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Sustainable Water Security             at a time of Climate Change:              India’s 12th Five Year Plan              ...
Deepening Water Crisis    Business-as-usual will not do: Tight Water Budget   Need to move decisively beyond complacency ...
Deepening Water Crisis    Business-as-usual will not do: Groundwater Blues   80% of rural drinking water and more than 60...
Deepening Water Crisis         Business-as-usual will not do: Large DamsMajor and Medium Irrigation Gap between potential...
The Way Forward             1. AIBP Reforms for the 12th Plan   Command Area Development Programme to be tightly linked t...
The Way Forward                  2. Concomitant Reforms   Broaden human resource profile of irrigation department to    i...
The Way Forward      3. New Impetus to Watershed Management   Given all the problems facing large dams in India, a strong...
The Way Forward      4. Sustainable Groundwater Management   The MTA of the 11th Plan has completed a Typology    of Indi...
The Way Forward      4. Sustainable Groundwater Management   Top-down regulation of 25 million groundwater structures has...
The Way Forward                 5. River Basin Planning   Holistic and statutory participatory water planning in each    ...
The Way Forward                       6. Legal Reform   Conflict between Common Law (groundwater as part of the soil    i...
The Way Forward                      7. Reform of Urban Water   A 2007 study of 20 major water utilities in urban India  ...
The Way Forward             8. Regulatory Authorities at State Level We need regulatory bodies in each State for resoluti...
The Way Forward             9. National Water Commission   India need a National Water Commission that would    monitor c...
The Way Forward                 10. The Next Few Steps   In preparation for the 12th Plan, Planning Commission has set   ...
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Sustainable Water Security at a time of Climate Change: India's 12th Five Year Plan, by Dr Mihir Shah, Member Planning Commission of Government of India

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Sustainable Water Security at a time of Climate Change: India's 12th Five Year Plan, by Dr Mihir Shah, Member Planning Commission of Government of India

  1. 1. Sustainable Water Security at a time of Climate Change: India’s 12th Five Year Plan Dr. Mihir Shah Member, Planning Commission Government of India February 201124/02/2011 1
  2. 2. Deepening Water Crisis Business-as-usual will not do: Tight Water Budget Need to move decisively beyond complacency of “denial mode” MoWR continues to provide a relatively comfortable picture of India’s water budget (1123 BCM supply vs. 634 BCM demand in 2010 rising to 1180 BCM in 2050, which could be conceivably met through additional supply) Assessment of independent scholars is more sobering TN Narasimhan of the University of California, Berkeley (2008 in Journal of Earth System Science), questions the estimate of evapo- transpiration and arrives at 654 BCM supply vs. 634 BCM demand in 2010 Nitin Garg of IIT Delhi (2007 in Current Science) suggests that utilisable water resources in India have been over-estimated, indicating current water supply of 668 BCM and a state of over- exploitation of groundwater as early as 1997-9824/02/2011 2
  3. 3. Deepening Water Crisis Business-as-usual will not do: Groundwater Blues 80% of rural drinking water and more than 60% of irrigation (which consumes 80% of our water) comes from groundwater Data from NASAs GRACE satellites reveals significant rates of non-renewable depletion of groundwater levels over large tracts in alluvial areas The situation is even more serious in 65-70% hard rock areas As a result, “slipped-back” drinking water rural habitations rise And wetlands and rivers dry up due to reduction in base flows Deepening water tables also raise concerns of quality, exacerbated by poor sanitation practices and chemical pollution via fertiliser use. Reckless dumping of untreated waste in rural and urban areas have made a mockery of campaigns to clean our rivers Inadequate sewage treatment capacity, inattention to recycling of wastewater by industry has aggravated the problem24/02/2011 3
  4. 4. Deepening Water Crisis Business-as-usual will not do: Large DamsMajor and Medium Irrigation Gap between potential created and utilized has grown. 3 major reasons:  implementation failures such as faulty project designs, poor lining, de- siltation and shoddy maintenance of distribution channels  the absence or ineffectiveness of Water Users Associations (WUAs)  low technical and managerial capacity of irrigation department staff Recoveries as a proportion of working expenses in irrigation fell from 26% during 1990-95 to 12% in 1999-2000 Low water charges encourage  inefficient water use  a tendency for head-end canal users to shift to water intensive crops  progressive neglect of maintenance further reducing efficiency Truly incredible that during the AIBP period (1996-2010), net irrigated area by canals has stagnated 24/02/2011 4
  5. 5. The Way Forward 1. AIBP Reforms for the 12th Plan Command Area Development Programme to be tightly linked to the AIBP and not artificially separated as at present. Each AIBP project must include a CADP component. CAD should occur pari passu with dam construction (include revival of traditional water harvesting systems) Massive addition to irrigated area possible if we focus on completion of ongoing projects and renovation of existing projects before taking up new ones. No major investment should be made before land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation and forest clearance Project completion only when all minors and distributaries and WUAs are in place. Condition for further AIBP support Agricultural program focused on water use efficiency and water saving technology mandatory for each project.24/02/2011 5
  6. 6. The Way Forward 2. Concomitant Reforms Broaden human resource profile of irrigation department to include social mobilisers (social workers and anthropologists) who ensure effective participation of stakeholder farmers from planning and implementation, to monitoring and maintenance Rational pricing of water and electricity would also incentivise moves towards higher productivity per drop of water Separation of electricity feeders for agriculture and domestic use can break “energy-groundwater nexus” Greater procurement and price support to dry land crops could incentivise farmers to shift away from water-intensive crops.24/02/2011 6
  7. 7. The Way Forward 3. New Impetus to Watershed Management Given all the problems facing large dams in India, a strong case for according higher priority to watershed management The Parthasarathy Committee report suggested path- breaking reforms which demand a series of initiatives and partnerships The progress of IWMP has not been encouraging on institutional development, capacity building and livelihoods orientation NRAA performance has also been below par Planning Commission has made detailed suggestions to the DoLR for new impetus to IWMP A complete revamp of NRAA is underway so that it can provide intellectual leadership to the programme24/02/2011 7
  8. 8. The Way Forward 4. Sustainable Groundwater Management The MTA of the 11th Plan has completed a Typology of India’s Hydrogeological Settings New scheme to be launched to prepare a comprehensive map of aquifers at a watershed scale, with their storage and transmission characteristics A much more dense network of observation wells to monitor water levels and groundwater quality across aquifers This will enable preparation of aquifer management plans24/02/2011 8
  9. 9. The Way Forward 4. Sustainable Groundwater Management Top-down regulation of 25 million groundwater structures has massive transaction costs and severely tests admin capacities FAO supported Andhra Pradesh Farmer Managed Groundwater Systems project in 7 districts shows a different way forward Farmers become “barefoot hydrogeologists”, engage in data collection and analysis, build understanding of dynamics of groundwater in local aquifers Groundwater Management Committees federate into Aquifer Associations Crop water budgeting and access to improved farm practices and water saving techniques Farmer Water Schools build capacities, enable informed choices Total outreach of the project is estimated at 1 million farmers.24/02/2011 9
  10. 10. The Way Forward 5. River Basin Planning Holistic and statutory participatory water planning in each river basin, involving stakeholders, especially PRIs/ULBs at each stage Determination and enforcement of environmentally sustainable limits on surface and ground water that may be withdrawn from each basin. On this basis, the plan will determine the maximum long- term annual average volumes of water that can be sustainably drawn from the basin, clearly delineating the requirements of drinking water and the environment The aim is to build pathways for the return of all overdrawn ground water and surface water systems to environmentally sustainable levels of extraction24/02/2011 10
  11. 11. The Way Forward 6. Legal Reform Conflict between Common Law (groundwater as part of the soil in which it exists) and Public Trust Doctrine propounded by Supreme Court (state holds water as a trustee; duty to ensure right to water, safeguard public interest and ecology) Need a new Groundwater Law in consonance with PTD Without this legal reform, mining of groundwater will be impossible to control This reform, as also river basin planning, needs to happen within an overarching Water Framework Law (a la the EU Water Framework Directive passed in the year 2000) Water Policy needs transparent, effective, coherent legislative structure, common principles and overall framework for action New Groundwater Bill and Water Framework Law being drafted by 12th Plan Working Group on Water Governance24/02/2011 11
  12. 12. The Way Forward 7. Reform of Urban Water A 2007 study of 20 major water utilities in urban India revealed an average 4 hours of water supply per day Wastewater treatment facilities cover no more than 30% of the wastewater generated in Class I cities The proportion of water recycled by Indian industry must be raised to protect water quality both in our rivers and in groundwater Make JNNURM support conditional upon time-bound  setting up of wastewater treatment facilities and water recycling  100% metering of both production and consumption  improved human resource profile and capacity building of utilities/ULBs  volumetric pricing regimes that operate in a transparent and participatory manner, while protecting minimum water requirements of all24/02/2011 12
  13. 13. The Way Forward 8. Regulatory Authorities at State Level We need regulatory bodies in each State for resolution of conflicts across uses and users, as also to meet environmental needs and ensure sustainability. Undertakers of a natural monopoly, the water/wastewater industry need to be regulated to protect customer interests International experience indicates that regulators provide the cutting-edge of competition Regulators also help create a transparent and participatory process of price determination While some States like Maharashtra have set up regulators, we need to ensure that such bodies have the right human resource profile24/02/2011 13
  14. 14. The Way Forward 9. National Water Commission India need a National Water Commission that would monitor compliance with the national water strategy The reports of the NWC would be an invaluable guide to investment clearances provided by the Planning Commission and environmental clearances provided by the Ministry of Environment and Forests Currently there is no mechanism to monitor compliance with conditionalities, which remain toothless/on paper The NWC would also operate in a “name and shame” mode, serving notice to negligent States.24/02/2011 14
  15. 15. The Way Forward 10. The Next Few Steps In preparation for the 12th Plan, Planning Commission has set up a Steering Committee on Water Resources headed by Member (Water Resources) with 8 Working Groups under it, each concerned with issues highlighted in this presentation The Working Groups have representatives from central and state governments, academics, civil society and industry Member (Water Resources) will actively engage with the Working Groups, whose deliberations and reports will serve to further strengthen and flesh out the propositions set out here This will also mark the beginning of a process of building a broader consensus on the reform approach outlined here, which will greatly facilitate its roll out during the 12th Plan period.24/02/2011 15

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