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NATIONAL LAW INSTITUTE UNIVERSITY

Sustainable
Management of
Water Resources in
India
Water and Natural Resources Law
Surabhi Chaturvedi
2011 BA LLB 98

1
Contents

INTRODUCTION...............................................................................................................4

Integrated Water Resource Management.............................................................................7

Water Regulation in India....................................................................................................9

Water and the Indian Constitution...................................................................................9

Water Pollution Regulation and Need for Market Based Instruments...........................10

Groundwater Regulation and Management...................................................................12

Irrigation Laws and New Participatory Approach.........................................................14

Inter State Water Disputes and River Legislations........................................................16

RIGHT TO WATER AND WATER RIGHTS REGIME IN INDIA..................................19

Traditional and Riparian Water Rights in British India.................................................19

Establishing the Control and Use of Water by the State....................................................20

The Judicially Evolved Right to Water in India Today......................................................21

Conflict Resolution and Participatory Management..........................................................22

Right to Water: Role of the Indian Judiciary.....................................................................24

Right to Water as Part of Right to clean Environment...................................................24

The Human Right of Access to Water: Role of the High Courts...................................30

Transboundary Water Management Issues........................................................................34

Sustainable Development as a part of the Customary International Law......................34

International Watercourses and pollution: Surface Waters............................................35

General Principles of Water Utilization in International law.........................................36

Implications for International Ground Water Law.......................................38

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Government Initiatives for Sustainable Water Management.............................................40

Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM): The Policy-Law Disconnect.........40

Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in Water: PSP Options and Regulatory Issues.........42

Private Participation in Water Takes Many Forms.....................................................42

Local Self Governance Institutions and Recent Initiatives in Water Supply and

Watershed Development................................................................................................44

Conclusion.........................................................................................................................45

Bibliography......................................................................................................................47

3
INTRODUCTION

A sustainable development perspective on water management demands that concerns for

water resources development and that of protection of environment are addressed

together; that concerns on access to water and quality of water are simultaneously met;

that a harmony between inter-se uses of water - Drinking Water, Irrigation water and

Water for industry - is achieved; that both latent and manifest water conflicts are

recognized and addressed; and Institutional Sustainability Issues, Issues relating to rights

and participation and finally at a federal level issues between Centre and States and

between States are addressed.

The above statement shows that the question of conservation and sustainable use of water

has many dimensions that cover prevention of pollution but also go well beyond it. Thus

the concerns of water polices and laws include determination of priorities of allocation of

water, ensuring safe drinking water, optimizing availability of water for other purposes

like irrigation and Industry, ensuring management of drought and floods, ensuring

participation of water users in decision-making and helping resolve conflicts between

individuals, between States and also between the Centre and States in a federal country

like India. In this light a Working Group on environmental aspects of the Union Ministry

of Water Resources also suggested that water resources management must be developed

within a comprehensive set of policies for

(a) human health (half of the world population suffering from waterborne diseases

warrant effective control of water pollution);


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(b) food production

(c) disaster mitigation;

(d) environmental protection and conservation of natural resource base.1

The points made above should also suggest that the problems of water management are

multidimensional and thus the approach to deal with it also needs to be multi -pronged

and multi -faceted. The problem of water pollution, of depletion of water sources, of

access to drinking water and for the need of better water management and regulation are

all interconnected and a few words on their inter-connections are in order here.

Industrial effluents, domestic sewage and run-offs from unsustainable agricultural

practices can be identified as primary sources of water pollution in India. Generally,

Water pollution takes place from two type of pollution sources Point Pollution Sources

and Non Point Pollution Sources. The legal mechanism for prevention of pollution from

point sources exists under the Pollution Control Act and primarily to the Water Act 1974.

However, the conventional end-of-pipe control technologies to curb pollution is not

useful for control of non point pollution sources unsustainable agricultural practices like

massive use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. The control of such

sources of pollution by administrative measures alone may not be feasible and this

suggest that a holistic ecosystem approach to water management including a sustained

campaign for education of the people in this regard may all be needed.

1 Report of the Working Group under National Commission for Integrated Water Resources
Development Plan; Government of India. 1999.

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A larger more comprehensive approach may also be needed because sustainability of

water resources has both ecological and social dimensions in India, as in any other

country. If water pollution is one aspect of the problem then its depletion and access to

drinking water itself reflect the other side of the same coin. Vast regions of the country

suffer severe drought and drought like conditions. There has been a range of suggestions

for resolution of the problem of access to fresh water including introduction of a rational

water-pricing policy cutting subsidy on power to curb groundwater over-extraction,

lessening government participation in water management and more in regulating

groundwater withdrawals, massive awareness campaign on judicious use of water and

encouraging widespread rain-harvesting, amongst others. Together they also suggest that

more than the shortage of rainfall, the wanton overuse of scarce water resources and the

gross mismanagement of it is widely perceived to be responsible for such condition. Thus

the pollution and access issues in water are inevitably tied up with water management

issues. There have been suggestions here too. There is a clear need to strengthen the

institutional capacities of various organizations in charge of water management. There is

also an ever increasing buzz on the need to replace Government oriented centralized

supply driven rural water programs with People Oriented, decentralized and demand

driven water programs.

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Integrated Water Resource Management

One of the approaches in water management that has been steadily gaining ground in

recent years especially in developing countries and which essentially applies the

sustainable development prism and mandate to the water sector is Integrated Water

Resource Management (IWRM). An insightful commentary recently pointed out that in

many low-income Asian and African countries IWRM has been aggressively promoted

by international agencies in recent years and that the IWRM package has basically

included a clutch of following instruments:

1) A national water policy so that there is a cohesive, well understood normative

framework to guide all players in the sector;

2) A water law and regulatory framework for coordinated action for sustainable

water resources management;

3) Recognition of the river basin as the unit of water and land resources planning and

management and creation of river basin organisations in place of

territorial/functional departments;

4) Treating water as an economic good by pricing water resource as well as services,

especially outside lifeline uses, to reflect its scarcity value so that it is efficiently

used and allocated to high value uses;

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5) Creation of water rights, preferably tradable, by instituting a system of water

withdrawal permits;

6) Participatory water resource management with involvement of women so that

water becomes everybodys business.

TotheextentIWRMapproachesrecognizes that management of water resource needs to

be done in an integrated and holistic manner rather than being managed in a

compartmentalized approach it aids suitable water management. The present paper in

subsequent sections throw light on each of the ingredients of the IWRM package in the

Indian context and with special reference the water law and regulatory framework in the

Country.

8
Water Regulation in India

Water and the Indian Constitution

Under the Constitution of India water is a state subject. The State legislatures are

competent to legislate on Water, that is to say, water supplies, irrigation, and canals,

drainage and embankments, water storage and water power. 3 This is however subject to

the power of the Union Parliament to regulate on inter State rivers and river valleys. This

is clear from the entry in the Union list under the seventh schedule of the Constitution of

India that reads thus: Regulation and development of inter-state rivers and river valleys

to the extent to which such regulation and development under the control of the Union is

declared by Parliament by Law to be expedient in the public interest. 4 Further, Article

262 of the Constitution provides for adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter

state rivers or river valleys. It further says that Parliament may by law provide that

neither the Supreme Court nor any other Court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of

any such dispute.

In addition to the above the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution had cast a Constitutional

imperative on all the State Governments to come up with appropriate Panchayat Raj Act

detailing meaningful democratic devolution of functions, functionaries and funds.

Specifically, it empowers States to endow Panchayats with such powers and authority to

enable them to function as institution of self-government and goes on to list Water

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Management, Minor Irrigation and Watershed Development as subjects under the

jurisdiction of Panchayats.

It may also be noted here while discussing water under the Indian Constitution that the

Right to pollution free water and the right of access to water has also been read as part of

Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. This has been possible by a

liberal and activist interpretation of the Fundamental Right to life both the by the

Supreme Court and the High Court of the Country in a series of case before them. These

cases are discussed in detail in a later section.

Notably the National Commission that reviewed the Constitution recently also

recommended that a new Article in the Constitution be inserted thus: Every person shall

have the right- (a) to safe drinking water That recommendation of the National

Commission reiterates what the Higher Courts has been holding in similar words in the

last few years. In that sense one may argue that the National Commission is merely

recognizing a pre-existing right, not creating a new one!

Water Pollution Regulation and Need for Market

Based Instruments

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 lays down a regulatory frame

work under which the authorities created lay down specific water standards and ensure

their compliance. The legal regime envisaged by the Act includes

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1) The establishment of Pollution Control Boards

2) The setting of standards specifying permissible levels of pollution

3) the enforcement of the said standards through penal provisions.

This approach results in licensing type controls whereby permission is required before a

potentially polluting activity may be carried on. Additionally, any on-going activity is

also required to comply with the terms of the permission granted by a Pollution Control

Board.2 The act achieves this objective by authorizing the Board to issue consent orders

upon conditions deemed necessary for the abatement of the pollution. Non compliance

with the conditions leads to cancellation of the consent.

Despite the existence this apparently well defined - and established - strategy, the past

experience has shown that the implementation of the Act has been slow. The Central

Pollution Control Board has complained in the past that its lacks the requisite staff

strength. Inspectors of the Board cover from 500 to 20,000 factories. This is compounded

by the fact that there not enough experts. The problems however go beyond those of the

watchdog agencies. It has been suggested that the mechanisms under the Act

predominantly used the command and control approach which have resulted in high cost

regulatory structures. The regulatory structures will grow as industrialisation progresses

and this will increase the administrative expenditure on environmental regulation. The

burden of expenses on the agencies would be high as the onus of proof in pollution
2 This mechanism can be seen as creating two types of controls i.e. Anticipatory Controls

and Operational Controls. For an elaboration of these forms of controls for preventing

pollution see Ball S and Bell S; 1994; Environmental Law; Blackstone Press Limited.
11
matters is also on the regulatory agency.

Market based instruments are seen as in alternative to the approach of preventing

pollution by policing behavior. Almost fifteen years back the British government stated in

an official communiqu that there should in future be a presumption in favour of using

economic instruments as opposed to direct regulation.3 The use of market based

instruments and its grounding in law has been experimented in the western countries

during the last decade. In the Indian context however, the effective use of market based

instruments and especially its grounding in law is yet to take effect. However, there is

little doubt that such instruments will increasingly be used in future.

Groundwater Regulation and Management

Under the present Indian Legal System ground water is considered and easement

connected to the land. Thus traditionally the owner of land had an unrestricted right to

use the groundwater beneath it. However that position has changed substantially in

recent years. In fact the Andhra High Court has made clear in 200 that Deep

Underground Water is the property of the State under the doctrine of Public Trust. 4 The

holder of land has only a user right towards the drawing of water in tube wells. Thus

neither his action nor his activity can in any way harm his neighbours and any such act

would violate Article 21 of the Constitution.

3 See This Common Inheritance The Second Year Report (1992) as quoted in Ball S

and Bell S; 1994; Environmental Law; 2nd Ed.; Blackstone Press limited

4 M.P.Rambabu v. District Forest Officer, AIR 2002 A.P 256


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Much before the above verdict of the High Court the Supreme Court of India has held

that prima facie (Article 253 in) the Constitution and provision of the Environment

Protection Act, 1986 (EPA) empowers the centre to regulate ground water exploitation.

These observations were made by the Apex Court on an interlocutory application

whereby the Court also directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to

constitute the Central Ground Water Board as an authority Under Section 3 (3) of the

EPA.5

In pursuance of the above order of the Supreme Court the Ministry of Environment and

Forest constituted the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) as an authority under the

EPA to regulate over exploitation of under ground water in the country. Specifically,

CGWA was required to regulate in discriminate boring and withdrawal of groundwater

and to issue necessary regulatory directions in this regard. 6 The authority functions under

the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Water Resources and has jurisdiction

over the whole of India. The CGWA since drafted Environment Protection Rules for

Development and Protection of Ground Water which was also circulated to all states for

their comments before its notification.7

Besides the above, with a view to regulate ground water resources the government of

5 See M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India 1997 (11) SCC 312

6 The authority exercises his power of issuing directions under Section 5 read with Section 3(2) of the
EPA. Besides it can also resort to the penal provisions contained in sections 15 to 21 of the said Act.

7 The authority exercises his power of issuing directions under Section 5 read with Section 3(2) of the
EPA. Besides it can also resort to the penal provisions contained in sections 15 to 21 of the said Act.
13
India had formulated a draft model bill in the year 1970 for regulation of ground water

which was revised thrice in 1992, 1996 and in 2005. However the proposed ground water

bill has not become law for various reasons. A Working Group on Legal, Institutional and

Financing Aspects constituted by the Union Ministry of Water Resources had pointed out

that the states have not shown inclination to adopt the draft modal bill and the draft rules.

It has suggested that the best option is to introduce participatory processes in the Ground

Water Management in which the role of the State could be that of a facilitator and the role

of the user organisation/ Panchayats as a implementing regulatory agency.8

Irrigation Laws and New Participatory Approach

Ground Water sources provide for more than half of the total water supply for the

purposes of irrigation in India. In fact the run-offs from unsustainable agricultural and

irrigation practices is one of the major contributor to ground water pollution. In this light

regulation of irrigation procedures is also vital for improving efficiency of water use and

conservation. There is no Central law for regulation of irrigation administration in this

context. There is no uniformity in the various State legislation applicable to irrigation.

While some of the State have more than one legislation on irrigation others (e.g. North-

East States and Sikkim) have no legislation for irrigation. In the early seventies, the then

Ministry of Irrigation had prepared a draft model legislation for irrigation management

and circulated the same to the States for their consideration. The said Model Irrigation

Bill 1976 was a response to the felt need for an uniform Act due to the multiplicity of Act

and contradictory provisions largely due to re-organization of States. The objective was

8As per the National Commission For Integration Water Resources Development Plan; Government of
India 1999.

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to being uniformity in the orderly water management and simplify administrative

machinery with primary responsibility fixed for the administration of the Act on the

officers of Irrigation Department.9

Recent trends however, point out the need for Participatory Irrigation Management with a

shift of powers away from the officers of the irrigation department. Most states follow

canal Rules adopted under the colonial era while in some States there are no canal Rules.

Under existing rules the timing and allocation of irrigation water are under the control of

the Irrigation Department officials. To insure against delays in release of adequate

amounts of water, farmers tend to flood their fields, leading to inefficient water use. This

particularly true is areas outside the northwestern region (Punjab, Haryana and U.P.)

where water users organizations are relatively scarce.

In this background it has been suggested that with the introduction of participatory

irrigation management the Farmers Management of Irrigation Systems Acts may be

enacted by various State Governments. Several states in the recent past have come up

with major policy and legal initiatives that have transferred some responsibilities of

Irrigation Management from government agencies to the Water Users Associations

(WUAs). The formation of these associations is now generally seen as the most effective

strategy for ensuring farmer/users participation in management of water for irrigated

agriculture. While some of these WUAs have been founded under government

resolutions, most states today have done so through enabling laws. States like A.P,

Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Chattisgarh the law enabling farmers
9 As pointed out by the Report of the Working Group on Water Management under the National
commission for Integrated Water Resources Development Plan.

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participation in Irrigation management comes by the enactment of the Farmers

Participation in Management of Irrigation Systems Acts. Under such legislations

generally the functions of Water Users Association include

1) to prepare and implement a warabandi schedule for each irrigation season

2) to prepare a plan for the maintenance, extension, improvement, renovation and

modernization of irrigation system

3) to regulate the use of water among the various outlets under its area of operation

4) to maintain a register of landowners as published by the revenue department,

5) to monitor flow of water for irrigation

Inter State Water Disputes and River Legislations

The Constitution of India empowers the Central Government to regulate and develop

inter State rivers under the Constitution of India. 10 Under Article 262 of the Constitution

the parliament enacted the Inter-State Water Disputes Act 1956. Under the Act the Central

Government is empowered to constitute a Water Dispute Tribunal for adjudication of

Water Dispute on fulfillment of two conditions

1. When Central Government receives a request from any State Government in

respect of any Water Dispute, and

2. The Central Government is of the opinion that the matter cannot be settled by

negotiations.

Till date five Inter-States Water Disputes Tribunals have been setup. These tribunals have

adjudicated disputes arising out of sharing of the waters of the Krishna, Godavari,

10 See Entry 56 List 1 of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.


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Narmada, Cauvery and Ravi. Beas rivers. Besides the above, in pursuance of the power

vested in the Central Government under the Entry 56 of the Union List the Parliament

enacted the River Boards Act in 1956. Under the Act River Boards were to be appointed

by the Central Government in consultation with the States Government. Such River

Board were to advice the States Government on aspects of integrate development of

waters of Inter-State rivers and river valleys. The Act has fallen into disuse as since its

enactment no River Boards have been setup under it.

There are other central legislations enacted for better regulation and management of

specific Inter -State rivers. Thus the Brahamaputra Board Act, 1980 established the

Brahmaputra (River) Board for the planning and integrated implementation of measures

for the control of floods and bank erosion in the Brahmaputra valley. The Damodar

Valley Corporation Act, 1948 provided for the establishment of a Corporation for the

development of Damodar (a River) Valley in the States of Bihar and West Bengal.

Similarly for the Rajghat Dam Project on the Betwa river, a tributary of River Yamuna is

an interstate Project of the States of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, Betwa River

Board was created under the Betwa River Board Act , 1976 on an inter-state agreement

between the two States for the Project. These legislations have had a limited impact. For

example, the Brahmaputra Board has mostly carried out the planning part so far, it has

been found wanting when it comes to implementation of the measures.

The limited impact of River Valley legislations and the fact that a Central legislation like

the River Boards Act,1956 is lying dysfunctional assumes greater importance when it is

17
realized that the various river action plans for cleaning the rivers the GANGA Action

Plan, The Yamuna Action Plan and the National River Conservation Plan require

different approach to preventing river pollution than the typical end-of-pipe controls or

permit system for effluent treatment pants under the Water Act 1974.

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RIGHT TO WATER AND WATER RIGHTS REGIME

IN INDIA

Traditional and Riparian Water Rights in British India

Traditionally water has been a resource with free access and the notion of the property

rights over it was not well developed. However, riparian owners have had a natural right,

arising out of the ownership of the land abutting upon the stream. A riparian owner has a

right to use the water of the stream which flows past his land equally with other riparian

owners, and to have the water come to him undiminished in flow, quantity or quality and

to go beyond his land without obstruction. The natural riparian right also found a

statutory footing under the Indian Easements Act 1882. Some of the important decisions

of the court in the colonial era crystallizing the Riparian Rights regime are briefly

mentioned in the table below:

Riparian Rights is available only when


owners land is in contact with streamss slow
Dawood Hahimi Vs. Tuci
at least at time of ordinary high tides.
Shein11
No Riparian owner should face obstruction in
flow (by a dam); interference with such flow
Jagan Nath Vs. Chandrika12
is an actionable wrong.

Malipat Madhatil Vs. Riparian Rights are natural rights

Neelamance

11 AIR 1980 Del 402

12 AIR 1999 SC 255


19
Establishing the Control and Use of Water by

the State

With increasing population and consequent scarcity of water the need for regulatory

framework for the management of this resource was felt.One of the early legislations in

the area of water resource management was the North India Canal and Drainage Act

1873. The preamble to the Act says that the Provincial Government is entitled to use

and control for public purposes the water of all rivers and streams flowing in natural

channels, and of all lakes and other natural collections of still water. Likewise, the

Bombay Irrigation Act,1879 laid down that whenever it appears expedient to the State

Government that the water of any river or stream flowing in a natural channel, or any

lake or any other natural collection of still water, should be applied or used by the state

government .the State Government may, by notification declare that the said water will

be so applied.(Section 5).These Acts, without talking about ownership, assert right of

state to use and control water.

Although the Easement Act 1882 legitimized customary rights of the people these were

subject to the overriding provision of any right of the Government to regulate the

collection, retention and distribution of the water of rivers and streams flowing in natural

channels, and of natural lakes and ponds, or of the water flowing, collected retained or

distributed in or by any channel. One of the first case that examined these provisions

was Fischer Vs. Secretary of State, which discussed the rights of the Government over

natural sources of waters against those of the riparian owners. The court ruled that the

20
Government had the power to regulate, in public interest, the collection, retention and

distribution of water of rivers and streams flowing in natural channels or in manually

constructed works, provided that they do not thereby inflict injury on any other riparian

owners and diminish the supply that they have traditionally utilised.

Even in colonial times it was clear that that the Government had the power to regulate, in

public interest, the collection, retention and distribution of water of rivers and streams

flowing in natural channels or in manually constructed works, provided that they do not

thereby inflict injury on any other riparian owners and diminish the supply that they have

traditionally utilized. Arguably, this obligation of the state has since acquired the shape of

a categorical fundamental right of every person. This has been made possible by a very

activist interpretation of the Constitution of India by the Supreme Court and the High

Courts in the last two decades, and this is explained next.

The Judicially Evolved Right to Water in India

Today

The Supreme Court of India and the High Courts from across the country have together

given greater content and meaning to right to water especially over he last two decades.

The right pollution free water has been interpreted as part of right to clean environment

under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The Supreme Court laid the foundation for

this right which has been developed explicitly by the High Courts. Besides, the higher

21
courts after applying right to water largely for pollution prevention and a part of the right

to clean environment, have lately felt the urge to take it further. Thus the need for access

to clean drinking water is being increasingly seen as a fundamental right, especially by

the High Courts

It may be noted here that the Commission that reviewed the Constitution recently also

recommended that a new Article in the Constitution be inserted thus: Every person shall

have the right- (a) to safe drinking water

Conflict Resolution and Participatory

Management

The understanding of the legal bases for water rights is relevant in the context of acute

shortage of adequate drinking water facilities. The demand for fresh water is also

continuing rising as with increasing population the need for water for domestic uses and

for industrial and agricutural needs is also rising . Competing claims over the scarce

water resources is inevitable. In the face of increasing competition for access to water the

development of Water Rights regime has become important. Water Rights are

fundamental to resolution of conflicts, whether it is between farmers in an irrigation

system (head and tail reach) or between irrigation system (same basin in different states),

between irrigation and other sectors (industries and municipal requirements).13

It is also clear that the evolving water rights regime in the country needs to mature more.

13 See Sivanappan R. K.; Water sharing : Problems and conflicts; The Hindu; July 25th 2000.

22
First, the fundamental right of access to clear water should lead to necessary changes in

various legislation on canals, irrigation supplies, and water management so that they

reflect the letter and spirit of the fundamental right. Besides, a comprehensive

documentation of all the gamut of water rights, beyond the constitutional right, needs to

be carried out at the local level. Further it is notable that what has been recognised by the

higher courts, as a fundamental right is a right to each individual and not to a group. In

the context of the fact that the recent initiative of the government have sought to vest

powers to formal and informal village groups and associations, this becomes an important

point. The water rights regime needs to evolve conditions under a group entity can

become a right holder so that an entity like a legally constituted water users association

can exercise such a rights to its advantage as we shall see later rights have begin to be

vested with such associations on fulfillment of specific obligations. Apart from

developing an understanding on the external water rights of the group, which it can use to

its advantage against every one outside the group, there is a need for better appreciation

for internal water rights laying down the right of the group members viz.a.viz each. A

more mature regime on group rights in the water management sector is critical to

resolving of existing and potential conflicts surrounding the access and control of water

resources.

23
Right to Water: Role of the Indian Judiciary

Both the Supreme Court and the High Courts have profoundly contributed to the shaping

of water laws and jurisprudence in India. Initial Court verdicts on water pollution under

the Water Act led the judiciary to also carve out a fundamental right to pollution free

water under Article 21 of the Constitution. Following this lead by the Supreme Court, the

High Courts from across the country after applying right to water largely for pollution

prevention in an urban context, defined the right further - and with far reaching

implications. The High Courts have also now repeatedly emphasized that access to clean

drinking water is also a fundamental right of every person. While shaping their judgments

the Courts have also incorporated significant principles of Sustainable Development,

environmental law as well as the landmark jural doctrine of public trust. The wide range

of judgments from pollution prevention to access to water for all itself suggests that the

Courts have been conscious of the suitable development paradigm while shaping judicial

responses in specific contexts. A brief review of some significant cases can establish the

point in clear terms and this is presented below.

Right to Water as Part of Right to clean Environment

A water pollution case where the Court adopted the Principle of Sustainable Development

is a useful starting point for the present paper. In a public interest petition directed against

pollution being caused by enormous discharge of untreated effluent by the tanneries and

other industries in Tamilnadu the Supreme Court issued directions for setting up an

authority under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 to deal with polluting industries in
24
State. 14 The Court added:

The traditional concept that development and ecology are opposed to each other, is no

longer acceptable. Sustainable Development has come to be accepted as a viable

concept to eradicated poverty and improve the quality of human life while living within

the carrying capacity of the supporting eco-systems. Sustainable Development as

defined by the Brundtland Report means Development that meets the needs of the

present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own

needs. We have no hesitation in holding that Sustainable Development as a balancing

concept between ecology and development has been accepted as a part of the Customary

International Law through its salient features have yet to be finalized by the International

Law Jurists The precautionary Principle and The Polluter Pays principle are

essential features of Sustainable Development..

Further, the court held :

The constitutional and statutory provisions protect a persons right to fresh air,

clean water and pollution free environment, but the source of the right is the

inalienable common law right of clean environmentour legal system having

been founded on the British common law, the right of a person to pollution free

environment is a part of the basic jurisprudence of the land.

In another cas15e, the Supreme Court took notice of an article in a leading daily alleging

ecological damage in Kullu Valley due to illegal construction of a motel. It held that the

14 See Vellore Citizens Welfare Forum V. Union of India, 1996 VI AD SC 577

15 M.C. Mehta Vs. Kamal Nath, 1997 (1) AD SC I


25
motel interfered with the natural flow of the river by trying to block the natural relief/

spill of the river and thus directed cancellation of lease deed in favour of the motel. 16Most

significantly in this case the Apex Court held the doctrine trust of public trust to be a part

of the law of the land and observed thus:

The Public Trust Doctrine primarily rests on the principle that certain resources

like air, sea, water and the forest have such a great importance to people as a

whole that it would be wholly unjust to make them a subject of private ownership.

The doctrine enjoins upon the Government to protect the resources for the

enjoyment of the general public rather than to permit their use for private

ownership or commercial purposes. According to Professor Sax the Public Trust

Doctrine imposes the following restrictions on governmental authority. Three

type of restrictions on governmental authority are often thought to be imposed by

the pubic trust; first, the property subject to the trust must not only be used for a

public purpose, but it must be held available for use by the general public;

second, the property may not be sold, even for a fair cash equivalent; and third

property must be maintained for particular types of uses.

Thus the Court concluded by saying that [our legal system] includes the public trust

doctrine as part of its jurisprudence. The state is the trustee of all natural resources which

are by nature meant for public use and enjoyment.

16The motel was also asked to pay compensation by way of restitution of the environment and ecology
of the area. See M.C. Mehta Vs. Kamal Nath, 1997 (1) AD SC I

26
The biggest factor in activating the executive to take seriously the rampant pollution of

rivers has been judicial activism in this area and their has been a series of cases for saving

rivers from various parts of the Country. In a case filed by lawyer M.C. Mehta relating to

the pollution of river Ganges17, the Court passed comprehensive directions to the central

government, the UP Pollution Control Boards, District Administration and even the

polluting tanning industries in a petition under Article 32 of Constitution (which is meant

for violation of fundamental rights) despite remedial mechanism available under Water

Act. Noting the utter disregard of the tanneries discharging trade effluents into the rivers,

the Court directed these tanneries to set up Primary Treatment Plants. In another case by

the same lawyer M.C. Mehta the Supreme Court gave directions to the Kanpur

Municipality in State of Uttar Pradesh to ensure that pollution of the river Ganges doesnt

happen in the jurisdiction of the Municipality. Even though the Court in these cases did

not explicitly lay down any right to pollution free water or of clean environment, the

Court issued directions under Article 32 of Constitution of India, which is a provision to

ensure fundamental rights of the people of India.

As against this early approach of the Supreme Court the High Courts came up with

explicit enunciation of the fundamental right to environment and the right to pollution

free water as part of it. One of the first cases where this approach was taken was a case in

theKerala HighCourtwhere the Court dealt with the problem of excessive ground water

17M.C. Mehta Vs. Union Of India AIR 1988 SC 1037

27
extraction.18In a scheme for pumping up groundwater for supplying potable water to

Lakshwadeep Islands was challenged on the ground that that this would dry up the

resource and lead to intrusion of salt water into the aquifers. While holding that the

administration cannot be allowed to withdraw groundwater on a large scale and stressing

the need for inter-disciplinary cooperation the court observed:

.the administrative agency cannot be permitted to function in such a manner as to

make inroads into the fundamental right under Article 21The right to sweet water (and

the right to free air), are attributes of the right to life, for, these are the basic elements

which sustain life itself.19

On similar facts in a village in Rajasthan the Supreme Court also found that authorities

have not taken the action required of them by law and that their inaction is jeopardizing

the right to life of the citizens of this country. 20

In similar line of cases the Andhra Pradesh High Court has also recently held that Deep

Underground Water is the property of the States under the doctrine of Public Trust. 21 The

18 1990 KLT 580. Also see Hamid Khan v. State AIR 1997 mp 191

19 See Attakoya Thangal v. Union of India, 1990 KLT 580


21

20 I.C.E.L.A Vs. UOI, 1996 (II) AD SC 544

21 M.P.Rambabu v. District Forest Officer, AIR 2002 A.P 256

28
holder of land has only a user right towards the drawing of water in tube wells. Thus

neither his action nor his activity can in any way harm his neigbours and any such act

would violate Article 21 of the Constitution.

The Human Right of Access to Water: Role of the High

Courts

The higher courts after applying right to water largely for pollution prevention and a part

of the right to clean environment, have lately felt the urge to take it further. Thus the need

for access to clean drinking water is being increasingly seen as a fundamental right,

especially by the High Courts. Thus in addition to the fact that many PILs have raised the

issue of water pollution there is now a body of cases on the more fundamental concerns

of access to drinking water and on the right to safe drinking water as a fundamental

right.22 In two petitions filed in Public Interest relating to the scarcity and impurity of

potable water it was contended that the corporation is responsible to supply sufficient

drinking water23. The municipal corporation in its counter affidavit said that while it is

well aware about its duties with regard to supply of drinking water to the citizen, due to

22 include Wasim Ahmed Khan v. Govt. of AP, 202 (5) ALT 526 (D.B.); Mukesh Sharma v.
Allahabad Nagar Nigam & Ors., 2000 ALL. L.J. 3077; Diwan Singh and another, v. The S.D.M. and
other 2000 ALL. L.J. 273; S.K. Garg v. State of U.P. 1999 ALL. L.J. 332; Gautam Uzir & Anr. V.
Gauhati Municipal Corpn. 1999 (3) GLT 110

23 Gautam Uzir & Anr. V. Gauhati Municipal Corp. 1999 (3) GLT 110

29
its financial constraints it could not augment its existing plant 24. The court made clear25

that Water, and clean water, is so essential for life. Needless to observe that it attracts the

provisions of Article 21 of the Constitutions.

In a Petition filed by an advocate for suitable directions to ensure regular supply of water

to the citizen of Allahabad the High Court reiterated the fundamental right to drinking

water26. The court cited with approval the Supreme Courts decision 27 holding that the

need for a decent and civilized life includes the right to food, water and a decent

environment28. In another case the Supreme Court had observed, Drinking of the most

beneficial use of water and this need is so paramount that it can not be made subservient

to any other use of water, like irrigation. So that right to use of water for domestic

purpose would prevail over other needs 29. In view of these decisions the Allahabad High

Court directed that a high powered committee be setup to look into the problem of access

24 Para 6 of the affidavit in opposition filed by Gauhati Municipal Corporation and quoted in
1999 (3) GLT 110

25 At Page No. 112. Para No. 10.

26 S.K. Garg v. State of U.P. 1999 ALL. L.J. 332

27 Chameli Singh v. State of U.P. (1991) 2 SCC 549.

28 Id.

29 Delhi Water Supply and Sewage Disposal Undertaking v. State of Haryana, (1996) 2 SCC 572: AIR
1996 SC 2992.

30
to water and decided on the ways and means to solve it on a war footing 30. The Andhra

Pradesh High court reiterated this position saying that right to safe drinking water is a

fundamental right and can not be denied to citizens even on the ground of paucity of

funds.31

In this line of cases in 2006 a public interest litigation was decided by the Kerela High

Court ventilating the grievances of the people of West Kochi who have been clamouring

for supply of potable drinking water to them, for the last more than three decades. Noting

that the petioners have approached this Court as a last resort the Court felt that the

grievances ventilated by the petitioners representing the people of West Kochi is a

genuine and eminently deserving appropriate orders from this Court. The Court further

said that since April, 2000 the government authorities have been submitting before this

Court that steps are being taken to complete projects for the supply of water to people of

West Kochi, but nothing concrete in the form of actual supply of water has emerged so

far. Even the latest statement made under the Courts directions also does not give any

concrete proposal as to when exactly the people of West Kochi would actually get regular

supply of drinking water. In light of these facts the Court observed:

When considering the priorities of a Government, supply of drinking water

should be on the top of the list. However, for the past more than three decades,

successive Governments who have ruled this State have given scant attention to

the need for potable drinking water of the residents of West Kochi. This is indeed
30 Id.

31 S.K. Garg v. State of U.P. 1999 ALL. L.J. 332


31
a callous and deplorable attitude of the Government, which needs to be

deprecated in very strong terms. We have no hesitation to hold that failure of the

State to provide safe drinking water to the citizens in adequate quantities would

amount to violation of the fundamental right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the

Constitution of India and would be a violation of human rights. Therefore, every

Government, which has its priorities right, should give foremost importance to

providing safe drinking water even at the cost of other development programmes.

Nothing shall stand in its way whether it is lack of funds or other infrastructure.

Ways and means have to be found out at all costs with utmost expediency instead

of restricting action in that regard to mere lip service.32

In the above circumstances, the Court directed the state governments to take and

complete all steps necessary for supplying drinking water to the people of West Kochi

within six months from the judgment and added We categorically make it clear that on

completion of six months from today, the people of West Kochi should be getting potable

water in sufficient quantities through an efficient water supply system without fail.

The case fits well into a pattern where the higher courts after applying right to water

largely for pollution prevention for a long time, have indeed taken it further. If one sees

closely the categorical and specific pronouncement of the Kerala High Court above has

the capacity to let the cat loose amongst the pigeons. Most critically however the court

saw through the standard plea of unavailability of resources while making clear that

32 Vishala Kochi Kudivella Samrakshana Samithi V. State of Kerala, 2006(1)KLT919, at Para 3

32
Nothing shall stand in its way whether it is lack of funds or other infrastructure. The

case again affirms that the resource basket can be augmente

33
Transboundary Water Management Issues

Sustainable Development as a part of the

Customary International Law

The Supreme Court of India more than a decade ago held that it had no hesitation in holding

that Sustainable Development as a balancing concept between ecology and development has

been accepted as a part of the Customary International Law through its salient features have

yet to be finalized by the International Law Jurists. There are very good reasons for why the

Apex Court in India saw Sustainable Development as a part of the Customary International

Law. It is worth noting that all major environmental and water instruments in international law

explicitly impose on the concerned states, the obligation to carry their activities in the

direction of sustainable development. It is also thus argued that the concept of sustainable

development is of a fundamentally norm-creating character capable of forming the basis of

general rule of law. The principle of sustainable development has also become the basis of

decisions of the International Court of Justice in specific cases. Finally, Institutions like the

World Bank, ADB and other MDBs have also sought to integrate considerations for

sustainable development into their lending polices and this assumes importance as they are

funding a number of water projects across the country in India.

34
International Watercourses and pollution: Surface

Waters

The understanding of the term International Watercourse can range from simply that portion

which crosses or defines a boundary; to the entire watershed or river basin, with its associated

lakes, tributaries, groundwater systems, and connection watersways wherever they are located.

Modern bilateral and regional treaties have adopted the latter interpretation of the term. This

understanding is also favoured by declaration of international conference notably the

Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment and the UN Water Conference held at Mar

Del Plata in 1977.33 The International Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of

International Watercourses defines the watercourse as a system of surface waters and ground

waters constituting by virtue of their physical relationship a unitary whole and normally

flowing into a common terminus. This is clear from the Article 2 of the Convention which

defines Watercourse as a system of surface waters and ground waters constituting by virtue

of their physical relationship a unitary whole and normally flowing into a common terminus.

Further it adds that International watercourse means a watercourse parts of which are

situated in different States.34 Having said this it may also be noted that the narrower

interpretation of International Water Course as water course that traverses the territory more

than one nation state has also remained influential.

Particularly the States enjoying an upstream position has shown resistence to the to the basin

33 See Birnie and Boyle; International Law and the Environment ; Clarendon Press Oxford; 1992

34 Article 2(a) and 2 (b) of the Convention

35
approach for powllution control and utilisation of water. It has been argued that the difference

between the two approaches may not be very relevant for the purposes of pollution control.

This is because even where pollution obligations are placed only on a particular portion of an

international water course, such as the boundary waters, it will still be necessary for states to

control pollution of the wider drainage basin to the extent necessary to produce the desired

result in boundary areas.35

General Principles of Water Utilization in

International law

The Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses lays

down that Watercourse States shall in their respective territories utilize an international

watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner. 36 This theory of equitable and reasonable

utilization of Internationally shared water resources has displaced the earlier notions under

international laws that states enjoy absolute sovereignty over waters within their territory. The

determination of equitable and reasonable utilisation necessarily requires a balancing of the

needs and interest of each state. Article 6 of the Convention points out all the relevant factors

and circumstances that needs to be taken into account for utilization an International

watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner. These include:

35 See Lammers, Pollution of Internaional Watercourses ( Hague 1984) as quoted here in Birine and Boyle
supra.

36 Article 5 of the Convention

36
1) Geographic, hydrographic, hydrological , climatic, ecological and other factors of a

natural character;

2) The social and economic needs of the watercourse States concerned;

3) The population dependent on the watercourse in each watercourse State;

4) The effects of the use or uses of the watercourses in one watercourse State on other

watercourse States;

5) Existing and potential uses of the watercourse;

6) Conservation, protection, development and economy of use of the water resources of the

watercourse and the costs of measures taken to that effect.

The listing of factors however, still means that balancing of the various interests of the States

need to be done although parameters for this are laid down by the above mentioned relevant

factors. Significantly, as has been observed by various commentators, the listing of factors

says nothing about the priority or weight given to each one, or how conflicts are to be

reconciled leaving the principle of equitable utilization with uncertain legal implications. It

has also been critically argued that the Convention does not seem to differentiate between

needs of the watercourse states within the basin and those outside the basin. This assumes

significance when appreciated with the fact that it is difficult to imagine that basin nations of

an international river would concede any right on its water to non basin nations.37

Another important principle laid down by the Convention is that watercourse States shall, in

utilizing an international watercourse in their territories, take all appropriate measures to


37 Report of the Working Group on Interbasin Transfer of Water under National Commission For Integrated
Water Resources Development Plan; Government of India 1999.

37
prevent the causing of significant harm to other watercourse States. 38 The obligation not to

cause harm to other State should be read with the principle of the equitable utilization of the

watercourse. This obligation is also supported by a number of International Conventions. 39

Besides there is also settled requirement under International Law generally including the law

on International Watercourses that States should cooperate, consult and negotiate in cases

where the proposed use of a shared resources may cause serious injury to their rights and

interests. Therefore, the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International

Watercourses requires Watercourse States shall exchange information and consult each other

and, if necessary, negotiate on the possible effects of planned measures on the condition of an

international watercourse. Finally, the general principle that states must notify each other an

co-operate in cases of emergency to avert harm to other states applies also to international

watercourses. This aspect is elaborated in the later section under the review of the

International legal regime on marine waters.

Implications for International Ground Water Law

Like surface water, groundwater knows no political boundaries. Many huge aquifers are

shared by several countries, sometimes in areas where water is a coveted resource. There is a

wide spread feeling in the international community that while intergovernmental organizations

have spared no effort in developing legal principles for surface water, the same cannot be said

where ground water is concerned. Almost all international treaties on water are limited to

38 Article 7(1) of the Convention

39 Report of the Working Group on Interbasin Transfer of Water under National Commission For Integrated
Water Resources Development Plan; Government of India 1999.

38
surface water problems. They fail to encompass ground water, with the result that the legal

principles which are followed for surface water have not yet passed the tests presented by

groundwater problems.40

References to groundwater however can be seen in certain international Conventions and

Protocols. For example the 1968 African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and

Natural Resources recognizes the importance of common ground water resources and says :

Where surface or under groundwater resources are shared by two or more of the Contracting

States, the latter shall act in consultation, and if the need arises, set up inter-State

Commissions to study and resolve problems arising from the joint use of these resources, and

for the joint development and conservation thereof.41 Besides, the 1992 ECE Helsinki

Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes

defines transboundary waters to mean: any surface or ground waters which mark, cross or

are located on boundaries between two or more States;. Likewise ground water is

considered in the principles concerning Transfrontier Pollution adopted by the OECD in 1974.

The Helsinki rules developed by the International Law Association also provides the useful

basis for negotiations for the ground water resources shared by the countries.

It had been reasonably predicted that despite the relative inactivity in the field of international

groundwater law in the past, international relations concerning groundwater resources are

likely to develop further. In fact whatever principles of international surface water may exist,

they should be adaptable to ground water if the physical difference of ground water vis--vis

40 Caponera and Alheritiere; Principles for International Groundwater Law.

41 Article 5 of the Convention


39
surface water are taken into account. Certainly, for the settlement of disputes, the legal

principles applicable to international surface water should be applicable to ground water.42

Government Initiatives for Sustainable Water

Management

Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM):

The Policy-Law Disconnect

Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) may be understood in three ways. Firstly, it

may imply systematic consideration of the various dimensions of water, i.e., surface and

ground waters in terms of quality and quantity. Secondly, it can mean addressing interactions

between water, land and the environment with recognition that changes in any one of the

resources may have consequences for the others. Finally, the broadest interpretation of the

concept would mean approaching water management with reference to the interrelationship

between water and land resources the social and economic development. 43 It is this third

approach which is most liberal and extensive and reconciles economic necessities with

ecological imperatives - that has to be kept in mind while addressing issues associated with

Integrated Water Resource Management.

42 Caponera and Alheritiere; Supra

43 Integrated Water Management: International Experiences and Perspectives by Mitchell,

Bruce. (Ed.)
40
There is now a body of Policy documents and discourses in official reports speaking of the

need and significance of integrated resource management. It is now widely recognized that

management of water resource needs to be done in an integrated and holistic manner rather

than being managed in a compartmentalized approach. In fact the Union Ministry of Water

Resources had recently constituted a National Commission on Integrated Water Resources

Management and a series of sub-groups constituted under the Commission and policies on all

aspects of water management before giving final recommendations in their report in 1999. 44

That Report has been followed by a series of other reports and vision documents emphasizing

Integrated Water Resource Management.45

While it is true that the government policies have recently emphasized integrated resource

management there has been little reflection of these pronouncements in the legal regime on

water. In realizing policy mandates for integrated approach legal regimes would need to go for

structural changes. For example it may be easy to say as a policy that Water resource

development and management shall be planned for a hydrological unit but it is an open

question as to how this approach can be implemented and taken to the ground when the

existing legal regime is based only on administrative boundaries and just doesnt recognize

ecological/hydrological boundaries for water management.

44 The Report of the National Commission for Integrated Water Resources Development

Plan; Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India. 1999.

45 Vision For Integrated Water Resources Development and Management, Ministry of Water

Resources, New Delhi, 2003. See`also Theme Paper on Integrated Water Resources

Development and Management, Indian Water Resources Society, 2002.


41
Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in Water: PSP

Options and Regulatory Issues

The UN Human Development Report 2006 points out that the balance of the private and

public sector involvement in water has been vigorously debated. Part of the problem lies in

not understanding the nature and scope of public-private partnerships in water management. In

this context the Human Development Report makes an insightful comment when it says that

the diversity of public-private partnerships cautions against lumping of all private sector

involvement under the general heading of privatization Indeed private participation in

water can take many forms as shown in the box below:

Private Participation in Water Takes Many Forms 46

Option Owner- Manage- Invest- Risk Duration Examples


ship ment ment (Years)
Service Public Shared Public Public 1-2 Finland,
Mahrashtra
contract (India
Management Public Private Public Public 3-5 Johannesburg
contract (South Africa),
Monagas
(Venezuela),
Atlanta (United
States)
Lease Public Private Public Shared 8-15 Abidjan (Cote
(affermage) dIvoire), Dakar
(Senegal)
Concession Public Private Private Private 20-30 Manila
(Philippines),
Buenos Aires
(Argentina),
Durban (South
Africa), La Paz-
El

46 Jaglin 2005, as quoted in UN Human Development Report 2006


42
There are useful legal spaces in the various State laws that can facilitate private sector

participation in water supply and sanitation projects. Both the Urban local bodies (ULBs)

and the Rural local Bodies (RLBs) are empowered through laws to enter into a contract

with any person (thus including any registered private entity) for a supply of water.

There has been suggestions that there needs to be State level Water Regulatory Authorities which

should maintain an arms length relationship with stakeholders including government as well as local

bodies, to regulate segments of water supply. Such a Regulatory Authority could facilitate private

sector participation and help develop appropriate water management policies that serve both the need

of the industry and the consumer. However, for such an Authority to take effect there may be a need to

enact a new legislation. As there are no precedents for such legislation creating Water Regulatory

Authority in any state in India enactment of such a law would need a decisive political will on the part

of the State governments. Besides, this would entail significant Amendments in a range of laws.

Whether and how the creation of such Water Regulatory Authority be compatible with the 74 th

Amendments to the Constitution of India seeking to empower urban local bodies would also be a moot

question. This is important because whatever form the private sector participation make take under

any water supply project - and the exact nature of responsibility of the private operator

notwithstanding - there is no escaping from the fact that legally the accountability for provision of

water supply and sanitation rests with the Municipal Corporation, the Municipal Councils and the

Panchayats. The institutional arrangements in exercise of any of the option of service contract,

Management Contract, Lease or any other form of the concession agreement shall have to recognize

and reflect this is principle.

In addition to the above under the existing state legal regimes certain PSP options may be

legally incompatible. As options of private sector participation Service contract or a

43
Management Contract may not have to contend with any major legal or a regulatory

barrier. However, any option that involves the sale or transfer of water and sanitation

assets to the private operator like Divesture may not be legally sustainable.

Finally, the existence of a fundamental right to water as explained in a previous section -

right could have direct implications in terms of cost recovery for operation and

maintenance of water utilities, in laying down norms and standards for water tariffs as

also for shaping approaches on disconnections of water services in case of defaults in

payment, amongst other issues.

Local Self Governance Institutions and Recent

Initiatives in Water Supply and Watershed

Development

It has been pointed above that the 73 rd Amendment of the Constitution had cast a

Constitutional imperative on all the State Governments to endow Panchayats with such

powers and authority to enable them to function as institution of self-government and

goes on to list Water Management, Minor Irrigation and Watershed Development as

subjects under the jurisdiction of Panchayats.51 In pursuance of this mandate the Central

government has come up with policy programmes aimed at empowering Panchayats in

water management.

44
Conclusion

The urban water management situation in India is dire and there is a lot of scope and

opportunity for GWP and its local partners to carry out activities that can make a

significant difference. The good news is that there is strong political will in the country to

improve water management. Already the government has initiated a few programmes,

like 100 smart cities, the National Mission to Clean Ganga and the Total Sanitation

Programme.

The Way Ahead can be charted in the following manner:

Participation of key stakeholders coming from the public, private and social

sectors representing different socio-economic activities that have an interest in

water in urban areas. There can be many stakeholders involved but an agreement

needs to be reached with the representatives of local government who remain the

main convener.

Urban water security through a holistic approach implies managing water

resources and its waste in a new integrated way, with a focus on: considering the

whole urban water cycle as one system within the watershed; aiming for water

security through diversity and optimum use of all potential sources of water and

matching water quality with purpose of use; aiming for a better utilisation of

natural systems for water and wastewater treatment; considering storm

water/rainwater catchment systems as a potential source; better managing use of

water, effluents and water demand and hygiene behavior; strengthening leakage

45
management and maintenance; strengthening resilience of urban water systems

that are facing drought or floods.

Wastewater is a resource that can be used productively. Grey water can be reused

for irrigation, urban agriculture and industrial processes, treated or untreated

depending on the purpose of its use and its legislation; nutrients in wastewater

(grey and black) can be used for energy production and fertiliser production.

Optimum infrastructure design implies the following key points: technology

selection for water supply, wastewater treatment and sanitation is based on a

multi-criteria decision support system to analyse a wide range of indicators; such

indicators include water quality, economic condition of households, size of

population, access to advanced technologies and skilled manpower, availability of

land, institutional set up and more; and this includes green infrastructure and low

cost and energy efficient options, natural systems and innovative technologies

46
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india/

4. Survey by Dr Ashish Mittal, reported by Rupa Jha for the BBC on 7 February
2009 'My life cleaning Delhi's sewers'

5. Projects Monitor:Stage-IV of Cauvery water supply scheme underway, 17


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47
48