision for new house connections fitted with smart water meters.
Looking at other aspects of modern water supply operations, the PPS recommended the implementation of an NRW reduction program that should not only reduce NRW percentage, but also introduce modern asset management, hydraulic modelling, customer relations, and leak detection and repair.
Based on the institutional assessment of Panaji’s water supply operations, the PPS recommended capacity building activities to enhance PWD systems and enable them to meet modern day public service demands. The activities are likewise expected to result in better horizontal coordination among the core functions of water management at the local level, and encourage the commercial and customer-oriented water supply provision.
The upgrading of the water supply system that will directly serve the area of the City Corporation Panaji is one of the two subprojects under the PPS that seek to increase the livability of the city. See story on the St. Inez Creek Rejuvenation Project