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Impacts and Equity in Pune, India’s Potential 24x7 Piped Water Supply System

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Shridhar Athinarayanan, Anjuli Jain Figueroa, Steven M. Gorelick and Christian J. A. Klassert

2020 American Geophysical Union December meeting, San Francisco, CA

No major city in India has a 24x7 piped water supply system. Pune in Maharashtra, India has plans to be among the first, and yet, it faces a mismatch between available piped water supply and demand for potable water. In this modelling study, we investigate the degree to which Pune’s current intermittent water supply system (IWS) contributes to this. Over 94% of Pune homes are serviced, yet approximately 30-40% of water is lost to leakage and mismanagement under the IWS. This study compares a 24x7 water distribution system (WDS) with an intermittent system to quantify the gains in water supply and changes in equity among different urban users from high-income households to slum-dwellings. Using data supplied by the Pune Municipal Corporation, a hydraulic model of the current WDS was digitized with the Water Network Tool for Resilience (WNTR). EPAnet engine simulations were conducted and alterations to the existing IWS were made to transform the system to a 24x7 water supply model. Our results have implications for water resources planning, management, and climate resiliency as they reveal the tradeoffs and advantages of each type of water distribution system. Quantifying the potential benefits helps municipalities in Pune as they weigh costs of investing in continuous water supply against the inequities which characterize intermittency.