Can the National Water Policy do away with priorities?

Draft document gives industry implicit priority over agriculture in water allocation

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

M Dinesh Kumar
executive director
Institute for Resource Analysis and Policy (IRAP)

The draft National Water Policy, 2012 document duly recognises the fact that economic principles need to guide pricing of water. But, one important issue concerning pricing is that mere use of economic principles does not address the issue of water allocation for different sectors. This would lead to compromising on several objectives including equity, social justice and water for environment.

The document is silent on water allocation priorities, an important aspect of Policy framing. The problem, use of economic principles, suggests that net marginal returns from the use of water is to be a basis for fixing prices when used for “production” for affordability. It is quite well known that the marginal returns from the use of water in manufacturing are much higher than that of crop production. This means, the manufacturing sector will be able to pay prices much higher than what irrigators can pay. So, if we blindly follow this “affordability” criterion without rules and mechanisms for water allocation, industries might be able to walk away with all the water in some really water-scarce basins. This will be at the cost of living of millions of farmers. The problem can only be addressed by clearly mentioning water allocation priorities in the Policy document.

That done, actual allocation in different basins will have to be decided on the basis of overall availability and competing demands keeping the Policy goals in mind. Pricing can then be used to encourage efficient use in each sector and financial working. At present the document only mentions about access to safe drinking water and sanitation as priority. What about other sectors, and what is the order of priority for them?

Water pricing is a broad-term and has got many connotations. There is a need to make distinction between price of water (as a “resource”) and charges for water-related services (like domestic water supply, irrigation water supply). While the first could consider the resource cost (value in alternative uses), the second concerns the cost of appropriation and supply. How these concepts affect the pricing of water from different sources and in different sectors (economic, social and environmental) needs to be spelt out. Since in the case of groundwater, the resource is mostly in the private domain, only “the resource cost” needs to be considered. Whereas in the case of surface water from public irrigation schemes, both cost of appropriation, distribution and delivery, and the resource cost need to be considered. These aspects do not find mention in the document. Also, the criteria that will be used for pricing of water for domestic uses, which are “non-economic”, need to be explicitly stated. Can we go by the “long-term marginal cost” pricing principle? In that case, the resource cost and environmental degradation due to its use will have to be considered along with the cost of production and supply of water. While this will ensure cost recovery and efficient use, how do we ensure that the poor are able to access water of sufficient quantity?

Ramaswamy Iyer
former secretary at ministry of water resources and principle draftsman first National Water Policy, 1987

There can be no general priorities for all contexts and areas and the relative priorities will depend on the right land use for the area. The question is not exactly one of agriculture versus industry, but about the best use of water in a given area, having regard to all relevant circumstances (including the availability of water). In an area with water scarcity, it would be unwise to promote water-intensive use, whether agricultural or industrial; development in such areas may have to take other forms. A general preference for agriculture could lead to the introduction of water-intensive agriculture in an arid area, creating an unsustainable demand for water.

An absolute priority, say, water for life and livelihoods, is a sequential priority and it must be met first before any other use is considered.The relative priorities among those other uses (agriculture (beyond livelihoods), industry, commerce and recreation) are proportional and a matter of sharing of what is available, with relative weights in the allocation to different uses.

Ecology cannot be asked to accommodate development needs. Our visions of development must spring from an understanding of ecological limits. We do not allocate water to the ecological system. Ecology tells us how much water we have for allocation. Ecological limits and parameters come first; human (and animal) basic needs come next; all other uses come thereafter, and these are not merely “economic” but also social, cultural, customary, and other.

Archana Vaidya
Indian Environment Law Offices (IELO)

 There is no disputing the fact that we need to have a national water perspective in our country while planning, managing and developing this scarce, natural resource. This however becomes extremely complicated given the constitutional framework of our country where water, barring interstate rivers and their management, is a state subject.

The draft National Water Policy, 2012 is surely a step ahead in the right direction in more ways than one but it still leaves a lot to be desired.  On one hand there are several progressive features in this draft but at the same time some very important issues have either been left out from the previous Policy. The draft does not categorically prioritise the use of water as was done in the previous Policy and this looks like a half-baked effort. It is understandable that such priorities should not be fixed in an inflexible manner for the entire country of the size of India with different agro-climatic regions at the Central level. It would however be advisable if basic principles of resource allocation are enumerated in the National Policy with discretion available to the state governments to prioritise their own water among various users according to their specific needs but in conformity with national perspective.

  • The following are some of the other important issues that this draft Policy needs to take into account and deal with more effectively:

  • The first part of the preamble of the Policy does not do justice to the context setting for a review of Policy. It also does not enumerate exhaustively the issues that need to be addressed by the Policy and the issues that led to the review of the Policy in the first place. For example, it nowhere speaks of the need to have comprehensive resource mapping of all available water resources to the smallest possible water management unit and it’s constant upgradation at regular intervals to enable water management authorities take informed decisions and do water planning based on reliable scientific data. The Policy also does not recognise the need to have a conducive regulatory and institutional framework with commensurate technical and financial strength to do the same.

  • The Policy also does not see any merit in having short-term, medium-term and long-term water management plans for basic water management units, states and for the country as a whole, incorporating all the variables having a bearing on such planning. Water planning of any water management unit should take into account the amount of rainfall in the region which can be harnessed, saving of water that can be achieved by mandatorily employing measures of water conservation and possibility of recycle and reuse. Any user of water should also have corresponding duty to use water in a sustainable manner, to conserve and use water efficiently and recycle and reuse water depending upon the type of user and the quantum of water being used.

  • The second part of the preamble setting out basic principles dealing with some commonality in approaches of dealing with planning, development and management of water resources does not take into account sustainable use of utilisable water, water conservation measures needed to be employed by every water user, water use efficiency in every usage, systemic efficiency for any water delivery system and incorporation of polluter pays principle for industrial users. The basic paradigm of planning where demand and supply need to balance each other and in case demand outstrips supply then multiple measures have to be adopted to bridge the gap have also not been mentioned as a basic principle. It also does not stress the need to harmonise state specific requirements with national perspective.

  • To have national water framework law to evolve a legal framework to make way for essential legislation on water governance in every state. This is a crucial requirement and should be done in a time-bound manner. However the Policy is silent on the same.

  • At the planning stage itself when available water resources are taken into account the impact of climate change on its future availability needs to be considered in the planning process. Thus, any adaptation required will automatically get integrated in to mid-term and long-term water management plans which the Policy does not envisage.

  • Enhancing water available for use, demand management and water use efficiency are interlinked concepts and need an integrated approach. All measures that would manage demand or enhance water use efficiency would automatically lead to enhanced water available for use. At the water planning stage if we know the gap between demand and supply, different strategies of water conservation, water augmentation, water recycle and reuse can be employed depending upon the specific conditions and requirement of a particular region to bridge the gap.

  • Water pricing reflecting the actual cost of water, once basic drinking and hygiene needs of human beings are met is a very basic reform that this sector needs. The Policy reiterates once again the need for the same but no time bound action is envisaged to set up institutional mechanism in the states to do the same. The Policy does speak of state-level water regulatory authorities but no guiding principles have been laid down to ensure that such institutional mechanism is free of state control, autonomous with adequate stakeholder participation and refrains from a top down approach.

  • The Policy treats preservation of natural water sources and water infrastructure in the same way, which is fundamentally flawed. The former is one of the fundamental duties of all the citizens and also a duty of state to maintain and preserve them, while the latter is a function of financially-viable organisations that are responsible for maintaining water infrastructure and is a direct fallout of administered water pricing.

  • At one place the Policy states that Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) taking river basin/sub-basin as a unit, should be the main principle for planning, development and management of water resources. Another place it states that local governing bodies like panchayats, municipalities and corporations and water users associations shall be involved in planning and implementation of the projects. However the Policy is silent on how to reconcile these two approaches. On one hand it advocates water resource planning to be done at the basic level and on the other it says we need to have a national perspective while planning.

  • Interlinkages with other relevant policies i.e. industrial policy, agricultural policy, land use policy and mining policy need to be highlighted so that all these policies have compatible provisions and can be interpreted harmoniously.

It would not be out of place to mention here that a National Water Policy should also address uniformity in water management across the country and equity for different users and within same user group. The policy should clearly acknowledge “Right to Water for drinking and basic hygiene purposes as a fundamental right” which would cast a corresponding duty on state to provide this to one and all. The quality, quantity of water, its access, distance should also be mentioned in the policy to make it a meaningful right. This would provide a remedy for people who are denied this fundamental right. Any use of water over and above the basic need can be allowed to be governed by economic considerations incorporating full cost recovery and return on capital investment principle. 

Philippe Cullet,
senior visiting fellow,
Centre for Policy Research,
School of Oriental and African Studies

This is both simple and multi-layered question which I am not sure I can answer comprehensively here. With regard to prioritisation in a policy document there is nothing wrong with the policy doing so. However, 1) this can never make the prioritisation binding, 2) a policy cannot be used to regularly change the framework by which the water sector is governed (1987, 2002, 2012). A policy in the governance system we have is meant to be a precursor to an Act which sets out rights and obligations, 3) prioritisation per se is a crude way of addressing inter-sectoral allocation of water and thus should neither be the centre of all attention nor alternatively be conceived simply as a list.

The proposed framework is inappropriate for several reasons: Prioritisation must by definition be guided by the existing legal framework. This means that the National Water Policy has no choice but to work prioritisation within the context of a hierarchy which is given in the form of the fundamental right to water. The point is not that this is not done here but that it's not done in the name of an overriding legal priority. The more important point is that a policy like the National Water Policy is to be guided not only by the fundamental right to water but also by all other rights whose realisation depends on water. This includes health (mentioned here but again not as a fundamental right), sanitation (hygiene mentioned but not the right to sanitation) and food (mentioned in terms of national food security, not the right to food).

What the above point to is the fact that an indirect of direct prioritisation will necessarily be embedded in the National Water Policy. This must be made explicit in terms of what is actually hierarchical (namely fundamental rights), as well as what stems out from other parts of the Constitution, such as Article 47 ('duty' to raise the level of nutrition). This does not leave much space for bringing in concepts like water as an economic good into a prioritisation. Beyond this, there is the issue of who should be in charge of the said prioritisation. As we have seen it in the groundwater model bill developed for the Planning Commission, this specific issue is one that needs to be also in the control of the lowest possible authority.

<< Back to Analysis of National Water Policy, 2012




Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.

  • More attention has been

    More attention has been brought up about purified water and the healthy intentions of the public. Many are fearful of the tap water in their homes. If more companies like

  • DEAR SIR, There are few


    There are few comments as under on draft national water policy 2012 finalised after discussions among the members for consideration:-

    • Consider putting a new para under 1.3 –(XV)- “for efficient water management much research work is required suited to modern life style for which institutes or knowledgeable persons responsible for developing and implementing new technological methods should be adequately facilitated.”

    • Para 3.1 should also include the water demand of live-stock, wild life and all living creatures.

    • Para 6.3 - Industries should be advocated for achieving zero-discharge techniques and water audit be made mandatory for all Industrial and commercial establishment.

    • In Para 6.5 the word “”in monsoon”’ be deleted as recharge is also there during running of canal system.

    • Consider introducing a new para as 6.8 – “ Awareness program on efficient water use , mitigation of water losses, maintaining quality of water ,adoption of new water conservation/ harvesting practices should persuaded regularly with participation of all water users.”

    • Consider Modifying para 7.5 as “ Heavy under-pricing of electricity for agriculture use leads to wasteful use of both electricity and water, however such practices should only be adopted in high water table command”.

    • Under clause 11 – Consider adding as11.8 –“ The System of Rainfall prediction( intensity, Duration and spread ) and run off estimation must be upgraded regularly in lieu with the latest technological advancement and climatological theories to help in correctly prediction of flood or drought periods.

    • Under clause 12, para12.1 Consider adding that –“Rural water demand should also include demand for live-stock.”

    • In Para12.3 consider adding that “use of R.O. filters for drinking water filtration in houses be discouraged as their discharge contains concentrated salts which if not properly disposed off may develop pollution to available ground water aquifer.”

    • Consider adding new para as 12.9 –“ Supply of drinking water to shops, & commercial establishments in cities through Tankers , Canes, and bottles extracted directly from ground water aquifer should be properly monitored as regards to its quality by a city regulatory authority, and over extraction by such suppliers be checked. Private city water suppliers and local water markets should be properly regulated and timely monitored.”

    • There should be regulation on creating a new well/ bore/tube-well in overexploited area and every existing or new well/tube well/ bore should compulsorily have a recharge arrangement.

    • In para13.2 consider adding a sentence in third line after word state “with their branches at Divisional and district level”.

    • Consider modifying Para 13.4 by adding “for other then drinking water demand” in first line between word state and has. The State should confine its role as “service provider” limited to drinking water supply only.

    • By generally adopting PPP model it is feared that price of drinking water would increase beyond the paying capacity of poor citizens,( as no private company would come for a charity) so poor population may choose drinking of other available non potable water causing spread of water borne diseases in the entire society.

    This point should be given appropriate gravity before adoption of PPP model in our country. Hope our suggestions shall be taken in right spirit for inclusion while revising the draft water policy document.


    Secretary PANIWALE-NGO

    Catch water centre

    45, A Subash Nagar

    Ajmer Road-



    Posted by: Anonymous | 8 years ago | Reply

    COMMENTS ON DRAFT WATER POLICY 2012 by paniwale-NGO. (Drafted by D.D.Derashri, Secretary of Paniwale-NGO based on members discussions ) The need for a water policy cannot be more emphasized than today, the sinking groundwater table and scanty of rainfall as well as rampant misuse of the natural resource, through high rates of water withdrawal necessitate a change in water policy. The groundwater table has been rapidly on the decline, so Water policy watch words for water solutions must be "sustainability" and "affordability. What policy should provide:- A new water policy must aims at ensuring equitable and judicious use of water for survival of life, welfare of human beings and sustained as well as balanced growth of the Nation. The amount of water is almost fixed in nature & demand is ever increasing with the growth of population, better standards of living & overall development process this creates a pressure and competition among various water users to fulfill their respective demand which often generates conflicts and leads to failure of management with development of overall tragedy. It led to overuse, abuse and pollution of our vital water resources and has disturbed the quality and the natural cleansing capacity of nature. Water creates extremities, both positive and negate- so to address such conditions a critically drafted Water policy is required. There should be clarity between the view that water is a social good that must be distributed by the state, and the opposing view that water is an economic good that must be treated as a commodity by private hands. • The belief that Government would provide all water should change The Distribution and Management of water should not be left wholly with the Governments but communities/ water users (Water users Groups/WUAs) to take adequate responsibility for managing their water resources to meet their guanine demand. Water users should understand legitimate demand of fellow users and should scarifies for any critical demands. Government stress should be to develop Capacity building of such groups and creating awareness about efficient water use & rights. • The New Policy must be transparent in clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of various water related departments, NGOs, private water traders and individual user’s rights. Policy should provide legal solutions to problems and responsive to natural calamities, droughts and scarcity conditions and must not totally consider water as commodity to only raise water markets but should also believe that water is a free gift of nature for overall ecological balance and minimum supplies be assured for growth of flora & fauna and to every living body, vegetation, and animal kingdom on a sustainable basis. What important issues are still missing in Draft policy (DP) document 2012? • The priorities need to be clearly defined 1. Human drinking water should include regulatory statement about Private water market in canes & bottles and that supplied to industries & farmers by private suppliers. 2. Rural water demand should include demand Live stock Fishries, wild life & Funa & water crops. 3. Agriculture should include Flora & wet lands 4. Provision for recharge, quality improvement, flushing & maintaining Minimum River flows needs to be added among the priorities. • PD require including action for MDGs :- presently it does not go far enough in preparing for the optimum management of water resources in the 21st century. UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) signed by 138 countries in Sept.2000, by which Govt. of India is committed to attain by 2015. In the context of the MDGs, goal no 7 “ Ensure environmental sustainability” aiming at integrating the principles of sustainable development, reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and achieving significant improvement in lives . The new policy should explicitly make a mention or seek to address the UN MDGs, in particular, goal no.7 related to water. • The UNCED meeting held in Rio way back in 1992 recognised water as both a social and economic good when it said: “Integrated water resources management is based on the perception of water as an integral part of the ecosystem, a natural resource, and a social and economic good. The new policy must be in line with this statement. • The Concept of virtual Water Foot Print (VWFP):-Every kind of productive activity requires water -- directly in most cases, and indirectly in all cases. Water is therefore also an essential resource, an essential economic good. And it is increasingly becoming a commodity To-day Water markets have become a critical issue in the area of water policy and governance but the issue has not been touched /addressed in DP. It is therefore necessary to include the New Concept of virtual water foot print in New Water Policy Document. Presently the Water Demand of state is calculated by adding water withdrawal/requirement by different sectors, but this does not tell the water actually needed by the peoples of state in relation to their consumption. The fact is that many goods consumed by peoples of state are produced in areas out side the state, and many goods produced in the state are actually exported & used by other population which envisage that the real water demand of State is much higher/lower then the present water withdrawals. Thus water foot print is defined as the total volume of fresh water that is used for production of Goods, & services and consumed by the peoples of State and gives the quantum of water required to sustain a population, thus it is essential to mention virtual water flow in policy document considering a longer time span .Internal water foot print (IWFP)-sum of total volume of water used from available resources in state minus volume of virtual water export through export of produce. . • Maintaining a balance between various allocations:-The proper planning and adequate allocation of available water is must, which calls for a proper water policy. The goals of policy are such as would do justice to all users of water and yet would be practical and achievable, with boom in infrastructural & industrial development , the requirement of industry is bound to rise consequently a reduction in Agriculture demand is inevitable, and with more & more effluent discharge by Industries a pressure would be created on availability of Fresh drinking water in rural areas, the new Water policy( WP) should address how this will be balanced?. • Water quality: has to be a very important aspect of water policy. The best way to ensure water quality is the prevention of pollution of water bodies and introduction of the concept of “polluter pays principle”, to improve water quality and to step up the recycling and re-use of water is missing. Presently Quality Water is transported from distant rural areas to meet city’s demand and in turn city discharges pollutants to rural drains .This creates disparity among rural and urban population,. • Water would seen to be a local resource, as the current slogan ‘Gaon ka pani gaon me’ implicitly assumes this. But every unit of water utilised in one place withdraws that unit further downstream. Water therefore is as much a shared resource as it is a local resource. It cannot be managed at one level; it must be approached on different levels -- from micro watersheds to basins and further up to states. NOT ALL THE WATERS CAN BE USEDAS A LOCAL RESOURCE AS WELL AS LOCAL AREA CAN NOT BE DEPRIVED OF THEIR MINIMUM WATER DEMAND. • Water rates : (DP-Para 7.2 states for recovery of full water charges,. Moreover Presently installation of hand pumps by Government and providing public tape connection in pump supply schemes are examples of free supply.) Whereas in scare areas supply is being rationed and supply is done through Tankers by Governments. The DPclause 7 – specifies common set rate for all water users. A program of managing volumetric quantum of water will apply to all significant water users irrespective of source and water ownership (is it practically possible. So in our view question remains “should it or should it not become a chargeable commodity & if charged what should be the clear principle?” this issue has not been truly addressed in the present DP. • Water Cost disparity: Water is such a commodity that its rate varies abnormally with the place & its uses for example the present water pricing of Canal Irrigation Charges are Rs.60 /ha, Private agriculturist charges Rs.50/hr i.e. Rs 300 per bigha/watering or Rs.1800 /ha. for whole crop, and in Jalore & Nagaur the water charges from private tube well amounts to 1/3 of crop produce which amounts to Rs.12000/-ha. PHED Drinking water supply is Rs.3 to 4.5 /1000 lit, private cane suppliers’ charges Rs. 500 /1000 lit of 20 lit canes (Rs 12 per cane), Tanker supply is Rs 30 to 40 /1000 lit. Bottle supply in bulk is 20 lit bislery bottle cost Rs.60/ i.e. Rs 3000/1000lit .and the one lit bottle cost Rs15/i.e. Rs.15,000/lit. Such a vast disparity exists in water rates, is such disparity is sustainable?. • The time is not too far when poor’s would make a revolt or richer have to suffer consequences of getting \trapped in to water-bore diseases spread on account of poor’s drinking polluted water. The DP is salient on how to regulate the pricing of water for different uses. While ensuring that effective prices are in line with economic and social costs, seems like a natural solution. There is a relatively simple way of resolving both problems. Instead of applying a multipart tariff to households, water could be supplied at a uniform price, equal to marginal cost of around Rs1.50 a kilolitre for drinking only. In place of a free or low cost initial block allocation to households, every person in the community could be given a free allocation of water, sufficient to meet basic needs for drinking, bathing, washing and so on. An allowance of 1000 litres a month could be considered. Such a scheme would raise some practical difficulties, which means that the water crisis is a political problem and requires a political solution? • Drinking water supply plan should be a 24*7 supply; this would reduce wastage of unaccounted excess storage habit, however a pricing scheme that recognizes the special status of water as a basic human need is required to be adopted in water policy. • Water & Poverty: Does the state water policy actually reflect the poor people and what about poor farmers' needs? Should DP do not represent the water rights of the poor farmers. Presently there are clearly two different polarised positions on this: one, that water should not become and should not be treated as a commodity and should be dispensed by the state, and two, that it should be allowed to become a full commodity and that the restrictions placed on its becoming a commodity are causing all the ills related to water. This is the core of the pro-privatisation. DP para1.13.4 speaks about Public Private Partnership in development of water related services. It does not spell about regulating the present Water markets & Profit makers from sale of water. • Groundwater management: Ground water could be extracted from bores, surface flows of water could be captured by farm dams, and rainfall could be captured by tree crops before it even entered the system. Given the incentives of cheap power, landowners rushed to capture water before controls were imposed on these by constitutional law, Para 2.2 mentions about modification in Indian Easement Act 1882.However most of the authority for allocating water resides with state government. (This is part of the reason that state governments are currently leaders in drought planning.) But if governmental authority followed hydrological boundaries, river basin commissions would have a bigger role in water planning. River basin commissions have the advantage of looking at water on its own terms, rather than through human-imposed boundaries. There is a need to decide on the ownership of water, more particularly for groundwater, water allocation can be determined by 3 doctrines: 1.Absolute ownership: gives rights to the overlying owner and does not restrict for personal and agriculture usage, meaning that prior users of groundwater have the greatest legal rights with limits of drawl from aquifer, 2.The reasonable use doctrine gives groundwater rights to landowners, but with the added provision that their use of the water cannot interfere with other users or they can not sale it to others or they can not draw after a particular level or draft is reached. 3. The appropriation-permit system: It holds that groundwater rights are based on priority; like to industries etc. where Permits are issued for new groundwater uses if they do not interfere with existing uses with restrictions of monthly drawl. • Water is a strange business; it is mobile in some sense, a common shared resource, like a road. But when a person uses a road it does not stop someone else from also using it, but if one person uses water, another is denied use of that water. Inherent in its use therefore is the issue of competing uses: who gains and who possibly loses. It follows its own laws. Yet, practically, only surface flows are considered a common resource; all groundwater is considered a private resource. The DP is silent on this issue except a mention in para 2.2 that IEA-1882 needs modification. • Environmental issues:-Now values are changing, giving more importance to preserving wildlife habitat, aesthetics, recreation, and water quality—all of which create pressure to leave water in rivers instead of using it. As urban populations grow, using water for irrigation is gradually becoming a lower priority. The development of large scale irrigation through multipurpose, Major & medium projects had a number of generally adverse effects on the pattern of water flows available to natural environments and rivers. The seasonal pattern of flows has also changed. The natural pattern was one of high flows in monsoons & spring, caused by the melting of snow, followed by low flows in summer. Management of the river has produced a more even seasonal pattern with peak flows in winter by return flows of water for irrigation is appreciable. • Maintaining the life of river systems and other water bodies A minimum good quality water flow should be ensured at all times as required for the life of the river and for sustaining livelihoods It should be an important objective of planning. This includes maintaining minimum water flows, for re-charge of seja area & prevention of pollution from industry percolating deep in ground, and control of riverbed sand extraction to ensure the maintenance of aquatic life, Flora & Funa and other ecological factors . • Traditional and natural wetlands and water bodies like tanks, jheels, johads ,nadi and village ponds, etc. have been badly neglected in the last few decades and many of them had vanished in sprut of city development. These structures should be restored, maintained and used properly and these water bodies should not be allowed to be encroached upon for any other land use. • The water also attracts Riparian rights, so how available water is allocated within a basin, or sub-basin or to use it out side the basin? DP does not rightly address to tackle this issue . Rain Water Harvesting:-In a state like Rajasthan of poor rainfall the Water policy should specifically advocate mandatory Roof top rainwater to every building and that Industry using water must replenish the aquifer by artificial Ground water recharge technique. Recycling & Re-Use:-Recycling is generally less energy-intensive. However, it raises a range of real or perceived health and aesthetic concerns Options such as home-based water tanks have clear political appeal and are sensible choices under certain conditions. The latest technologies of effluent treatment like SBT (soil bio-technology, developed & promoted by IIT Mumbai) and R.O. installation in houses for drinking need not be promoted as it waste much of water with high concentration of salts ultimately polluting the ground water. • Concept of Dispute resolution at local level is missing -Institutional mechanisms to address disputes and conflicts relating to water use, share and allocation within a basin or basin governed by boundries of State/District/ Tehsil/ village level : A tribunal is needed to speedily address situation arising out of water share with in state. This is of paramount importance considering the nature of conflicts seen in last couple of years; The local level dispute resolution mechanism should be included in water policy. • Awareness generation, local skill development: - In the emergency /drought, people are generally happy to comply with restrictions, and substantial reductions in usage can be achieved. But the longer restrictions are maintained, the less effective they are likely to be. Voluntary compliance tends to decline as emergency fades into normality, and people find new ways to use water which satisfy the letter, if not the spirit, of restrictions. It is therefore essential to conduct regular program to change the culture / view point of society in adopting water saving practices.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 8 years ago | Reply
  • The National water policy has

    The National water policy has to clearly distinguish between the Demand and Supply sides. While the demand side has emphasis, the supply side does not. With more than 90% of water devoted to irrigation needs, even if industries can afford to pay for the marginal cost of water, it is virtually impossible for them to capture, since needs of industries, domestic needs, are small compared with irrigation. What is crucial in the policy is to have a quid pro quo between demand and supply. Specifically, if the farmer needs electrical connection, s/he has to have a groundwater recharge structure for the borewell and has to install a low cost water meter (which needs to be devised) so that the farmer will have the inhouse capability to measure the volume of water s/he is pumping every day towards water budget. Next, in dry agro eco systems, farmers will have to adopt micro / drip /sprinkler irrigation systems if they want an electrical connection (to be continued) for old bore wells and for new borewells. Perhaps we cannot find farmers as efficient as those in Kolar district / chikballapur district of Karnataka, where drip irrigation has reached its pinnacle. This also shows that these farmers are paying the economic value of water relatively compared with conventional irrigation methods.

    Posted by: Anonymous | 7 years ago | Reply

© Copyright Down To Earth 2019. All rights reserved.