Market forces could play a role in India water security

Source– The post is based on the article “Market forces could play a role in India water security” published in the mint on 20th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- Government policies for development in various sectors. GS1- Economic Geography

News– The article explains the need for enhancing water use efficiency in India and the roadmap for achieving this target.

Why has the importance of water security increased?

According to a NITI Aayog report, 600 million Indians face extreme water stress.

Water demand for irrigation is expected to grow by 14% by 2025, for domestic needs and double for industrial use.

Water efficiency is low in India. A Global Water Intelligence study shows that water loss in India is almost at 50%.

What are the best practices for water use efficiency around the world?

Australia Water Efficiency Labeling and standard scheme– It reduces water consumption by promoting use of technologies and products that save water. Products are given a water efficiency rating.

Singapore Mandatory Water Efficiency Management Practices– Commercial entities are required to submit details of their water consumption and water efficiency plan to concerned government department. With this data, water efficiency benchmarks for different sectors are developed.

What should be the further course of action?

India’s star rating programme for energy efficient products has been a successful initiative.

A water rating system needs to be developed to measure water consumption by individuals.

Demand at individual level needs to be monitored. We need to fast-track the installation of water meters.

Customers need to pay for water consumption. Prices need to be higher in water-stressed areas to incentivize the saving of water.

There is a need to generate political will for introducing market methods of demand and supply.

The proposed National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency needs to be established.

A multi-year coordinated effort between government, customers, and businesses is required.

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