India - Water overview
- According to the NITI Aayog’s report Composite Water Resources Management: Performance of States, by 2030, the country’s water demand is projected to be twice the available supply, implying an eventual ~6% loss in the country’s GDP.
- India’s publicly available water related data is listed on the Indian Water Resources Information System (I-WRIS), including water resource projects, groundwater, rainfall, etc.
- The World Resources Institute’s 2019 National Water Stress Rankings ranked India at the 13th position, denoting “extremely high water stress”.
Policies and Initiatives
- The National Water Policy (2012) aims to take cognisance of the existing situation and provides a framework for the creation of a system of laws and institutions and for a plan of action with a unified national perspective. It is currently being revised by a drafting committee.
- A host of legislations are in varying degrees of progress- Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019, National Water Framework Bill, 2016, River Basin Management Bill, 2018, and Dam Safety Bill, 2019.
- The Atal Bhujal Yojana launched in 2019 is a groundwater management scheme rolled out in water-stressed areas to establish community participation.
- The Jal Jeevan Mission, 2019 aims to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India, in a sustainable manner.
Water governance in India falls under the states’ powers within the Indian Constitution. However, the Union Government has authority over interstate river waters, it funds Centrally Sponsored Schemes, and gives overall policy direction. The Ministry of Jal Shakti is the central government ministry responsible and is aided by the technical bodies Central Water Commission, Central Ground Water Board, and Central Ground Water Authority. The National Water Mission, a part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change launched in 2008, is the overarching body that coordinates, gives policy direction, and monitors water resource management projects.