WATER FOR THE URBANPOOR: LIMITED SPACE TOENGAGE? A J James, PhD, Visiting Professor, Institute of Development Studies, Jaipur Addressing challenges in expanding access to improved water sources through Water Credit Water.org India Stakeholders Engagement Forum 2013 New Delhi 19 February 2013
Context: Where do we stand? The Urban Globe Historic Urbanization Milestone: >50% urban citizens On-target to meet water MDG: but poor ‘hidden’ in averages Huge unserved population even if water MDG is met: 672m! This number could be higher due to ‘slippage’ & definition (i.e., ‘access to physical infrastructure’ – not actual service delivered!) Urban India Rapid urbanization: faster since 2000. 2011: largest ever urban population! 377m, ~8000 cities & towns; 468 Class I; 53 mill+ Uneven growth: Some states are more ‘urbanized’ than others
Slum water: What’s theproblem? Type of problems No Service (or no service or ‘unserved’) which affects all those who are forced to use unimproved or unsafe sources of water or walk far to access water 14m (2008, JMP 2010): 4% of India’s urban population uses ‘unimproved sources’ - ‘unprotected dug well or spring, cart with small tank/drum, surface water (river, dam, lake, pond, stream, canal, irrigation channels) and bottled water’ Poor Service (or poor access) which affect those who have access to water supply infrastructure, but face problems when the infrastructure does not deliver the service. 329m (2008, JMP 2010): those who share water sources & piped water; even if 75% had access to ‘piped water in premises (GOI, 2010), this is ‘access to infrastructure’ only!
Slum water problems: So what? Consequences of ‘no service’ – for the urban poor Time spent collecting water: Women spend 30 – 180 min walking to & queuing to collect water (MP 4-city data, UN Habitat, 2005) Health impacts: Carrying heavy water vessels several times a day, every day, for months and years, cause neck pains, back aches, and joint and muscular pains. Also, danger of road accidents when the source is across a busy road Molestation and violence: Women carrying water are ‘easy targets’ – even if it is an ‘improved source’ acc to JMP; & if they speak up/ defend themselves, they risk domestic abuse from husbands & in-laws (UN Habitat, 2003). Risks of water-borne diseases due to poor water
Slum water problems: more ‘sowhat’? Consequences of ‘poor service’ – on the urban poor Time wasted at water points during work hours: especially for working women and men who have to be at a certain place at a particular time Rushing to other water points: If supply is inadequate in the nearest water point, or if the queue is too long … Conflicts at the water point: Inadequate or untimely supply is a ‘source of tension and can precipitate fights Unearthly supply hours: so wake up at 2am to collect water!
Urban water: why the problem? Proximate factors ‘No service’ from government-provided systems Legal or administrative reasons (e.g., not notified/recognized, ear-marked for other development in CDP/Master Plan, in flood plains or other unauthorized location) Technical reasons: Distant from water supply trunk lines or where it is technically difficult to provide supply, e.g., steep hillsides Financial reasons: the unit cost of providing water supply is much higher than in other areas –hence ignored in budgetary allocations!); or household cannot afford to pay connection or monthly user charges
Urban water: underlyingproblems? Proximate factors ‘Poor service’ from government-provided systems Problems with the Source : either water is not potable or insufficient or contaminated due to pollution Problems with the water supply system: either design problems (inconvenient location of public water points, inconvenient timings, lack of sufficient pressure e.g., due to elevation or maintenance problems) or operational problems (major/minor repairs, no spare parts, tools ..) Underlying factors Poor financial resources with utility: due to lack of programme funding or poor revenue realization Lack of staff capacity: for field-level operations & also lack of technical and financial capacities Lack of motivation: among staff, to improve
Who’s problem is it anyway? Government – has duty, mandate and resources Huge policy shift since 2005 (MoUD, MHUPA) JNNURM (~100,000 crores, 63 cities, with BSUP, 7 yrs) UIDSSMT (combined IDSMT & AUWSP) Service level benchmarking – same norms for ALL (also 13th FC 2010) Massive resources XII FYP, 13th FC, JNNURM HPEC estimate of Rs. 8000 billion for 2012-31 (@2009-10 prices) City-wide infrastructure Planning & Investment CDP, JNNURM, UIDSSMT Slum-free cities – moving them out (e.g., Nashik) or shifting
Finding spaces for other players Change is inevitable: Government-driven & market-driven Private sector is already marketing for the ‘poor’: with innovative products, marketing strategies & supply chains ‘Water players’ (NGOs, networks, donors, private sector) can Pilot technical, financial, institutional & other innovations – for better services for the poor - for subsequent up-scaling by government Help the ‘regular’ private sector increase water options for the poor tailor market-based products to their requirements & constraints innovate marketing strategies & financing options Make private sector aware of size of the ‘poor’ market &