Further stressed by thermal power News:
  1. The article discusses about the water shortages in India and ways to mitigate it.
Important Facts:
  1. The Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) by the NITI Aayog, shows that 600 million people face high to extreme water stress in India.
  2. In the projections that the Central Water Commission (CWC) released in 2015, the sector-wise requirement of water (that is, for drinking and domestic use, industry and energy) will rise steeply between 2030 and 2050.
  3. The report, published in association with the Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Rural Development, places India at a dismal 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index.
  4. It predicts that a persistent water crisis will lead to an eventual 6% loss in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2030.
  5. About the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI):
  • The CWMI report covers these broad themese., groundwater and surface-water restoration; major and medium irrigation; watershed development; participatory irrigation management; on-farm water use; rural and urban water supply; and policy and governance.
  • The CWMI also raises three main issues related to data, i.e., limited coverage, unreliable data and limited coordination and sharing.
  • Significance: This Index is expected to establish a public, national platform providing information on key water indicators across states.
  • It 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.
  • The CWMI notes that water-scarce States such as Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana are leaders in the Index which is “likely driven by necessity in the face of looming water shortages”.
  1. Reasons for water shortage:
  • A significant key to this stress is the vast gulf of about 754 billion cubic metres (BCM) that has been predicted between the demand and supply of fresh water, by 2030.
  • This mounting rise in demand is starkly evident in the energy sector where the share of water consumed was 0.62% in 2010, and is pegged to rise up to 1.37% in 2030 and 8.98% in 2050.
  • As per the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), March 2018, thermal electricity accounts for more than 86% of India’s total power generation and 77% of India’s total electricity comes from thermal power plants that are dependent on freshwater sources.
  • Of all the freshwater-cooled thermal plants,9% of generation capacity is installed in areas with high or extremely high water-stress.
  • Moreover by 2030, more than 70% of India’s existing thermal power utilities are likely to experience an increased level of water competition from agricultural, urban, and other industrial demands.
  1. Challenges and way forward:
  • Measuring water consumption by power plants has been a challenge for long.
  • However, it can easily be tackled by using the existing CEA reporting mechanism for daily generation for which daily water withdrawal and consumption reporting should be mandated. These can be measured with existing technology and added into this reporting framework.
  • In addition, information about water stress, power plant siting (location) and so on must be shared seamlessly across departments a service that the CWMI could perform.