What can be done

Governance Now - - WATER -

CWMI rec­om­men­da­tions

The Com­pos­ite Wa­ter Man­age­ment In­dex can es­tab­lish a pub­lic, na­tional plat­form pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion on key wa­ter in­di­ca­tors across states. This plat­form will help in mon­i­tor­ing per­for­mance, im­prov­ing trans­parency, and en­cour­ag­ing com­pe­ti­tion, thereby boost­ing the coun­try’s wa­ter achieve­ments by fos­ter­ing the spirit of ‘com­pet­i­tive and co­op­er­a­tive fed­er­al­ism’ among the states. Fur­ther, the data can also be used by re­searchers, en­trepreneurs, and pol­i­cy­mak­ers to en­able broader ecosys­tem in­no­va­tion for wa­ter in In­dia. Ex­plore in­cen­tive-based mech­a­nisms for ground­wa­ter restora­tion, such as an in­no­va­tive wa­ter im­pact bond that pays out funds to com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions/ NGOS on achiev­ing ground­wa­ter recharge tar­gets. Cur­rently, wa­ter is a state sub­ject, re­sult­ing in fre­quent in­ter-state dis­putes and lim­ited pol­icy con­trol by the cen­tre. Fur­ther, fund­ing to states is not linked to per­for­mance to wa­ter met­rics. A Na­tional Wa­ter Fund may be es­tab­lished un­der which the cen­tre can by­pass the state list is­sue and in­cen­tivise ad­her­ence to na­tional pol­icy guidelines by pro­vid­ing fund­ing for wa­ter in­fras­truc­ture and con­ser­va­tion to high per­form­ing states. Geo-tag­ging and the con­struc­tion of har­vest­ing struc­tures. The gov­ern­ment can im­prove the coun­try’s wa­ter-ef­fi­ciency in agri­cul­ture by ac­cel­er­at­ing the pro­posed DBT scheme for mi­cro-ir­ri­ga­tion sub­si­dies. In this way the mar­ket com­pe­ti­tion and in­no­va­tion can bring down the equip­ment cost and en­able greater adop­tion. At present In­dia treats only 30% of its wa­ter and reuses a neg­li­gi­ble amount. The coun­try needs to es­tab­lish a net­work of treat­ment plants and pip­ing in­fras­truc­ture to treat do­mes­tic waste wa­ter and put it back into the sup­ply sys­tem for re­use in do­mes­tic con­sump­tion and peri-ur­ban agri­cul­ture ir­ri­ga­tion. Cur­rently, wa­ter data ei­ther does not ex­ist, is un­re­ali­able due to out­dated method­olo­gies, or is not shared across all pol­i­cy­mak­ing lev­els. By es­tab­lish­ing a cen­tral plat­form for sur­face wa­ter and ground wa­ter data across a va­ri­ety of pa­ram­e­ters, the gov­ern­ment can im­prove pol­i­cy­mak­ing at all lev­els and en­able in­no­va­tion through open APIS.

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