Market Opportunities for renewable drinking water technology in rural, remote and hard-to-access areas in India

India is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. Access to clean drinking water is one of key indicators of adaptive capacity, however less than 50% of the population in India has access to drinking water.  Lack of awareness and limitation of sources of water along with climate change are creating complex challenges for the rural and remote population of India. Rural drinking water solutions hold a lot of potential in providing drinking water in rural India.  With this context a study was undertaken aimed to identify areas in India where decentralized, renewable drinking water solutions, like producing safe drinking water using renewable sources of energy, are required and are feasible to implement This market study presents insights on potential for deploying renewable drinking water technologies in rural areas of India with maximum adaptation and development impacts and SDG-6 compliance. In 8 districts in 4 Indian states, namely, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh  focus group discussions, key informant interviews and household surveys were conducted to gather information about existing conditions, dependence and need for clean water, stakeholder willingness to pay and participate, problems with technology implementation, and stakeholder identification for the technology deployment. All the data was analysed to identify most suitable states to commence the technology implementation. Recommendations were given for a quick implementation of scalable solutions through sustainable policies and business models to provide immediate relief in hard-to-access rural areas.

The results of the market study can  provide guidance for companies aiming to market and scale decentralized drinking water technologies in India, and  support the design of market interventions in the sector. It further raises public awareness and highlight the need of clean drinking water and related issues in India as well as informing various stakeholders about the concept of renewable drinking water technologies, policies and business models to be used for their maximum adoption at rural level.

The market study was carried out jointly by the GIZ project on Private Adaptation Finance (part of the global GIZ project NDC Assist II) and the GIZ India project Climate Adaptation and Finance in Rural India (CAFRI) which is implemented together with the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). Both projects are commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The contracted independent expert for the study was Taru Leading Edge.