Water Governance Issues

Multiplicity of Organizations

•      Multiple government agencies have responsibility for water management, which hinderseffective policy development and implementation

•      State governments and local bodies in urban areas are mainly responsible for offering drinking water and sanitation facilities

•      The Central Water Commission (CWC)1is responsible for regulating the use of surface water for irrigation, industry, drinking, and for mediating inter-state water allocation disputes

•      There are multiple government bodies that manage water resources in India. However, there is a lack of coordination between them. E.g. the CPCB2(which monitors pollution) and CWC conduct separate, uncoordinated water quality monitoring exercises in 507 and 300 locations respectively

Inadequacy in Generation of Revenue to Meet Costs

•      Water tariffs and policies differ across states. Water is available for free or is highly subsidized in some states

•      More than 40% of India’s water does not generate any revenue

•      ~13.8 MM people living in the national capital Delhi, pay for less than 50% of the water they consume

Outdated Policies

•      India has inadequate legislation on the exploitation ofgroundwater

•      There are very few legal restrictions on who can pump groundwater, how much and for what purpose

•      Historical government subsidies for the use of water for the irrigation and domestic purposes have led to the undervaluation of water as a resource

•      Management and supply of water resources is perceived to be a public sector monopoly.

•      In the absence of an independent regulator, the very few pockets of water privatization have resulted in government sanctioned monopolies