After the enactment of Electricity Act 2003, setting up of a power plant is a delicensed activity. As such proposals for setting up of New Thermal Power Projects are not being received in Ministry of Power or Central Electricity Authority (CEA).

However, while granting Environmental Clearance (EC) to a power plant, water availability is ensured by the developer through concerned State/Central agencies responsible for water allocation from rivers/reservoirs. The thermal power plants are required to meet the water consumption norms prescribed by Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC).

The measures being taken by Government to reduce water consumption in Thermal Power Plants are:

  • Compliance of new water consumption norms published by MoEF&CC vide Notification dated 07.12.2015 regarding use of water in Thermal Power Plants.

  • The Tariff Policy, 2016 mandates use of treated sewage water from sewage treatment plants (STP) of Municipality / local bodies by the thermal power plants that are located with 50 km radius. All thermal power plants have been advised to use STP water for cooling purpose, wherever possible.

The following water conservation measures are also being taken by Thermal Power Plants:

  1. Ash water recirculation system: Water from ash pond is recovered and reused in the system.

  2. Dry fly ash handling system & High concentration slurry disposal system (HCSD): These ash handling techniques reduce the ash handling water requirement thereby reducing the water consumption.

  3. Zero water discharge system - Treating the total waste water produced in the plant and recycling back in to the consumptive water system reduces water consumption.

  4. Operating cooling towers at higher Cycle of Concentration (COC): This reduces the waste water generated by the plant. This waste water generated is used for low grade applications like ash handling, coal dust suppression and gardening etc.

  5. Air cooled condensers are recommended in thermal power plants for cooling purpose, in water scare region.