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Ensuring Drinking Water To All: A Study In Gujarat Indira Hirway1

Introduction Gujarat State, located in the western part of India, is one of the prosperous states in India. It enjoys a relatively high per capita income and has a diversified economy b acked by a fairly diversified workforce. The state has about 50 m. population (2001) spread over 196000 sq. km area which is highly diverse in terms of geo-physiological characteristics, ranging from thick forests and hilly areas in the south to arid desert areas in the north and northwest. Gujarat is a water stressed state, with its per capita availability of fresh water at 1137 m3
3 (less than 1700 m per year). Several region of the state even suffer from chronic water

shortages. This shortage is reflected in the shortage of potable water in many parts of the state, particularly in North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kachachh. Though efforts have been made to ensure adequate water supply to all, somehow these efforts have not been very successful. There is therefore a need to take a fresh look at the problem and at the efforts in order to understand the problem better and to reorient the efforts. This paper intends to do this. The paper is divided into three sections. Section one describes the status of drinking water in the state, section two assesses the efforts made by NGOs and by the government to reach adequate water supply to all, while section three draws inferences for designing sustainable approach to providing drinking water to all in the state.

Paper prepared for the 4th IWMI-TATA Annual Partners Research Meet, 24-26 February 2005. Some parts of the paper are based on a larger study ( Status of Drinking Water: Towards a Sustainable Approach by Indira Hirway and Shital Lodhia) sponsored by WHO, New Delhi.

1. Status of Drinking Water in Gujarat Rural Areas Historically speaking, there was no serious problem of drinking water reported in the state in the pre-independence period, except for a few references to shortages of drinking water in some situations (Patel 1970). This was largely due to the fact that ground water situation was fairly good in most parts of the state and it was available even during droughts. works to supply water to people (Bhatia 1992). In fact, construction of water extraction structures was undertaken as a part of famine relief Acute shortage of water was first noted during the droughts of 1960-61. The first survey on drinking water was conducted in 196364 to study the problem. The survey reported that about 1043 villages had no dependable facility for drinking water and 3219 villages had inadequate supply of drinking water, that is, about 16-17 per cent villages suffered from drinking water shortages. The problem of drinking water acquired significant dimensions gradually with the increased use of ground water in irrigation on the one hand and the declining traditional water systems of managing local water supply on the other hand. In the Fourth Plan, the concept of No Source Village (NSU) was introduced to identify problem villages with inadequate supply of water, and accordingly a village was an NSV if it did not have a reliable source of water*. The policy of the government was to identify such villages and provide them with a source. With the depleting ground water resources, accompanied by fluctuating rainfall, the sources identified frequently turned out to be temporary. As a result, the villages with source many times became no source villages when the temporary source dried up. The estimates of NSVs therefore fluctuated widely overtime, from 5086 in 1980, 4833 in 1985, 16351 in 1987-88 to 186 in 1990 and 416 in 1992 (Hirway and Patel 1993). This indicated the fluctuating nature of the problem.

A village is a no source village if it has any of the following characteristics: (1) No public well, (2) has a public well that dries up in summer making villagers travel more than 1 km to fetch water, (3) a source of water supply more than 1 km away, (4) no possibility of a well, needed a tube well for drinking water, (5) there is a public well, but the supply is below 70 lpcd, (6) non potable water supply (GWSSB 2000).

Though the situation deteriorated in the 1990s, it needs to be noted here that the natural availability of water resources, particularly for drinking and domestic use, has not been very poor in the state in spite of the inter-regional variation in the water supply. Gujarat is highly heterogeneous in terms of physical parameters like lithography, geomorphology, geohydrology, rainfall, temperature, evaporation etc. Based on these parameters, the state can be divided into the following regions: North Gujarat, Central Gujarat, South Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kachchh. Though the rainfall in t hese regions varies from 300-350 mm in Kachchh to 700-800 mm in North and Central Gujarat to 2000 +mm in South Gujarat, the low rainfall regions have favourable conditions for storage of ground water, and till about 23 decades ago, these regions enjoyed good water supplies, at least for the purpose of drinking water. For example, the low rainfall regions of North Gujarat and Kachchh have favourable geomorphic conditions capable of storing rich ground water and the region enjoyed good ground water supply. However, this water has been continuously over exploited for the past 30-35 years, with the result that the region at present suffers from severe depletion and degradation of ground water. Even today the water tables in this region are going down by about 10 feet every year thanks to the over-drafting of ground water! Similarly, the permeable geological formations along with Saurashtra coast can store aquifers of sweet water in this low rainfall region; but the indiscriminate exploitation of water by farmers without any attention to recharge has exhausted this supply, with the result that this region is degraded, saline and suffering from severe shortage of drinking and domestic water. Again, the forest region in the eastern tribal belt had thick forest, which retained water supply in streams and rivulets through out the year. However, deforestation and degradation of environmental resources in this region lead these streams dry up a few months after the monsoon, leaving tribal population to suffer from serious shortages of water supply. In short, over drafting of ground water in many parts of the state, particularly in Kachchh, Saurashtra and North Gujarat has resulted in severe depletion and degradation of ground water, and depletion and degradation of forests has depleted water resources in the eastern tribal belt. In addition, the other factors that have contributed to the problem are (a) water logging and the resultant salinity of water supply on some of the canal irrigated regions,

particularly in South Gujarat, where water use has been much more than what is necessary, and (b) pollution of surface and ground water in the regions where industrial discharges, agricultural discharges (with chemicals) and discharges of human settlements have degraded the quality of water supply of ground and surface water. It appears that the state has not been able to manage its water resources well. The state has promoted agricultural growth by providing high subsidies for construction of wells/tube wells and supplying almost free energy for drawing ground water, without paying any attention to its recharge, with the result that severe depletion and degradation of ground water has taken place in many regions causing serious shortage of drinking water. Also, use of canal water has been highly subsidized to promote agricultural growth, which has frequently led to overuse of water and the consequent water logging and to salinity of land and water. Again, lack of effective regulations with regard to industrial, agricultural and domestic discharges have badly polluted ground and surface water in many areas causing shortage of potable drinking water in these areas. In the past two decades, the state has lost about 27 percent of its ground water resources, the loss being 50 percent in North Gujarat. About 87 percent area of the state has become non white in ground water, implying unsafe withdrawal of ground water in these areas
3 (Hirway 1999). The per capita availability of water supply has declined from 1322 M in 1991

to 1137 M3 in 1999-2000 against the norm of 1700M3 at satisfactory level. This availability is
3 3 3 427 M in North Gujarat, 734 M in Saurashtra and 875 M in Kachchh2 (IRMA 2001), which

indicates serious water stress situation. This water crisis is reflected in innumerable incidents of public rallies and demonstrations (some times resulting in violence) taken out to protest against water shortage in the different towns and cities as well as in villages in the state. 3

According to the norms, per capita availability of water above 1700 M 3 is satisfactory, 1000-1700 M3 is water stress, 500-1000 is not favourable to human health as well as economic growth and below 500 M 3 is threat to life. 3 The first major violent water riots were witnessed in Falla village of Jamnagar district (Saurashtra) in 1999. However, before that, in 1990s, several demonstrations and rallies have been witnessed in villages of Kachchh, Suarashtra and North Gujarat, in several urban centres in the state as well as in Gandhinagar, the state capital. In the recent years these rallies are frequently turning violent (Times of India May 2, 2001, February 19, 2002 and January 18, 200; Indian Express April 6, 2002; Economic Times April 9, 2002; Gujarat Samachar May 4, 2002, May 18, 2003 etc.).

An additional factor that has contributed to t he problem is the decline of the traditional local systems of water supply. Traditionally, water supply was managed through local systems in most villages in the state. Each geo-hydrological region in the state had its own methods of collecting and using local water systems. These local systems seem to have declined because (1) the local Panchayats / community organizations declined and became defunct and there were no local organizations to maintain and manage local water systems, (2) developmental works like roads, buildings and other infrastructure works created obstacles in the natural flows of water, affecting the natural recharge adversely, (2) over drafting of ground water depleted local water resources very badly leaving no adequate water supply, in terms of quality and quantity, for local people (Bhatia 1992), (3) GWSSB took over the responsibility of managing water supply with increasing use of regional schemes and increasing control of individual schemes, which left local people demotivated and disinterested in local water systems and (4) the general neglect of developing local water resources for meeting domestic and drinking water need water supply. In short, the state has not been able to manage its water resources well and has not been able to maintain the priorities in the use of water (for example, giving first priority to drinking water). The process of economic development has increased the demand for water for agriculture, industries and other economic activities on the one hand and the increasing population, including increasing urbanization and changing lifestyles have increased demand for water drinking and domestic purposes on the other hand. Somehow the different policies pertaining to the use of water in the state have not been able to manage the equilibrium between the demand and supply of water at the macro level as well as at the second level through proper allocation of water among the different sectors. As a result, the state is experiencing severe shortage of potable water in many parts of the region. Inadequate Water Supply : It has been estimated that rural areas have a relatively small share in the total water supply meant for drinking and domestic use. Though the rural population constitutes about 65% of the total population, t i consumes about 42% of the total domestic water supply. Saurashtra has more than 25% of the total rural population, but the population consumes only about 16% of the total water supply. The corresponding percentages are 3.4% and 2.4% for Kachchh, 50.70 % and 56.93% for South Gujarat and 20.7 % and 24.58 % for North Gujarat respectively. Saurashtra and Kachchh receive much less than 40 lpcd of water supply, which is also much less than the state average of 42 lpcd

(Hirway and Lodhia 2004). It has been esti mated that during the summer months of draught years (which are not infrequent in Gujarat) more than 50% of villages suffer from shortage of adequate potable water ( Master Plans of different years of GWSSB). Poor Quality of Water Supply : Another major problem of rural water supply is regarding its quality. GWSSB has been providing data on the habitats, which have excess fluoride, excess salinity and excess nitrates in their water supply. A recent survey conducted by GWSSB in collaboration with the Rajiv Gandhi Mission on Drinking Water has collected data on the quality of water supplied to 32140 rural habitats in the state (2002-03). The study shows that: About 38% habitats do not satisfy the WHO Guidelines with respect to the fluoride content in water supply and about 23.6 % habitats do not even satisfy the maximum permissible limit of the fluoride content in water. North Gujarat suffers the most by excessive fluoride followed by Saurashtra and Kachchh. More than 70% habitats in Patan and Gandhinagar suffer from excessive fluoride in their water supply, followed by Banaskantha, Panchmahals, Dahod and Surendranagar. About 66.70% habitats do not satisfy the WHO guidelines with respect to the TDS content and about 10% habitats do not satisfy the maximum possible limit of the TDS content. Again, North Gujarat, mainly Patan, Mehsana and Ahmedabad are the worst sufferers with 44% habitats suffering from excessively saline water supply. Excessive nitrate is a lesser problems as 83 percent habitats satisfy the WHO Guidelines and only 4.5 percent habitats suffer from this problem. Rajkot and Junagadh are the worst sufferers of this problem, with about 28 33 percent habitats suffering from this impurity in drinking water. These districts are followed by Porbandar and Sabarkantha. Excessive salinity is negligible in the drinking water in Dangs, Navsari, Surat and Valsad in South Gujarat, in Dahod and Panch mahals as well as in Ahmedabad. Many of the habitats in the state suffer from more than one quality problems. The data show that more than one third of the habitats (34.52%) suffer from one or more problems. This is a serious matter, as it implies that one third of the public sources of water supply do not provide potable water to their users!

Pollution of Wa ter Supply : In addition to the above problems, there are problems of water contamination arising from solid and liquid waste disposal from industries and human settlements. Gujarat is one of the industrialized states of the country, with pollution prone industries (like oil refineries and petrochemicals, colour and dyestuff, pharmaceuticals, mineral based industries etc) dominating the industrial structure. Though the government has made several attempts to control pollution, it has not been very successful in this task. Gujarat has about 600 large and medium size water polluting factories and about 4300 small scale water polluting industrial units. Gujarat who has large number of solid waste producing units. Some of the industrial cetres/ regions are located in South Gujarat, where the pollution has contaminated their drinking water sources. The regions around the major industrial centers like Vadodara, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Vapi, Valsad, Surat, Navsari etc have polluted water sources, which have affected their drinking water sources adversely. Many times water from hand pumps spew coloured polluted water, wells are contaminated and river / streams are also contaminated (PSS 2004). A study in Ankleshwar taluka of Bharuch district has shown that (1) 88.5% villages have contaminated water supply, (2) 38% villages have colour in drinking water, (3) 58% villages have smell in drinking water and (4) 50% villages have sediments in drinking water. (Ankur Baruah 2004). Though we do not have a macro level picture of pol luted drinking water supply, the available micro level studies indicate that the problem is widely prevalent in many of the industrialized regions in the state. Water Supply Under Regional Schemes: Since the RWSS approach is becoming increasingly important in the water sector, it will be useful to examine the quality and quantity of supply provided under the schemes in the state. Several studies have examined the working of the regional schemes in the state. Usha Sharmas study of randomly selected 29 RWSSs located all over the state (Sharma 1996), Haskonings study of the Netherland supported RWSSs in Banskantha, Mehsana, Amreli and Bhavnagar (Haskoning 1999), CEPTs study of Lathi-Liliya RWSS in Amreli (Sharma and Soni 2003), DANIDAs study of two RWSSs located in Banaksantha and Mehsana (DANIDA 1996), the study by Mahajan and Bharwada of the RWSSs of Kachchh (1997) and the CAG Report (2001) are some of the important studies. One major finding of all the studies is that the village level availability of water supply is not satisfactory. The studies show that (1) tail end villages are usually deprived of water supply,

(2) for the other villages also the water supply is frequently irregular and unreliable, (3) the quantity of water supply is many times far from adequate (less than 10 lpcd some times), (4) the quality of water is not potable either because of the problems with the source or because of contamination caused by leakages and breakages. Some studies (Sharma 1996 and Mahajan and Bharwada 1996) have compared the performance of regional schemes with individual village level schemes (IWSS) and shown that the performance of the latter is better than the former in most cases. The reasons for this poor performance are found not only at the village level, but also at the project level, regional level and the state level. Some of the reasons are (1) the poor operation and maintenance of regional schemes at all the levels arising from the top down approach without appropriate supervision and monitoring, (2) breakages and leakages due to less than satisfactory maintenance and monitoring of pipelines, under growth of plants in pipelines, lack of enough pressure of water supply in pipelines, unauthorized connections and siphoning off water supply and thefts, (3) inadequate sources of water supply resulting in the supply not meeting the demand for water, (4) rampant theft of water supply by the powerful, (5) lack of involvement of people in the management of the schemes at the local level etc. The CAG Report (2001) has drawn attention to the corruption and misappropriation of funds in the state under water related programmes in general and regional schemes in particular. Several studies have observed that not all the villages covered under the regional schemes are No Source Villages. Many of them have local sources, which are defunct due to their neglect, frequently because water is now available from the regional schemes. Some times even villages located on river banks (rivers are dried up) depend on bulk transfer of water. As mentioned by the careful study by Usha Sharma, the present RWSS approach positively discourages local water sources to survive and grow (Sharma 1995) It is also observed that the cost of RWSS is much higher than the cost of individual schemes. Though this issue will be discussed at length later on, we quote here Usha Sharmas study where she compares the cost of RWSS and IWSS. The study shows that (1) the per capita capital cost as well as per capita O & M cost of f RWSS is higher than the same of IWSS, (2) as against this, the water availability (average) is higher in IWSS than in

RWSS, (3) the quality of water supply is better in RWSS than in IWSS and (4) the regularity and reliability of WS also is higher in IWSS than in RWSS.

Looking to the constraints of the planning and implementation of RWSS in the state, some important observations have been made by the studies: The larger the scheme (RWSS), the higher are the capital cost (per capita) and O & M costs (per capita). The larger the scheme, the more vulnerable it is to problems and losses The larger the scheme, the more difficult it is to manage and facilitate participation of people. In short, the large number of studies on RWSS do indicate that there are several problems with regard to this approach as well as its implementation. How to overcome these problems is a major concern of the policy makers and implementers at present. We shall discuss this later on. Urban Areas: Gujarat has about 150 urban centers, of which 7 are under municipal corporations and the rest are under municipalities. There are 8 Class A towns, 32 Class B towns, 44 Class C and 58 Class D towns. The available secondary data indicate that except for Vadodara which provides 182 lpcd and Surat which provides 149 lpcd, none of the municipal corporations provides the stipulated 150 lpcd. Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar provide only about half of the norm of 150 lpcd. A careful look at the small towns in Gujarat indicates that the municipalities are in a much worse condition, providing 60 lpcd to 85 lpcd of water supply! Saurashtra towns provide an average of 52 lpcd, while towns in South Gujarat provide 94 lpcd (Hirway and Lodhia 2004).

Irregular Water Supply : The water supply in urban areas is highly irregular. Among the municipal corporations, only Ahmedabad and Surat receive water for more than one hour per day. Rajkot, on an average, receives water for 0.25 hours per day, Jamnagar for 0.50 hours, Junagadh for 0.30 hours and so on. In the case of smaller towns, most of them receive water for 20-30 minutes a day (Patan, Morbi, Mansa, Chhaya etc.) to one hour daily (Palanpur, Disa, Lathi, Bagasara etc.) and to 3 hours daily (only a few towns like Paradi, Vapi, Valsad, Dharampur all in South Gujarat). About 8 towns (Chalala, Porbandar, Vankaner, kapadvanj and others receive water on alternative days for half an hour or so; 3 towns (Kodinar, Limdi and Gandhidham) receive water once in four days for 40-50 minutes and 5 towns (Surendranagar, Vadhvan, Jafarabad) receive it once in five days for 25 minutes to one hour! Keshod people receive water once in a week. (CMAG 2001). The availability of water supply changes with seasons, the summer months being the worst months for water supply. Unequal Water Supply : An important aspect of urban water supply is its highly unequal distribution across town classes and across wards, particularly between slum and non-slum populations.

Table 1 Water Supply in Municipal Towns, According to Size Class Class Minimum Class-A 16.22 Class-B 8.37 Class-C 9.52 Class-D 0.13 Source: Director Municipalities, Gandhinagar Table 2 Region-wise water supply Region Saurashtra North Gujarat South Gujarat Source: Director Municipalities, Gandhinagar Minimum 0.13 10.82 14.26 Average per capita water supply (LPCD) Maximum 119.22 154.88 250.85 Average per capita water supply (LPCD) Maximum 171.63 161.88 182.46 250.85

Average 74.46 84.62 73.54 57.57

Norms 180 140 120 100

Average 52.01 75.31 93.99


Table 3 Classification of Municipalities According to Water Supply 0-25 Region Saurashtra 10 North Gujarat 2 South Gujarat 4 Class Class-A 2 Class-B 1 Class-C 6 Class-D 7 Source: Director Municipalities, Gandhinagar Number of Municipalities according to water supply (lpcd) 25-50 50-75 75-100 Above 100 21 13 7 2 5 7 27 19 10 9 1 9 14 13 6 5 10 2 6 5 6 5 12 16 2 11 12 5 Total 61 42 46 9 32 44 58

The above three tables indicate that smaller towns tend to get smaller water supply, towns in Saurashtra and North Gujarat in general get lower water supply and the minimum water supply received by some urban populations is indeed very small! The per capita availability of water supply is quite low for people living in slums. For

example, in Bhuj domestic water use was 14 lpcd in slums while it was 79 in middle class housing societies and 108 in upper class societies; in Rajkot people in slums consumed 18 lpcd while in upper class societies people consumed 83 lpcd (and 300 lpcd of water when they got water tankers); in Jamnagar the consumption was 7.5 lpcd in slums and 95 lpcd in upper class societies and in Ahmedabad the consumption of water was 5lpcd in some slums and 500 lpcd in Shahibag! In general many slums get 7 to 8 lpcd in the state. (IRMA 2001). Quality of Urban Water Supply: As ground water is the major source of water supply in urban areas, its depletion and degradation in several regions has affected quality of urban water adversely. Excess salinity is observed in coastal towns, excess fluoride is observed in many towns and cities located in Saurashtra and North Gujarat, while excess nitrates and pollutants are observed in some of the urban centres located in South Gujarat. The other major causes of poor quality of water supply are inadequate sewage system, inadequate sewerage treatment and industrial effluents mixing with water supply. Indiscriminate discharges of factories into rivers, ponds, tanks etc. is observed in large number of industrial towns and cities. Frequently these discharges are made without even proper primary treatment. In spite of the efforts of the GPCB and the courts interventions, it has not been possible to control this source of impurity of urban water supply.


Less than satisfactory maintenance of water distribution pipelines is another source of contamination of urban water supply. Most urban towns have old pipelines, which are many times leaking or are broken, allowing outside impurities enter the water supply. In some cases water pipelines get mixed up with drainage lines, causing severe epidemics of jaundice, typhoid, cholera etc. It has been observed by the government of Gujarat (Urban Development Department) that the incidence of contamination and pollution of water supply is on the rise, resulting in the increasing incidence of wat er borne diseases. The quality problems of water supply are observed in all the regions of the state, right from Jamnagar, Jetpur, Rajkot, Vadhwan etc. in Saurashtra to Patan, Disa, Mehsana etc. in North Gujarat to Bharuch, Ankleswar, Vapi, Valsad etc. in South Gujarat. Poor quality and inadequate quantity of water supply has resulted in a high incidence of water borne diseases and skin diseases in urban Gujarat. The incidence of diseases like Jaundice, Cholera, Typhoid, Gastro enteritis etc. is quite high in some urban centres (Hirway and Mahadevia 2003). Also, lack of adequate water supply for bathing, cleaning and washing ahs frequently resulted in skin diseases (IRMA 2000). The incidence of Fluorosis also has been observed in some cities. It has been estimated by us (Hirway 2002) that the welfare cost of non potable water supply in the state (i.e. the medical cost of sickness including the cost of hospitalization and the cost of mortality caused by water borne diseases) for rural and urban areas combined is of the tune of Rs 1205.65 crores per year (1999-00)! It needs to be added that Narmada canal water will not necessarily make much difference to this situation, firstly because the distribution pipelines within cities are old and not maintained properly and secondly because the O & M function in most urban centres is observed to be very weak. In other words, unless the maintenance of pipelines improves, and in some cases new pipelines are laid, the quality problem will not be controlled even under the Narmada canal based project.

To sum up, the population of Gujarat, living in rural and urban areas, have problems with respect to drinking water. Though the overall situation seems to be better in urban areas, both the areas suffer from inadequate water supply in terms of quantity as well as quality.


2. Efforts of the State Government: Understanding the Water Problem Rural Areas Historically speaking, in the early years of independence, in the 1950s, the main interest of public policy at the all India level in this sector was to protect people from water borne diseases, as there were not serious problems of quantity of water supply, thanks to the comfortable ground water situation in the state. After the first survey on the availability of drinking water in the state in 1963-64 the concept of No Source Village was introduced in the state and the criteria for it were fixed. The policy was to find local sources of water supply for these villages. Since many state governments in the country were observed to be less than efficient in dealing with the problem villages, the Government of India introduced the first Centrally Sponsored Programme, ARWSP (Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme) in 1972-73 to cover problem villages under dependable sources of water supply. This cent percent centrally sponsored programme aimed at accelerating efforts of state governments in covering problem villages under the dependable sources of water supply. The ARWSP was followed by another centrally sponsored programme, the MNP (Minimum Needs Programme) in 1974-75 under which assuring potable and adequate water supply was identified as a minimum need to be fulfilled on a priority basis. In spite of these efforts however, the number of problem villages increased in many states, including Gujarat, and with the decline of the local sources, many states gave a high priority to transfer of water to problem villages under regional water supply schemes. The RWSS: The Mainstay of Government Policy: In the late seventies and the e arly eighties the state government introduced large regional water supply schemes to transfer bulk water supply to problem villages. The Netherlands supported schemes and the World Bank assisted schemes were important among these. In the Sixth Plan the government spent Rs. 65 crores on rural water supply and sanitation. In 1981-81 a ten-year Master Plan was designed for the period 1980/81 1990/91 at the cost of Rs. 572 crorores. This Master Plan included two major approaches: Regional Schemes of transferring bulk water supply to


problem villages and promoting individual village schemes based on local resources, whenever possible. The RWSS approach (also known as Multiple Village Water Supply Scheme MVWSS) was also introduced at the all India level in the 1970s as local sources were observed to be declining in many villages. One major cause of this was stated as ground water depletion that created shortage of water supply in many villages, and contamination of local water supply in some regions due to mineralization of ground water (due to over drafting of ground water) and pollution of water supply. The first major RWSS in India was set up in Raniganj coal area in Asansol, which covered 215 villages and 48 collieries. The Central government as well as many state governments have adopted this approach to provide adequate water supply to water deficit areas. Over the years, the state government in Gujarat has relied more and more on RWSSs and shown less and less faith in developing local water resources for drinking water. This is because (1) the local sources have been drying up due to increasing depletion and degradation of ground water and the quantity and quality of water supply was deteriorating, (2) the traditional systems were declining due to the reasons discussed earlier, (3) the demand for water for drinking and domestic use has been increasing due to changing life style of people and due to increasing population, (4) the increasing crisis situation required quick solutions and the regional schemes were seen as a good solution, and (5) with the increasing centralization in this sector and with the GWSSB taking up the responsibility of providing drinking water to all, the authorities preferred centralized solutions with a top down approach. The regional schemes have been liked by people also, as they did not have to take up any responsibility in managing water supply. With the increasing water crisis in the state, the government has been moving more and more towards crisis management. The increased frequency and intensity of droughts, which were accompanied by shortages of drinking water, pushed the state to look for quick solutions to the problem. The major components of the crisis management are as follows: Fixing new pipelines for RWSSs to reach problem areas Lifting Narmada water to feed new and old drying pipelines

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Feeding new and old pipelines (where sources have dried up) by drilling emergency bores and tube wells, whenever possible Transferring water to problem areas by water tankers, water trains and even ships! Drilling bores, tube wells etc. to access water from deeper aquifers for local population, whenever possible.

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The number of regional schemes was very small till about 1980 (there were 9 schemes in 1970 and 43 in 1980) and each of the schemes covered 3 to 7 villages each. The number of schemes jumped to 209 in 1990 and to 444 in 2000, and the number is still increasing. At present (21/07/2003) there are 119 new regional schemes under implementation. Of which 21 are partly completed, 57 are in progress and 41 have been just initiated 4. That is, about 5500 to 6000 villages (out of the total 18000 and odd) are covered or being covered under the regional schemes (February 2003). In addition, the government has now initiated a RS. 7200 crores project for supplying water to 8215 villages and 135 towns by laying 2700 km pipelines under the Narmada project. This implies that more than 55-60 percent of the villages and more than 90 % urban centres in the state will be soon covered by RWSSs ! These accelerated increase in the coverage of RWWSs reflects the acceleration in the water crisis in the state. The number of white talukas (i.e. talukas where the drafting of ground water is at a safe level) has fast declined in the state from 168 (88 percent) in 1980-82 to 54 (21 percent) in 1997-98. In addition, quite a few talukas are suffering from polluted and degraded water supply. The expenditure incurred on these schemes in 1990s under various projects and programmes 5 has been presented in the adjoining table. This table, which presents expenditures at 1999-00 prices, shows that the state government has spent a huge amount of Rs. 2822.14 crores as capital costs and Rs. 110.33 crores as O & M costs on RWSS during 1990-91 and 1999-00. That is, the state has spent in all Rs. 2932.47 crores on RWWSs during the last decade! This figure will rise further when the Narmada based projects are completed.

According to the latest data available from GWSSB on the on going regional schemes, there are 92 ongoing schemes in Central and South Gujarat, 107 schemes in North Gujarat, 245 schemes in Saurashtra and Kachchh. 5 Such as, the Minimum Needs Programme, Externally Aided Projects, Accelerated Water Supply Schemes, Emergency Water Supply Schemes etc.


Table 4 Incremental cost of depletion and degradation of water supply for drinking and domestic use during 1990-91 to 1999-2000 at 1999-2000 prices (in Rs crores) RWSS Tankers Quality Improvement RO/Desalinization Year Capital At 1999-2000 O&M prices Water Tankers At 19992000 prices Capital Cost At 19992000 prices O & M Cost At 19992000 prices 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.61 0.57 0.55 0 1.73 Defluoridation Capital Cost At 19992000 prices 0 0 0 0 4.70 1.91 4.58 19.34 32.33 793.5 142.2.1 O&M Cost At 19992000 prices 0 0 0 0 0.47 0.19 0.46 1.93 3.23 7.93 14.21 Grand Total At 19992000 prices 312.09 237.50 235.33 182.61 173.68 172.79 299.24 319.75 400.92 819.91 3153.82

1990-91 295.62 11.39 5.08 0 1991-92 201.18 13.72 22.60 0 1992-93 219.83 12.57 2.93 0 1993-94 157.50 12.04 13.07 0 1994-95 155.67 12.31 0.00 0.53 1995-96 158.05 11.22 1.01 0.41 1996-97 281.2.9 11.17 0.20 0.93 1997-98 288.20 8.70 0.13 0.88 1998-99 347.63 9.12 7.23 0.83 1999-00 717.13 8.09 7.41 0 Total 2822.1 110.33 59.66 3.58 Source: GWSSB Reports, Master Plans of GWSSB for different years Table 5 Private Expenditure on Buying Potable Water (1999-2000) Type

(in Rs crores) For 1999-2000

Private Tankers 30.2 One litre Bottled Water 64.5 Branded Pouches & 10-20 litre packing 24.0 Unbranded Water 161.0 Equipments for purifying water 214.0 Total 493.7 Source: Indira Hirway (2002), Quick Valuation of Depletion and Degradation of Environmental Resources in Gujarat, Centre For Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad

Table 5 shows that in the year 1999-00 private expenditure on accessing drinking water was about Rs 493.7 crores. Of this Rs. 214.0 crores were spent on purchasing water purifying equipments (like Aquauard, Zero B, Softel, Ion Exchange, Power H2O etc.), Rs. 161 crores on buying unbranded purified water in small and big packages, Rs. 88 crores on branded water bottles and packages and Rs. 30 crores on private tankers (Hirway 2002). If we add the public sector incremental expenditure of Rs. 819.91 crores in that year, the total incremental cost of water supply for 1999-00 comes to more than Rs. 1300 crores! There is no doubt that the unit cost of water supply has increased in the state over the past decades, as the dependence on bulk transfer of water from surplus to deficit regions by the regional schemes, and also tankers, trains, ships etc. has increased over the years. Under the Sardar Sarovar based project, the cost ranges from Rs. 9.00 to Rs. 15.00 per 1000 liters, while under the private sector the cost per liter goes up to Rs. 1.50 per liter to Rs. 10.00 per


liter! As we shall soon see, these costs are much higher than the costs under the local rain water harvesting structures. It seems that the state has moved to costly options of water supply! Narmada Based Project or Sardar Sarovar Based Drinking Water Master Plan: Looking to the severe depletion and degradation water resources in the state, it was decided in the year 1990-91 (9 th Plan) to use water from Narmada (i.e. Sardar Sarovar) to provide dependable water supply to the regions of Kachchh, Saurashtra and North Gujarat. A project called Sardar Sarovar Canal Based Drinking Water Supply Project was therefore designed to provide water supply to 8,215 villages and 135 towns of Saurashtra, North Gujarat and Panchamahal districts of the state. The main objectives of the project are as follows: To supply adequate and safe drinking water to the areas suffering from severe shortage of water supply.

To feed the regional water supply schemes, which are not providing adequate water supply due to failure of their respective sources. To provide water supply to those regional schemes and individual (village) schemes which provide poor quality of water supply due to various reasons. To supply potable water to those towns and villages which have excess salinity, excess fluoride or excess nitrates in their water supply. To recharge ground water in depleted areas and to ensure drinking water to problem areas even during drought years. To reduce out migration of people by ensuring drinking water and by promoting employment in the areas suffering from water shortages.

The Master Plan covers all the seven districts (old districts) of Saurashtra, Kachchh, and five districts of Mainland Gujarat, i.e. Ahmedabad, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Banaskantha and Panchmahals. The implementation of the project has been spread over three phases: Immediate Phase, which includes the most problematic districts of Amreli, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Surendranagar and Kachchh. Phase I covers the areas where the water supply is not so frequent and also ground water is partially available. These areas include Panchamahal, Sabarkantha,


Banaskantha and Surendranagar, and Phase II covers all the remaining areas that fall under the project. The state government plans to complete that entire project during the Tenth Plan. In addition to the budget allocation of Rs. 2,300 crores under the plan, the state government plans to borrow Rs. 200 crores from financial institutions and Rs. 60 crores will come from the governments equity in Gujarat Infrastructure Limited, bringing the total outlay in the Tenth Plan to Rs. 2,560 crores. For the remaining amount, the state government proposes to get financial assistance under externally aided programmes. In short, this project is one of the biggest drinking water projects in India, with its coverage of 8,215 village and 135 towns and total cost of more than 7,400 crores! It covers more than 45 percent villages and more than 90 percent of urban centres in the state. It is also one of the most costly projects, with the estimated cost of Rs. 9.00 to Rs. 15.00 per 1,000 liters!

Role of local Rain Water Harvesting Structures in Drinking Water In 1986 the Central government adopted a Mission approach and decided cover No Source Villages by dependable sources by the end of the Seventh Plan. Five Sub Missions relating to the quality of water supply and 55 Mini Missions in the form of pilot projects were taken up in the country. These Sub-Mission included control of Fluorosis, removal of excess iron and excess salinity from drinking water, eradication of Guinea worm and conservation & recharging of water. A review during the Plan, however, revealed that results were not very satisfactory, primarily because (1) many states experienced rapid depletion and degradation ground water, (2) temporary sources for problem villages went dry within a short period leaving villages as problem villages, (3) maintenance of existing works was neglected and because (4) communities were not involved in most of these programmes. During this period, several NGOs in the different states in the country had demonstrated successes by involving communities in developing and managing local water resources, mainly through rain water harvesting. The Government of India therefore decided in the 9th Plan to focus on peoples participation and local water resources. Sector Reforms were introduced in 1999 on a pilot basis by the Government of India and three districts of the state, namely, Surat, Rajkot and Mehsana were selected for this programme. Sector


Reforms, which aimed at ensuring sustainability of water supply, had three major objectives: (1) to ensure enabling politically legally and institutionally supportive environment for Sector Reforms, (2) to ensure institutional sustainability of Sector Reforms through community participation and (3) to ensure financial viability and financial sustainability of Sector Reforms through proper cost recovery. The Government of India thus for the first time promoted demand based participatory approach instead of supply based top down approach. Based on the experiences of Sector Reforms in selected districts, Swajaldhara was launched in the entire country in 2002. Like Sector Reforms, Swajaldhara is a paradigm shift focusing on community participation in the planning, implementing, operation and maintenance of schemes of its choice (GOI 2003). It is a decentralized approach and a bottom up approach empowering local communities for water management. Under Swajaldhara it is believed that water is a scarce resource and a socio economic good, which needs to be provided to all at a price and not as a free good. Experiences have shown that as a free good it is misused and highly unequally distributed. Also, people pay for water if they own it, they plan and manage it, they collect funds for it and when they know that the government will not maintain it. Swajaldhara thus focuses on locally managed water resources and preferably locally augmented water resources. Following the Central Government, the state government also has taken steps to promote local water systems. In the mid 1990s the state government set up a state level Recharge Committee to promote rainwater harvesting. In the Action Plan for the year 1996-97, the government decided to promote two rainwater harvesting schemes, namely, Roof Water Collection Tankas for households and the scheme of recharging ground water through local rainwater harvesting structures at the community level. Rs. 100 lakhs and Rs. 200 lakhs were allotted to these two programmes respectively. So far more than 11,000 tankas and 500 ground water recharge structures have been constructed in the state (GWSSB 2003) In 1998-99 the state government launched Sardar Patel Participatory Sahbhagi Jal Sanchay Yojana (SPPWCP) to promote the ongoing check dam movement in the state, and particularly in Saurashtra, which is a highly suitable area for check dams, with the rapidly flowing 70 rivers in the region. Under this scheme people/NGOs are expected to contribute 40 percent of the costs against which 60 percent of the costs is given by the Government for


constructing check dams. This programme has received very good support from people. It has been estimated that about 20,000 25,000 check dams have been constructed under this programme till 2002-2003. An Independent Evaluation of the Scheme (Shingi and Asopa 2002) has examined, among other things, the impact of check dams on the availability of drinking and domestic water supply in the supply in the surrounding regions of check dams. This evaluation study has observed, an overflowing majority of respondents indicated that check dams were able to reduce the severity of drinking water problem in their village. However, the study shows that this effect of check dams does not last for more than one or at the most two drought years. One drought may change this situation dramatically. Check dams can help in providing drinking water on a sustainable basis only if (1) they are constructed near to the settlements (the impact of a check dam is restricted to a small area), and (2) a large number of check dams are constructed so that water is recharged on a significant area scale. The impact of these check dams will be translated into sustainable supply of water only after 3-4 years. Watershed Development Programme promoted in the 1990s is also expected to help in improving the local availability of drinking water. In fact, drinking water gets the first claim on the water collected under the programme. However, direct water harvesting structures have an advantage over WSD for drinking water as (a) WSD is a long-term process, which takes about five years to complete and (b) it is more expensive than construction of local water harvesting structure. Though the advantages of WSD cannot be denied, as far as drinking water is concerned, local water harvesting structures are better solutions. It needs to be noted that there is no conflict between local structures and WSD. In fact, both supplement and complement each other in the long run. Sector Reforms were introduced in the state in 1999 in three districts, Surat, Rajkot and Mehsana. Though isolated activities under the programme continued for some time, the serious implementation started in 2001 when District Water Missions were formed under Guardian Ministers. An IEC Implementation Process Manual was prepared and intensive work was carried out for communication development, which included posters, poems, slogans, short films and other material. NGOs were closely involved with the programme. They conducted PRAs, formed groups, imparted training, helped in preparation of village level plans and contributed at all the levels (Jadeja 2003). This experience helped considerably when Swajaldhara was introduced in 2001.


Formation of Pani Samitis: The state government, through its circular in 2002 (24th December), has made formation of Pani Samitis mandatory for all village Panchayats in the state. According to this circular each village Panchayat has to form a Samiti by passing a resolution in the Panchayat. Each Pani Samiti will have 10 12 members, of whom one third will be women, 5 from the village Panchayat, 2 -3 from locally registered NGOs (like local cooperatives, Mahila Mandal, Farmers society etc) and 1-2 from SC/ST population. There will be invited members like GWSSB representatives, local Health Worker and Talati cum Mantri without the voting rights. The Pani Samiti will select its own Chairman through election and the Talati/Mantri will be the member secretary. The major functions of the Samiti are (1) to take care of water and sanitation management in the village, (2) identify local water sources and prepare a scheme for its development for implementation, (3) manage the water sources of the village, (4) carry out O and M of the regional scheme if local sources are not available, (5) take care of sanitation and cleanliness of the village, (6) assure equal distribution of water in the village and (7) fix and collect water charges from people. The work of setting up Pani Samitis has been launched in the State. Ghogha Water Supply and Sanitation Programme or Ghogha project on Community Managed Regional Water Supply and Sanitation is an important landmark for promotion of community management water supply and sanitation in the state. Though the project was originally designed as a typical Regional Water Supply Scheme for 82 villages of Ghogha Taluka of Bhavnagar district, it was realized that (1) it was necessary to involve local communities in water supply management and (2) it was also necessary to explore augmenting local water resources through rain water harvesting structures. The following objectives were therefore decided for the project: To provide reliable, sustainable and cost effect water supply and sanitation facilities in 82 villages of Ghogha, Talaja and Bhavnagar talukas of Bhavnagar district, and

To develop and apply concepts and methodologies that support community owned and managed water supply systems.

The major components of the project are provision of water supply; health, hygiene and sanitation; and water resources management. The strategy is to set up community organization and promote decentralized community and community managed water supply


systems in the villages. Training and capacity building of Pani Samitis and communities is an important component of the programme. This project has been successful in terms of setting up strong community organizations, their capacity building and their ability to manage their own water and sanitation sectors. WASMO (Water and Sanitation Management Organization): The Ghogha experiences in community managed water supply resulted in the formation of WASMO, which is now an important organization of the state government for promoting community participation in the water sector. It has taken over from CMSU (Community Management Support Unit), which was set up for promoting community participation in the Ghogha project. The vision of WASMO is to be a resource centre for decentralized management of drinking water and sanitation in the state. It was set up in 2001, with the Dutch financial support, as an autonomous centre, supported by the Water Supply Department. It is also a Centre for capacity building and networking, a think tank for Water Supply Department and Civil Society. The mission of WASMO is to demonstrate that rural communities are able to develop and manage water resources, water supply and sanitation activities/facilities in a sustainable and efficient way. WASMO is expected to support the state government in developing management models for specific geographical areas, technology and socio-cultural environments. These models are expected to address specific needs of different regions and facilitate government policies for decentralization in the water and sanitation sector. WASMO is expected to create conditions for coordinated efforts in the sector by government and civil society organizations, i.e. NGOs, CBOs and research institutes. The major areas of activities of WASMO are (a) IEC, Institution Building, (b) Technology promoting new technology and innovation and (c) policy development. In order to carry out these functions WASMO enjoys independence as well as government support from the concerned departments. WASMO has undertaken two important programmes in the recent years: (1) Community Based Water and Sanitation in Earthquake Affected Areas and (2) Implementation of Swajaldhara.


Community Managed Water and Sanitation in Earthquake Affected Areas: The devastating earthquake that struck Gujarat on January 26, 2001 resulted in a huge loss of life and property mainly Kachchh district and to an extent in the districts of Jamnagar, Rajkot, Surendranagar, Patan etc. The earthquake damaged both rural and urban water supply systems including regional pipelines, storage structures, traditional structures in the affected areas. There e merged an immediate need to restore water supply systems and the need for a massive reconstruction and rehabilitation programme in this sector. Swajaldhara: WASMO is the coordinating agency for the implementation of Swajaldhara programme in Gujarat. As seen above, Swajaldhara was launched in the entire country in 2002. According to the latest data available from WASMO (January 2004), so far 466 villages have formed Pani Samitis, 455 villages have formed schemes and 414 village Pani Samitisand Gram Sabhas have approved the schemes.

To sum up, the state government has adopted a two pronged strategy to reach water supply to villages in the state: (1) transfer of water to problem villages / regions through regional schemes or in some cases through tankers or water trains, water ships etc and (2) promotion of local water sources by digging a well or drilling a bore well / tube well etc or by encouraging local water harvesting structures. As seen in the first section, both the approaches have problems, as both have their weak points. Urban Areas The state policy regarding urban water supply can be broadly divided in to two parts: (1) water supply and (2) water services. Water Resources: There are three major sources of water supply for urban centres in the state: local surface water, local ground water and bulk supply of water from distant sources which could be ground or surface water. Saurashtra towns, particularly, small towns depend mainly on ground water, while large towns use irrigation dam water also. In north Gujarat and South


Gujarat also ground water local or distant is widely used, though in South Gujarat, several towns use surface water also.
Table 6 Water Supply in Urban Centres in Gujarat (%) Region Surface Sub-Surface Bulk Purchase Total Saurashtra 21 44 25 61 North Gujarat 2 34 10 43 South Gujarat 17 38 8 46 Source: Director Municipalities, Gandhinagar Note: Several urban centres have multiple sources of water supply, with the result that the totals are not summations of the three columns.

The table shows that about 77 percent urban centres use ground water for water supply. About 28.6 percent urban centres, which use bulk water from distant sources, also use ground water in many cases. It has been estimated that about 87 percent of water supply for urban areas comes from ground water, directly or indirectly. Surface water from local tanks, pond, and nearby or distant irrigation dam is the other major source of water supply. As seen earlier, this water supply is not adequate in terms of quantity and quality. Bulk transfer of water from distant places, from deeper aquifers or irrigation dams, is emerging as an important source of water supply in urban areas also. In the year 1998-99 about 43 urban centres (28.7 percent) depended on this source. With the Narmada canal based project this number is bound to increase as this project is expected to provide water supply to 135 towns in the state, i.e. it will cover 90 percent of the urban centres in the state! Since urban centres, particularly large cities are politically visible, vocal and demanding, they are frequently served by multiple sources and firefighting efforts are made to meet crises situations in these centres. For example, in order to ensure water supply to Rajkot during the drought of 2000-2001, bore wells were dug to access water from deeper aquifers at Wankaner on war footing. Similarly, Raska project was taken up to get Mahi water to Ahmedabad on a warfooting, and 32 km long pipeline was laid, water was treated at Kotarpur and brought to Ahmedabad in record 130 days! (NIUA FIRE 2001). At present Rajkot receives water from four sources, namely, Aji dam, Nyari 1 & Nyari 2 dams, and Wankaner tubewells. Narmada water also has reached Rajkot under the Narmada canal based p roject. In the same way, Ahmedabad, which received water from Dharoi, accessed Mahi water through Raska weir and now is getting water from Narmada along with


underground water from deeper aquifers. It appears that with the increasing water demand and depleting water resources, urban centres are looking for additional water resources mainly from deeper aquifers and/or farther river/dam water. Recycling of wastewater and rainwater harvesting are not yet seen as sources of water supply. As a result, wastewater, which could be recycled very well and used for washing & cleaning (also for drinking if processed well) is almost wasted. The total water use in urban Gujarat was about 740 MCM in 1996-97. This must have increased considerably at present. However, even if we assume it to be 750 MCM, 562 MCM (75 percent) would be the wastewater, which could be recycled. Even if 50 percent of it is recycled, the state can generate 280-290 MCM per year for urban use. In the same way, rain water harvesting can contribute significantly to the total water supply. In the past each town had many lakes/tanks/ponds, which could be revived for water collection. Also, towns located on riverbanks can augment water supply through constructing check dams and Bandharas. Rainwater collection tankas are also very convenient for urban areas (as compared to rural areas) as there are pucca and semi-pucca houses which could add roof water collection systems. In addition, urban centres can organize recharge of ground water by directly putting rain water underground through bores, percolation tanks etc. This will also resolve the much-discussed problems of water logging in urban areas. In short, there are immense possibilities of rainwater harvesting in urban areas. Somehow both these approaches, recycling and recharge, are not considered as sound options. The present approach of looking for fresh ground and dam water resources for meeting increasing demand is an unsustainable approach, financially as well as environmentally. The increasing cost per liter of water is bound to create a problem in fact it is already creating problem, and the shortage of water supply is bound to put an end to this wild search of water. Water Services: Several problems have been identified with respect to urban water services in Gujarat and India by studies, reports, documents etc. (CMAG 2001, 2002 & 2003, UN-HABITAT 2002,


GITCO & GMFB 1999, The World Bank 1999, Pitman 2002 etc.). The major problems are identified as follows: Operation and Management (O & M): Lacunas in O & M of water services have been identified as one of the major problems of urban water services in India and in Gujarat. It has been observed that O & M systems in our urban centres have not been designed well. Instead of organizing O & M on a sound strategy, ad hoc steps are taken for operating water services. This is far from adequate for efficient management of water systems.Lack of adequate funds for O & M also is responsible for shortages in staff, tools, spares etc. for proper O & M. Shortage of power, electricity is another problem in the way of operating water systems efficiently. Also, shortage of technical manpower, problem of urban governance, inefficiencies and lack of proper supervision and monitoring etc. result in inefficiencies of different kinds. Leakages and Breakages: Leakages and breakages is another problem resulting also from poor O & M systems. Poor pipeline material, lack of proper repair and maintenance of distribution systems, unauthorized connections, theft of water etc. are the major causes of leakages. These leakages result in UFW (unaccounted for water i.e. loss of water before it reaches consumers) as well as in contamination of water supply. In Indian cities, the leakages are estimated to be in the range of 30 percent to 50 percent by the India Infrastructure Report (GOI 1996). In the case of Gujarat also the range has been observed to be up to 50 percent (CMAG 2003). These leakages are in the range of 3 percent in Germany and 8 percent in Singapore. Monitoring Distribution Networks: This is an important task for ensuring efficient water services. At present distribution of water to the different areas of the city/town is managed by restricting the timing of water supply to 2 hours, one hour or sometime less than that, once or twice a day. However, this method reduces water pressure and distributes it unevenly, which damages the pipes resulting in leakages and breakages on the one hand and reduces the quantity and quality of water supply on the other hand. There is an urgent need to operate and monitor distribution networks efficiently.


In short, there are high systemic water losses in our urban centres, emanating from thefts, mal-functioning of controls, illegal connections, meter errors and tampering with water services. These losses, if controlled, can save significant amount of water supply. Good maintenance of pipelines including cleaning them periodically and repairing in time is an important solution to this problem. Another solution is metering water use for determining water charges. In fact, it is difficult to manage water use well without proper metering and fixing charges according to the water use. Water charges and Economic Viability: Providing water supply to town/city dwellers costs money. These costs vary from city to city depending on the source of water supply, O & M systems, water supply etc. In order to maintain the water services, it is necessary to charge people not only to take care of O & M costs, but also to meet the capital costs in the long run. This will improve the level of services, which will satisfy urban population. The present method of charging flat rates does not seem to be adequate firstly because the rates are low and secondly because the rates do not take adequate care of the quantity of water consumed. Efficient metering seems to be the main solution to this problem. At present the charges vary from town to town, from Rs. 50-60 per year per household to Rs. 300-400 per year per household. We have seen that even with full recovery, these charges are not able to meet even the O & M costs of water supply. In reality, however, the recovery is very low, ranging from 10 percent to about 50 percent, which just cannot meet even the O & M costs. In fact, pending electricity bills and pending payments for water supply is a major problem with many municipalities. In some cases these dues run in to crores of rupees! In short, the water sector has become unviable sector and municipalities are finding it more and more difficult to manage the sector. Issues in Urban Governance: Weak urban governance is one of the major factors

responsible for the poor performance of water services. The staff with municipalities is frequently too small, not adequately skilled, poorly motivated, less than effici ent, not made adequately accountable, corrupt and frequently rigid and procedure bound. There are also problems with respect to supervision and monitoring of the staff. Consequently, in most cases they are not able to deliver the goods in terms of efficient water services. Also, there is no political will to charge people for making the water sector financially viable. Studies have shown that there is a willingness to pay on the part of people for efficient water services if water supply is available in adequate quantity and quality, but there is neither


willingness to provide efficient services nor willingness to charge viable water rates (CMAG 2003). Lack of Community Participation: There is hardly any community participation in the water sector in urban centres in Gujarat. People are neither involved in organizing water supply nor in managing water supply and services. Water supply is provided in a top down fashion to people. Also, there is not much awareness about the need for undertaking community action to resolve the problem in this sector. Except for a very few isolated cases, common people are totally indifferent to the problems. Most urban people take their right to water supply as granted and believe that the state government should organize this a t low rates. Government Policy and Programmes for Urban Water Supply: As in the case of rural areas there are several programmes designed to promote water supply facilities in urban areas. The major programmes that help urban local bodies to improve their water supply and water services are discussed below: Accelerated Urban Water Supply Programme (AUWSP): This is a centrally sponsored programme, launched in 1993-94, aiming at extending support to state government and local bodies (urban) for providing water supply facilities in the towns having population less than 20,000 (1991 census). The main objectives of the programme are (1) to provide safe and adequate water supply facilities to the entire population of the towns with population less than 20,000, in a fixed time frame, (2) to improve the environment and quality of life and (3) to promote better socio-economic conditions and higher productivity of people thereby. The Government of India has selected 25 projects in Gujarat at the cost of Rs. 30.99 crores. Out of these 8 are completed (Dharampur, Bantwa, Okha, Mendarda, Jodia, Barvala, Visavadan and Dhrol) and 17 are on going. Seventeen more schemes will be undertaken in the Tenth Plan. Bajpayi Nagar Vikas Yojana: (BNVY): This is a state government scheme launched in 1999 with a view to promoting urban infrastructure and services and to improving quality of life of the urban poor. The two main reasons for launching the scheme are (1) poor status of urban services and quality of life, particularly of the poor and (2) weak financial conditions of urban bodies to take up works to improve this situation. Each municipality is entitled to Rs


1.65 crores to Rs 2.20 crores in two phases for implementing well designed projects.


these amounts 50 % (40 % in the case class A cities) is given as grants and 50 % (60 % in class A) as loans. A city/town level committee is to be set up to design and approve schemes, while a district level committee is to be set up to give the final approval. District level committees are headed by ministers, followed by collectors as deputy chairman. Local bodies are provided technical assistance, for preparing projects by the state government. Urban Development Fund and Urban Infrastructure Development Programme: Urban Development Fund has been created by the state government to provide cheap loans to urban bodies to undertake urban development works. Water supply, storm water management, sewerage management are included in the list of the urban development works under the Fund. Grants from Entertainment Tax and Programme for Development and Welfare of Urban Poor: Among other things, water supply and sanitation for the poor are also included under these two programmes. The state government passes on 50 percent of the revenue from the entertainment tax to GMFB for enabling them to finance public services in urban areas. Both water supply and sanitation are included in these services. Municipalities are expected to prepare proposals and submit those to GMFB, which scrutinizes and then sanctions the required funds mainly as grants. So far (between 1997-98 and 2000-2001) about Rs. 100 crores have been spent under this programme. GMFB puts aside 20 percent of the funds received from the state government (from the revenue from the entertainment tax) separately as a Fund for development and welfare of the urban poor. The works which could be undertaken under this Fund also include water supply and sanitation for the urban poor. So far (between 1997/98 and 2000/01) Rs. programme. Rain Water Harvesting Systems: Looking to the importance of rain water harvesting for augmenting urban water supply, the state government decided to introduce rainwater harvesting programme in urban centres of Saurashtra and Kachchh in 2000. As a first step, it was decided to introduce this scheme in Unjha (North Gujarat) and Limdi (Saurashtra) on a pilot basis. KRG Rain Water Harvesting Company of Chennai was asked to prepare a feasibility report for these two towns. A bout 25 more municipalities, 18 from Saurashtra and 7 from North Gujarat, have come forward to adopt rainwater harvesting. These feasibility 7.83 crores have b een sanctioned under this


reports are being prepared at present. Six more tribal area municipalities have been included in this programme recently. The Best Practices Catalogue 2002 by CMAG has noted two such cases, in Ahmedabad and in Navsari. In the case of Ahmedabad the AMC has undertaken a water harvesting initiative by revitalization of percolation tanks to improve ground water levels. In all, 11 low-lying areas of the city have been identified and 35 discarded percolation wells are to be revitalized. In addition, 26 municipal parks have been identified for percolation of ground water, with peoples support. Though the efforts are worth mentioning, the level of operation is very low. In the case of the coastal town of Navsari, which suffered from salinity in ground water due to its overdrafting resulting in sea water intrusion, the municipality decided to revitalize its major surface water body, namely, Dudhia Talav located in the centre of the city. The total cost of this project has been Rs. 6 crores of which Rs. 1.58 crores has come as grants from the GWSSB. With the filtration plant, it is now possible to give potable water to people. t I has been estimated that the water supply collected in the talav will be enough to meet the demand for water of the projected population in 2020. The cost recovery will be done, for O & M costs and capital costs, through water charges. This case is indeed a good example of seeking sustainable local solution for urban water supply. In short, the policy and programmes with respect to urban areas need considerable reorientation to make the sector sustainable and viable. Rainwater Harvesting Efforts by NGOs It is frequently claimed that rainwater-harvesting structures at the village level can collect enough water to take care of the local demand for water. How valid is this claim? How far can these water harvesting structures help in resolving the problem o f water supply in rural areas of Gujarat? It is important to note that reviving traditional systems of water supply implies revival of not only water sources, but revival of many other things. Also, many changes have taken place in our society, and these have implications for the revival of traditional sources.


The demand for water per capita has increased today due to the changed lifestyle. The norms of per capita per day consumption of water are of 70 100 lpcd for rural areas, while the consumption was much less (up to 40 lpcd) in the past. With the population growth, the total quantity of water demand has increased multifold. Traditional sources will have to increase their capacity to meet this demand. Collecting water in traditional tanks, wells etc. has become difficult as the catchment area is frequently not available. Roads, buildings and other infrastructure etc. have blocked the catchment areas. One has to clear these obstacles to catchment areas. Also, ground water tables are frequently empty, degraded or have water with excessive minerals or pollutants. Care will have to be taken while collecting rain water in safe aquifers. The demand for water for irrigation has increased considerably after the Green Revolution. Protecting water supply for p eople from irrigation (and other alternative uses) is a major task today. Farmers are always keen to use up collected water for irrigating their farms to reap the benefits of new technologies in agriculture. New technologies, which are more effective and more cost efficient, are available today for storing rain water. It will be necessary to adopt these technologies to suit to local situations. Reviving traditional methods implies revival of community based institutions; which can manage these sources efficiently. To make them economically viable, it will be necessary to charge for water and collect these charges. Revival and strengthening of community based institutions is important for revival of rain water harvesting structures.

Keeping the above points in mind, we need to discuss the feasibility of reviving local rainwater harvesting structures in the different regions in Gujarat. Documentation of several successful cases in India has shown that it is possible to revive these systems with modifications that adapt to the new situation (Agarwal and Narain 1997; Athavale, Rangarajan and Muralidharan 1988; Hazare 1997, Athavale 2003 and Narain 2003). It has been estimated by Anil Agarwal that any village in India with an average rainfall of 300-350 mm can collect enough water locally to meet the needs of local people (Agarwal 2000). Several NGOs in Gujarat also have experimented with rainwater harvesting methods to collect water to meet the local demand.


Gujarat can be broadly divided into five regions from geo-hydrological point of view. North Gujarat, Central and South Gujarat, Eastern Tribal Belt, Saurashtra and Kachchh. There is no one method of harvesting rainwater in these regions. Different methods have been adopted and developed by NGOs for each of these regions, and one can identify successful case studies in each of the regions. Some of the successful case studies are (1) Kathivadar village of Rajula taluka of Amreli district (Utthan), (2) Bara village of Devgadh Baria taluka (Anandi), (3) Khari vi llage near Bhuj in Kachchh district (KMVS) and (4) Balisana in Mehsana district (Utthan). Can these isolated success stories imply that they have a sound alternative strategy to meet the need for drinking water in the state? Can Gujarat depend on local rain water harvesting for its drinking water and water for domestic use? A careful study of NGO work in this sector has important lessons to learn for using rainwater harvesting structures for ensuring drinking and domestic water supply to people. To start with, there is no doubt that rain water can be harvested for providing water supply to people and there is no need to have a very high rainfall for this purpose, as even 300-350 mm rainfall also will store enough water for people. Also, there are several technologies available in the state, which have been experimented by NGOs and experts to prove their validity and utility. However, these methods will give results only if (1) they are taken up on a scale and (2) these continue for a long time, may be for three to five years. An isolated check dam or an isolated watershed development project will not be able to make much impact. For example, as Shinghi has argued, there is a need to construct at least 20-25 check dams (in some cases more than this number), including a check dam or two sharply focusing on collection of water for drinking and domestic use, in a village to collect adequate water supply to enable the village to sustain in two or even three droughts. Also, one has to wait for 3 to 5 years to get sustainable results. A lake or a tank will be able to recharge ground water on a dependable scale only after 3 to 5 years. This does not mean that short-term results are not achievable at all. In fact, short term results can always attract people to go for higher scale on a long term basis.


Secondly, there is a need to see that the harvested water supply is first used for drinking and domestic use. It is frequently observed that water from watershed, check dam or a tank is siphoned off by farmers for cultivation depriving local people of potable drinking water. Controlling the use of water, however, is one of the challenges before the authorities as well as the NGOs. A mere legislation will not be adequate (though it will be useful), as it will require peoples commitment to it. Strong community organization can contribute significantly to this. Community participation is an essential component of this approach. In fact, it has worked very well in the cases of check dams, watershed development, drought proofing and other NGO experiences. Strengthening of communities and village Panchayats has to be an important part of this approach. Involvement of NGOs to form community organizations is essential here. Fourthly, there is no one method of harvesting rainwater. As discussed above, different regions require different methods that are suitable to the specific conditions of the regions. Also, traditional methods need considerable modifications and adaptation to suit to the new situations. Experiments made by experts and NGOs in Gujarat and outside Gujarat provide a variety of techniques to choose from. Again, there is a need to use multiple techniques of water harvesting, as any one method may not be enough to meet the needs. For example roof water collection tankas need to be supplemented by check dams or by other community level water recharging techniques. This is because good combinations of methods supplement and complement each other for the purpose of ensuring water supply in a sustainable manner. It needs to be reiterated that watershed development, though an important method of natural resource management, need not be relied on for harvesting drinking water. Other short-term methods should get precedence over it. In short, the approach of promoting local water harvesting structures for accessing drinking water is a paradigm shift for the state. Instead of relying on centralized, top down supply based approach of laying pipelines, it depends on decentralized, community managed local systems. The conditions for success of local water harvesting structures to meet the demand for water, however, need to be fulfilled. Local structures will require scale as well as time to give sustainable results.


3. Strategy For Sustainable Water Supply

Sustainable water supply has these major dimensions: (1) Sustainability in terms of water resources, (2) Sustainability in terms of economic viability and (3) Sustainability of services or of the institutions that manage water supply. The following paragraphs discuss this strategy for rural and urban areas.

Rural Areas We have seen above that depletion and degradation of ground water and surface water sources (tanks/ponds) has resulted in water shortages in many villages, particularly in the summer months and in drought years, which are not infrequent in the state. In many of these regions water drafting from deeper aquifers (due to water mining) have made ground water non-potable, (particularly in North Gujarat, Coastal region, and the non-coastal regions of Saurashtra and Kachchh). Pollution of local water sources, both ground and surface water, arising from indiscriminate disposal of pollutants by factories, human settlements and by farmers has contaminated local water sources in several regions. The state government h as adopted a two pronged strategy to face these problems: Firstly, transferring water to problem regions/villages through long distance pipelines and some times through water tankers, and secondly, promoting local sources at the village level. The former s trategy has grown considerably in the past 2-3 decades: the number of the villages per regional scheme has increased and the distances to the source of water supply have also increased; gradually irrigation dams are increasingly used to feed water in these schemes; with the local dams failing to provide the required water supply, Narmada water is feeding a large number of regional schemes, and with the increasing distance to the source of water the capital costs as well as the O & M costs per unit of water supply have increased on a continuous basis. In spite of these efforts, however, water flow is frequently found to be irregular, inadequate and poor in terms of quality.


How sustainable is water supply that is fed to the regional schemes? The past experience shows that the earlier sources have not been sustainable, with the result that the size of the regional schemes has continuously increased. The latest source (source of the last resort?) is Narmada water. The use of dam water for drinking / domestic p urposes on an increasing scale is likely to create (or it is already creating) shortage of irrigation water in agriculture. Also the cost factor will also make (or has already made) the strategy non-viable economically. At the same time, however, the problems with respect to augmenting local water sources also are not few. First of all, local water harvesting structures work only when the rainfall is good. These structures work for a long period only when the number of structures (the scale) is high and h arvesting is done for 3 5 years, depending on the local situation. It is also important to see that the stored water is not used up by local farmers for agriculture. In short, both the approaches have problems! What should be the right choice? The state government seems to have faith in the regional schemes approach, as water supply is believed to be under the control of the government for reaching it to the problem regions and villages. It is not that the state government does not want to develop local sources. In fact, WASMO, a unique organization, has been set up for promoting local sources and local community based management of water supply. The major dependence, however, is on the transfer of water through regional schemes because they ensure water supply to problem regions. It is believed that when local water sources are depleted / degraded and when droughts are frequent, one cannot depend on local sources for ensuring water supply to all. This faith is reflected in the high and increasing expenditure and coverage of the schemes. The expert group set up by WASMO to look into the problem of drinking water has also recommended strengthening of the regional schemes in Gujarat to provide a minimum 50 lpcd (+ 30 lpcd per cattle head) to all in our rural areas. Since the ground water source is not sustainable for regional schemes, the group has recommended that all regional schemes should depend on surface water dam, tanks, ponds, reservoirs etc. to provide this minimum water supply. The group has suggested that the additional water, if needed can be accessed by local communities through augmenting local resources.


We do not agree with this approach. We believe that the strategy should be based on the following principles: Minimize the use of bulk transfer of water supply to distant places because (1) it is a costly option (its cost per unit of water is more than the cost of most local rain water harvesting methods. It also costs more than desalination of water), (2) it has certain built-in disadvantages with respect to maintaining pressure, arranging smooth flow of water and ensuing equal distribution of water supply to all the villages, (3) the experience shows that it is not easy to prevent breakages, leakages & theft as well as contamination of water(It is a Herculean task to maintain long pipelines and police it), (4) there is no local control on the flow of water, as it does not allow for local control and management of water supply beyond a point (If there is a breakage or a technical problem in the pipeline before the water comes to the village, local population does not have any control over it) and (5) it creates unnecessary pressure on irrigation water. Since more and more dams are now used for providing domestic water supply to villages and large urban centers, there is a reduction in the water supply for irrigation). Encourage local rain water harvesting structure for collecting water for drinking and domestic use at the local level. This is because (1) it is cheaper option of augmenting water supply (it has been estimated that the cost per unit of water supply under this approach is much less than the same under the regional schemes), (2) most of the local rainwater harvesting methods (except for rain water harvesting tankas) have highly favourable impact on the local ecology, as they recharge the local aquifers and promote ecological regeneration in the village, (3) under this approach, the local organization has a control over the source of water supply. It is easy therefore to organize lo cal management under a Pani Samiti and (4) since the demand for water for drinking and domestic use is not very high (70 lpcd 100 lpcd), local water harvesting is feasible for a village up to 10,000 population when the average rainfall is upto 400 mm. Thirdly, the option of desalination through the RO technique seems to be a sound option in the regions where water supply is brackish, where it has excessive fluoride or it has other pollutants or bacteria. The cost of this approach through the RO technology has been estimated to be 2 to 3 p. per liter. With a dual water policy, it will be economical to use this method in many coastal villages or the villages in North Gujarat and Kachchh


where the ground water supply is highly mineralized. An additional advantage of this approach will be that the local organization like Pani Samiti will have a control over the source of water supply. One can therefore say that for regions where there is an average annual rainfall is 400 mm. And more, one should promote local rain water harvesting structures. In Gujarat except for Kachchh all the regions get more than 400 mm rainfall. It needs to be underlined, however, that such local systems will not give over night results. They will take up to 3-5 years. But it is definitely feasible to achieve this. In short, there is a need to reorient the water policy in the state. Instead of aiming at covering most regions under the regional pipeline schemes, there is a need to develop and promote local water systems. The water policy should be reorganized keeping in mind this vision for the state. The Role of the Regional Schemes: To start with, there is no need to have a back up of expensive elaborate network of regional schemes in the state. Further expansion of pipeline schemes, planned for the Tenth Plan can be reexamined. The existing pipeline network must be strengthened through the following steps. Designing New Pipelines: Several regions are going to have new pipelines under the project either because a regional scheme is im plemented in a new area or because old pipelines are replaced by new ones. This provides an opportunity to improve pipeline designing to make it star type or star and tree combination. It will be useful therefore if all new pipelines discard tree designs and adopt new designs. No Tapping on Pipelines: As has been observed above, one major problem of regional schemes has been tapping, i.e. adding new villages in an ad hoc manner after the pipeline scheme is implemented. This tapping affects the designed pressures and flows of water adversely. Some times it leads to leakages also. It is therefore suggested that no tapping should be allowed on any regional scheme after its design is finalized by experts.


Maintenance of Pipelines, Storages and Treatment Plants: A regional pipeline scheme usually covers a large area, which has a large network of pipelines, treatment plants, pumping stations and storages. All these need to be maintained properly to facilitate continuous flow of water supply to the designated villages. Studies have shown that there are several problems with regard to the maintenance of these networks (like leaking or choked pipelines, treatment plants not working, pumping stations out of order etc). There is a need to pay special attention to the operation and maintenance of regional schemes to see that the entire scheme is maintained well and works well. Improved supervision, use of incentives or punishment to operating staff, timely supply of spare parts etc. are some of the steps needed for ensuring smooth flow of water supply. This calls for a quantum jump in the efficiency of the administration of the schemes. The state government need to focus on this.

Power Supply and Working of RWSS: It is observed that regional schemes are designed under the assumption that there is continuous power supply available. The reality, however, is different. It will be useful therefore if the entire scheme is designed under the realistic assumption of supply of power in the region. In this context one can suggest use of power generator sets in a selective way to ensure continuous water supply. Also, there is a need to pay attention to promoting use of non-traditional energy sources like wind energy, solar energy, tidal energy etc. to ensure continuous power supply to villages. This is a new area, which needs to be explored systematically.

Community Participation at the Village Level: Regional pipelines cannot be managed well in a top down manner at the village level. The scheme will work only when local people are involved in its management and are organized as watch dogs to see that the scheme works well. The state government has already introduced the scheme of setting up Pani Samiti at the village level. However, these Samitis will work effectively only when they represent all the interest groups, including women, and when they are equipped and empowered to manage pipeline schemes at the village level. There is a need to pay special attention to this point. Involvement of NGOs will help considerably here.


Quality of Water Supply : We have seen above that quality of water supply in regional pipelines is frequently less than satisfactory due to leakages and breakages as well as lack of adequate treatment of water supply. Also, water supply is not tested at the village and household level (in a random manner) regularly, and even when tested, results are not available to local people. There is therefore a need to introduce regular testing of pipeline water supply and to put up the results on public places like panchayat offices. Lack of monitoring of quality of water supply is a major weakness of regional water supply schemes (as well as other schemes), which need to be corrected.

Jal Sunavai Or Public Hearing on Water: Considering the fact that there are many complaints about the working of regional pipeline schemes (as several studies have pointed out), it will not be out of place to suggest organizing Jal Sunavai or Public Hearing on water under regional schemes. This will create awareness among people on the one hand and make administration stand on it toes on the other hand. In addition, the state government can also consider setting up district/taluka level grievance cells for hearing and discharging complaints.

In short, the state government will have to work very hard, at different levels, to ensure that regional water supply schemes are able to provide water to people. Since many of the the above steps are expensive and administratively difficult, there will be a tendency on the part of the government to shift to other strategies. Transition To Local Water Systems: In order to promote local rainwater harvesting and

augment local water resources, efforts will have to be made create space and give encouragement and priority to the alternative approach of local water harvesting for meeting local demand. One way of achieving this will be through economic tools. Firstly, it will be useful to charge villages for the water provided by regional schemes at the rate that meets O & M costs in the short run and the capital costs in the long run. The state will have to use its political and administrative will to charge and recover the rates. The high charges will encourage local bodies and people to go for cheaper options based on local resources. Secondly, economic incentives could be given to the villages, which opt for local water harvesting schemes. The local bodies, which opt for local resources could be given capital subsidies and easy access to loans along with technical and professional guidance and help.


At present, there is a clear discouragement to develop local resources, with the result that local systems are dying. And thirdly, special financial incentives could be given to those local bodies, which complete their work of organizing water supply in a time bound fashion. Institutional restructuring will be required at all the levels to bring about decentralization, to empower local bodies, to encourage community participation, to ensure financial viability of the sector and to encourage GO-NGO-private sector partnerships in the water and sanitation sector. To start with, at the local level, each local body should be made responsible, as per the 73rd Amendments of the Constitution, for managing their own water and sanitation. As in Swajaldhara, the local body will set up a committee to plan, implement and monitor local action plan based on local augmentation of water supply. Local bodies will also need supporting institutions for financial help-grants & loans, technical and professional guidance and for capacity building. These will have to be organized by institutional restructuring at the state level. Since water and sanitation form a part of the State List under the Constitution, the Gujarat state government has at present set up state level institutions and organizations to undertake this task. The water supply wing of the Narmada Water Resources and Water Supply Department (NWRWSD), which is headed by a secretary, is the key institution at the state level. This institution is responsible for formulating drinking water policy, preparing annual and five year plans for the development of this sector, allocating funds to implementing agencies, and guiding the sectoral development. The Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Boards (GSWSSB), the state level autonomous organization is responsible for proper development and regulation of drinking water supply and sanitation services in the sate (except for the metro cities and cantonment areas). GWSSB is the nodal agency responsible for implementing bulk drinking water supply schemes to urban and rural areas. Gujarat State Drinking Water Infrastructure Co. Ltd. (GSWLICL) has been set up recently for implementation and subsequent management of bulk water transfer. While this company is bulk carrier, the GWSSB is the distributor of water to villages and towns. Gujarat Jalsewa Training Institute (GJTI) is centralized water training institute set up with the World Bank (IDA) credit. It provides in-service training to the engineers, managers and grass root persons involved in the drinking water sector. WASMO (Water and Sanitation Management Organization), a recently set up organization (2001) with the Dutch financial support, is now an important organization of the state government for promoting community participation in


the water sector. It is an autonomous center, supported by the Water Supply Department. It is expected to support the state government in developing management models for specific geographical areas, technology and socio-cultural environments as well as to create conditions for coordinated efforts in the sector by government and civil society organizations, i.e. NGOs, CBOs and research institutes. Under the new system, the role of the state will change radically, from provider and financier to enabler and facilitator. The state level bodies will not manage the water sector at lower levels, but will enable local bodies to do so and facilitate their task by providing the required support. The four major areas in which the lower level bodies will require support are technology, training and capacity building, finances and community participation. The apex department therefore will have four major wings to undertake this task: (1) Technology: to advice and guide on a consultancy basis (A Technology Cell may be set up at the state level), (2) Finances: to provide incentive grants and loans to undertake local works (A Finance Board may be set up at the state level), (3) Capacity Building: to help implementation of the new approach, preferably with focused and tailor-made training programmes (GJTI can do this by undergoing the required changes) and (4) Promoting community participation and empowering and involving local groups in the sector (WASMO can undertake this task). Since the focus is on local resource generation and local management of water and sanitation, special cells of all the four wings will be set up at the district and taluka levels. District and taluka level committees will have to be set up to bring about coordination among these major cells and their activities. In other words, there will be significant decentralization of power, funds and activities to promote region specific local systems. Restructuring of GWSSB becomes extremely relevant here. GWSSB will have to change from authority oriented organization to a consumer oriented and demand driven organization. It will have to charge for water for full cost recovery and generate its own funds for functioning. It will be necessary to decentralize this Board to make it more effective and people oriented. The Board will have to be open to employ outside experts and NGOs to make it more people oriented (Haskoning 1994).


Pani Samiti : At the village level there will be a Pani Samiti to plan, implement and manage local water systems (as per the present scheme of Pani Samiti). Swajaldhara is a good scheme in this context (though it needs some modifications). However, it will be necessary to implement it on a large scale, with larger funds and larger support, preferably in a campaign mode and in a time bound fashion. Urban Areas: As seen above, bulk transfer of water from distant places and from deeper aquifers is emerging as an important source of water supply in urban areas also. In the year 1998-99 about 43 urban centres (28.7 percent) depended on this source. With the Narmada canal based project this number is bound to increase as this project is expected to provide water supply to 135 towns in the state, i.e. it will cover 90 percent of the urban centres in the state! We have also seen that recycling or water, conservation of water and rain water harvesting are almost neglected in urban areas. The present approach of looking for fresh ground and dam water resources for meeting increasing demand is an unsustainable approach, financially as well as environmentally. The increasing cost per liter of water is bound to create a problem in fact it is already creating problem, and the shortage of water supply is bound to put an end to this wild search of water. In this background, we recommend a strategy that includes both demand management and supply management. Demand Management: The first major component is management of demand for water by reducing systematic losses of water supply, which have been estimated to be in the range of 30 to 50 percent. By reducing leakages and breakages, improving O & M systems and introducing systematic monitoring of water supply, preferably by water audit, it is possible to reduce these losses at least by 30 percent. It needs to be noted that reducing systemic losses is not a task that can be undertaken through ad hoc measures. It requires a systematic approach, along with improved O & M systems. Another major component of demand management is standardization of fixtures taps, flush systems, etc of wat er supply. Use of flush toilets and drainages is one of the reasons why norms of water use, in lpcd, are higher in urban areas. However, there are no standards for fixtures used in bathrooms and toilets in our cities, with the result that most households use high water


consuming fixtures. For example, as the Expert Committee on infrastructure (GOI 1996) has observed, a toilet in India uses 10 to 12 liters of water on an average, against 5 liters in USA. It is argued by the Committee that standardized fixtures can save about 50 % to 60 % of water supply. Infrastructure. Supply Management: The two major components on the supply side are recycling of wastewater and rainwater harvesting. The higher density of population along with the use It has been of flush systems generates good amount of waster water in urban areas. Standardized fixtures and reduction in systematic losses together can reduce water demand at least by 50 percent according to the Expert Committee on

worked out by experts that more then 75 percent of the water consumed is thrown back as wastewater (Gupta and Sharma 1999), which implies that it is relatively easy to recycle waster water. Used water can be recycled at household level or at a group of houses (or apartment buildings) level. Wa stewater can also be recycled at the town / city level with the help of soil aquifer treatment (SAT) for filtration in any open space. employing SAT method. Unconsolidated sand aquifers in riverbeds can also be used as a rapid infiltration wastewater renovation system, Using simple earthwork, a riverbed can be subdivided in to infiltration basin for filtration. It has been estimated for Ahmedabad that a length of 4 km of riverbed will be sufficient to renovate all the Ahmedabad wastewater (Gupta and Sharma 1999). This recycled water can be used for domestic use (also for drinking if treated well) or for irrigation. It can also be stored in lakes for recharging ground water. Recycling wastewater is the best use of wastewater: it solves the problem of disposal of wastewater which is a serious problem and a serious health hazard in several towns and cities, and it reduces the wild search of fresh water in deeper aquifers or farther surface water. Rainwater harvesting is another major component of supply management for urban areas. There are several methods of doing it: Roof water collection in Tankas: It was a tradition in many towns and cities in Gujarat to collect rain water from roofs and store it in underground tankas. This water, which was properly sealed, remained potable for years, and people used to drink it throughout the year or even longer. These tankas in the basement helped in cooling the home in the summer. Somehow this tradition declined with the spread of modern housing. There is a need to revive this system and promote this on a large


scale, if necessary, by making it mandatory. The technology needs to be modified today, keeping in mind the new methods available for storing and new ways of keeping waters quality.

Recharging Ground W ater For Improving Water Supply in Local Bore wells : This is a highly doable thing in urban areas, where depleting ground water supply is reducing both quantity and quality of water supply. A Housing society can collect rain water from roofs and directly put it in to the ground using a percolation well or a Khambhati well. This can improve the supply of ground water dramatically, which can also enable the houses to use better quality of water at cheaper rates (as electricity consumption declines with the improved water tables). The experiment of Bimanagar in Ahmedabad confirms this. Revitalizing Water bodies: Most towns and cities in Gujarat had in the past several lakes and ponds. These have declined over the years due to neglect or due to Such lakes can reclamation of this land by developers and builders. It is still possible to revive many of them for rainwater collection and for recharging ground water. supply ample water to towns and cities. The recent experience of Navsari where

Dudhia talav has been revived to provide water supply to the city is worth mentioning in this context. There is a need to give a big push to the revival of old water bodies for water collection and water recharge. Storm Water Collection for Recharge: Disposal of rainwater from low lying areas and preventing water logging is one of the major problems of municipalities in the state. This Problem can be resolved by using this water for recharging ground water and/or by storing it in local water bodies by using appropriate methods. can be used as an important source of augmenting local water supply. Other Innovative Methods of Water Augmentation: In addition to the above, the other methods of augmenting water supply in urban areas could be solar desalinization, defluoridation using the RO method or other quality improvement methods. The implications of the new strategy are very important for generating Water Supply for urban areas in Gujarat: (1) The demand for urban water supply can be reduced by 30 to Instead of disposing this water outside the town by storm water drainage systems, this water


50% by checking systematic losses and the use of standard fixtures. Even if we assume 30% reduction, the need for fresh water will decline by 30%, (2) about 75% of the used water is waste water. Even if 50% of this water is recycled, the demand for fresh water can be further reduced by 37% and (3) a significant part of the rest of the demand (and in many cases the entire rest of the demand) can be met by rain water harvesting. That is, many towns can augment all its water supply locally and many others can generate most of its water supply locally. There is a need to provide them with the necessary environment and incentives to do so. There is a need to reorganize and reorient urban local bodies to enable them to undertake the responsibility of ensuring dependable and adequate water supply to people. The following steps are needed: Making Local Bodies Responsible: The first and foremost requirement for ensuring effective and efficient water services in urban areas is to make urban local bodies responsible for providing and managing water supply and sanitation. It is important that the local bodies manage these services through democratic governance with viable financial systems. According to the 74th Amendment of the Constitution, Water and Sanitation are the responsibilities of the local government. Each municipality therefore should be asked, and also enabled, to undertake this task in a time bound manner. Each municipality should be asked to prepare an integrated long-term action plan for urban water supply and sanitation for the coming 20 years keeping in mind the projected population growth as well as sustainability financial, environmental and institutional. They may be h elped by experts in different disciplines in undertaking these tasks. The plan should also include restructuring of water services for the purpose of implementation of the plan. The role of the state government will change radically, from being a provider and financier of water supply and services to facilitator and enabler. The state government will create enabling environment and provide help to municipalities in undertaking the responsibility of the water and sanitation sector. Empowering municipalities through appropriate legislative amendments to undertake the responsibility of water and sanitation, providing technical and professional help, guiding them in institutional restructuring, providing financial support for helping them to access loans and g iving them incentive grants, help them in training and


capacity building etc. will be the major tasks of the government. These will have to be organized with the help of GMFB, CMAG and other organizations. Some of the important areas of concern and focus for improving water supply management by municipalities are (1) strengthening municipalities in technical and professional capabilities, (2) improved delivery for ensuring quality services, (3) training for capacity building, (4) role of community and civil society organizations, (5) reaching the poor, the slums and (6) managing and monitoring progress at the state level. To sum up, the water supply sector in Gujarat needs reorientation as well as reorganization. It will be useful to set up a Task Force at the state level to usher in this new approach. This Task Force will consist of the concerned officers, professionals, technical experts, representatives of civil society organization and elected leaders. It will design the detailed strategy and an actio n plan for the state to be implemented in a time bound fashion.