Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence launches Chennai Water Sustainability Assessment Report

June 5, 2021
Water assessment report

- Chennai's water requirement expected to reach 2,236.5 MLD (million litres/day) by 2025, from 2,074 MLD in 2019
- Recommends capacity enhancement of Chennai's water treatment plants to 2348.3 MLD by 2025, among other measures

Chennai, 05 June, 2021: The Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence (CoE), a joint research initiative of Mahindra Lifespaces® and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), has launched a report highlighting the potential water challenges in Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA). The report was launched at a virtual event attended by Dr. T. Prabhushankar, I.A.S. Executive Director, Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Mr. Sanjay Seth, Senior Director, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Mr. Viral Oza, Chief Marketing Officer, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd., and other expert panelists.

Sustainable water use in habitats is one of the key areas of research of The Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence (CoE), which aims to develop science-based solutions for India's built environment. The report follows a unique, integrated, 'One Water' methodology that incorporates multiple aspects of water systems - such as stormwater, wastewater, and water supply networks - to recommend best practices for holistic urban water management. *

Speaking at the launch of the report, Mr. Viral Oza, Chief Marketing Officer, Mahindra Lifespaces, said, "Water conservation and management are priorities for Mahindra Lifespaces across our residential and industrial projects pan India. More than 1 million litres of water are saved annually across our residential projects through rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plants, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, and regular recycle and reuse. We hope this assessment report will enhance awareness of present and future water challenges facing stakeholder communities across Chennai; and spur action to secure water sustainability in the city."

Mr. Sanjay Seth, Senior Director, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), said, "Current climate change and population growth trends indicate that by the year 2025, the inhabitants of Chennai would be faced with multiple water crises. Compounded by extreme weather events and developmental activities, it is projected to result in widespread flooding, pollution, and a shortage of potable water. This report on 'Water Sustainability Assessment of Chennai Metropolitan Area' aims to provide a way forward to overcome these challenges with the objective of sensitizing all stakeholders including citizens on the aspects of water sustainability."

Key report findings:

  • Considering the current urban growth trend in Chennai, the city's built-up area is estimated to increase to 708.3 km2 in 2025, or thrice the area in 1997. At the same time, the city's water bodies are expected to shrink to 38.4 km2 by 2025, or one-third of their coverage in 1997.
  • The region is expected to experience an unpredictable pattern of rainfall over the coming years due to changing climate, extreme El Nino conditions, and continuous warming of the Bay of Bengal off the Tamil Nadu coast, thus making it difficult to predict the rainfall intensity and period. This could also lead to fluctuations in the water storage capacity in the reservoirs throughout the year.
  • Chennai faces a significant risk of pollution of its natural waterways. The quantity of wastewater generated in Chennai is estimated to increase to 1,789.2 MLD by 2025.
Year 2019 2025
STP capacity required 727 MLD 1878.6 MLD

Key report recommendations for sustainable water management in CMA:

  • Propagation and adoption of water conservation practices such as rainwater harvesting, wastewater recycling and reuse, to meet the rising water demand due to rapid demographic changes
  • Developing policies and designing measures towards protecting the region's ecosystems to strengthen both natural and urban water flow systems
  • Identifying and filling up data gaps related to groundwater availability, extraction and use by conducting detailed surveys
  • Strengthening of the water governance structure and administration; establishing a transparent and participatory mechanism through capacity building and training programmes

The Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence leverages state-of-the art research techniques, tools, and performance measurement solutions to boost the development of green buildings in India. The joint research initiative is working towards developing open-source and science-based solutions for India's real estate sector.

About Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd.

Established in 1994, Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd. is the real estate and infrastructure development business of the USD 19.4 billion Mahindra Group, and a pioneer of sustainable urbanisation in India. The Company is committed to transforming India's urban landscape through its residential developments under the 'Mahindra Lifespaces®' and 'Mahindra Happinest®' brands; and through its integrated cities and industrial clusters under the 'Mahindra World City' and 'Origins by Mahindra World City' brands.

The Company's development footprint spans 26.9 million sq. ft. (2.5 million sq. m.) of completed, ongoing and forthcoming residential projects across seven Indian cities; and over 5000 acres of ongoing and forthcoming projects under development/management at its integrated developments / industrial clusters across four locations.

A pioneer of the green homes movement, Mahindra Lifespaces® is one of the first real estate companies in India to have committed to the global Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). The Company's developments are characterised by thoughtful design and a welcoming environment that enhance overall quality of life for both individuals and industries.

Learn more about Mahindra Lifespaces® at

About TERI

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is an independent, multi-dimensional organization, with capabilities in research, policy, consultancy, and implementation. It has pioneered conversations and action in the energy, environment, climate change, and sustainability space for over four decades.

The institute's research and research-based solutions have had a transformative impact on industry and communities. Headquartered in New Delhi, it has regional centers and campuses in Gurugram, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Mumbai, Panaji, and Nainital, supported by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, sociologists, economists and engineers, and state-of-the-art infrastructure.

About Mahindra

The Mahindra Group is a USD 19.4 billion federation of companies that enables people to rise through innovative mobility solutions, driving rural prosperity, enhancing urban living, nurturing new businesses and fostering communities. It enjoys a leadership position in utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership in India and is the world's largest tractor company by volume. It also enjoys a strong presence in renewable energy, agribusiness, logistics and real estate development. Headquartered in India, Mahindra employs over 2 56 000 people across 100 countries.

For further enquiries, please contact:
Shweta Singh,
Content Producer, Communication Team,
The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
Mobile: +91 9650332029

Mahindra TERI Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Habitats (MTCoE)
TERI Gram, Gurgaon - Faridabad Road, Opposite Pathways School
Gwal Pahari, Gurugram - 122 102, Haryana, India.

Shalini Bhattacharya,
DGM, Corporate Communications,
Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd.
Mobile: +91 9819939720

* Based on analysis of existing literature, the Chennai Water Sustainability Assessment report assesses the situation in the Chennai Metropolitan Area (CMA). It identifies potential risks associated with water sources, governance, infrastructure, and demand and supply, and includes recommendations to mitigate the same.

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