Providing Clean Water Infrastructure with Digital Workflows

Larsen & Toubro is helping the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh fulfill its mission to provide drinking water to every household.

January 31, 2022

By Sandra DiMatteo, Industry Marketing Director, Water

It is unbelievable (a shame really) that by 2025, 3.5 billion people will live in water-scarce regions due to the growing drought issues brought on by climate change and increasing population. This means they have difficulty accessing a clean, safe water supply on a daily basis. And by 2050, more than half the world’s population could be living in water-stressed regions due to the impact of urbanization.

Two women carrying jars on their head in Uttar Pradesh, India. Women who live in water-scarce regions often have to walk several kilometers on a daily basis to get water.

In India, the water scarcity crisis affects millions of people each year and with the added challenge of the COVID pandemic it has been outright dangerous. The Indian government recognizes how important it is to have clean, potable water available across the country. In the Uttar Pradesh region of India, the Khatan group of nearly four hundred villages has approximately one and a half million people that struggle every day to provide clean water to their families. Many women walk several kilometers to fetch water on a daily basis, and they usually take their children along to help, meaning that the children cannot attend school and get a proper education. Because water is first priority, the women of the villages are also prevented from earning the wages they so desperately need.

Larsen and Toubro – a legacy of sustainability

L&T Construction cares — trusted to provide the complete solution from concept to commissioning and extending into operation and maintenance of what will likely be a smart water system for 10 years. Their sustainability practices shine as is evidenced in their triple-bottom-line results for economic, environmental and social responsibility and the team fosters continuous growth towards ESG related concerns like climate stewardship, green initiatives, and the circular economy with reuse, recycle, repair and refurbish as long as possible.

Government aims to provide drinking water to every household in the area

The Uttar Pradesh State Water and Sanitation mission is to bring drinking water to every household in the area by improving water infrastructure. The project awarded to L&T Construction includes designing and constructing an intake well to collect raw water from the Yamuna River, an approach bridge connecting to a water treatment plant, 40 intermediate booster pumping stations, 121 elevated storage tanks to distribute the water through a 1531 Km of pipeline network & 2129 Km of distribution pipeline network serving the community.

As you would expect with a project so complex, there were quite a few engineering challenges, magnified by a very tight timeline. The design of the transmission and distribution of the treated water proved to be a significant challenge, so the team turned to Bentley software to help determine the best and most economical design.

Within six months, the team had to generate 890 BIM models for 200 different structures considering various soil interactions. The successful workflow execution for this project was carried out with the help of an in-house developed electronic document management system. In this system, workflows are initiated by the design engineer where five disciplines involved in the drawings are notified. After completion of the drawings, the documents are uploaded in the EDMS Database for verification by corresponding section heads. The section heads of the corresponding disciplines review the drawing and give clearance that all of the requirements have been updated in the drawing. After the clearance from Section heads, the workflow is automatically routed for interfacing to the respective disciplines then re-routed to the design division head for final review.

Using WaterGEMS, the rapid design of the network put the engineering team ahead of their desired schedule, and with the help of Bentley’s STAAD.Pro, the team was able to quickly design the structural foundations for the treatment facility, elevated storage tanks, and other structures – allowing this design work to be completed 30 percent faster than with manual methods. Bentley’s PLAXIS was also brought in to secure the safety of the work area, determining safe excavation sloping and saving time and money. The engineering design phase was thankfully ahead of schedule saving 2 precious months due to digitalization support from Bentley, delivering overall 25% faster.

Digital workflows enabled L&T Construction to complete the engineering design phase two months ahead of schedule.

Water is life – affecting culture, health, education, integrity

Rendering of khatan group of villages water supply scheme

Khatan Group of Villages Water Supply Scheme (Surface Water Treatment), Uttar Pradesh, India. Credit: L&T Construction

Enabling access to water for the community, and completing this project faster, has enormous and complex value for the local households, food, culture, health, education, economics and integrity of the natural environment. The project is enabling 1.5 million people to achieve sustainable health through good quality drinking water thereby impacting the living standard of the local community. From improving access to education to enabling women to earn a wage instead of fetching water, this social commitment is impacting quality of life.

A key consideration was that the treatment facility had to fit within a very limited land area, complicated even more by a temple located directly in the middle of the space. To avoid upsetting the local community, they had to divide the plant into three segments, finding innovative ways to connect pipelines around the temple grounds. It is a testament to the L&T values, skills and genuinely caring culture that they have prided themselves on that this attention to detail means the most to them.

At Bentley, our mission is to provide innovative software and services for the enterprises and professionals who design, build, and operate the world’s infrastructure – advancing both the global economy and the environment for improved quality of life. This focus on quality of life is a common goal with L&T who has a legacy of working with the community to enhance the quality of life and livelihoods through regular interaction with village panchayats (grass roots governance within villages), as well as school authorities and District Health Officials in the project areas. In fact, it is L&T’s impact on this social infrastructure that is indispensable for progress in the communities of India, providing safe drinking water and sanitation.

Progress Towards UN  2030 Sustainability Goal

This exemplary project demonstrates the importance of water for life and helps towards attaining the UN Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. Goal 6 is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. It encompasses six outcome-oriented targets including safe and affordable drinking water and improving water quality.

This universal call to action, the Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 global goals in total and are designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by the year 2030.  It’s partnerships like that of Bentley and Larsen and Toubro that help us to take small but important steps towards the global goals of addressing the accessibility and sustainability of the most important resource on the planet.