With 1.7 million inhabitants on an area of 257 square kilometres, Coimbatore city (Tamil Nadu) is one of the over 50 typical industrial cities with more than a million inhabitants in India. It is estimated that the population of the South Indian city will grow by another million people over the next 30 years. Securing the water supply and wastewater disposal is one of the most urgent problems: In many places, the supply of drinking water is limited to a few hours every 5 to 10 days. Similarly, many urban areas lack sewage systems and sewage treatment plants. As one of India’s 100 Smart Cities, Coimbatore has the chance to realize exemplary solutions and set the course for a sustainable urban development. In the context of the project Smart Water Future India (SWF India), funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety, Coimbatore’s water sector has been analysed. The core of the new approach is to look at urban development challenges not only separately from traditional sectors. Instead, solutions for the water supply, energy supply and food safety have been developed across the board and intelligently networked in order to reduce competition for resources. At the same time, this project intended to provide information to German companies in the water sector about how to gain access to the huge Indian market for water and wastewater management. The methodology for the analysis of the urban dynamics and strategy development is based on the “City Lab” approach developed in the Fraunhofer research network Morgenstadt (Cities of the Future).
We would like to thank the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) for funding the project "AQUA-Hub", promotional reference 16EXI4021A (Funding: 294.093 €), within the "Export initiative for environmental technologies" program.