Involvement of local governments and communities of water users is necessary to address India�s growing water challenges. Analyze the statement in the context of recent status of water situation in the country.

Water is more important than food for survival. The 2030 Water Resources Group on �Charting Our Water Futures� had projected that if the current demand pattern for water continues, by 2030, the available water will meet only about half of India�s demand for water. The Niti Aayog has projected that the groundwater of 21 cities will run out by 2020.
Concerns regarding water status in India:

  • Agriculture uses 78 per cent of India�s water in a very inefficient way
  • About two-thirds of water used for irrigation comes from groundwater
  • About 80 per cent of the rural demand for drinking water is met by groundwater
  • Inadequate, old and dilapidated distribution networks
  • Inadequate metering, incomplete billing and collection
  • Not treating wastewater and not using the recycled water
  • Under-pricing of urban water also contributes to wasteful use
  • There is a need to expand coverage to the �unconnected� population. It will require the expansion and renovation of the infrastructure of the distribution network

Way forward:
The capital cost of the infrastructure should be made available either through National Missions, the operation and maintenance cost of running the system should be recovered through user charges. There is need to mobilize more supply of water from basic natural sources. Water bodies need to be protected from encroachment.
The management of water requires a holistic approach. It will require state governments and local governments to take coordinated action to save the water.

Published: June 27, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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