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WAC News Jan 2006

WAC News Jan 2006

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Published by UN-HABITAT Nepal

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Published by: UN-HABITAT Nepal on May 24, 2010
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likely to improve to about 82%at the end of the 12th Plan, thusexceeding the MDG target ofabout 72%.
“But access to reliable, sus- tainable, and affordable wa- ter supply and sanitation ser- vice is lagging behind.” 
Based on preliminary estimates,meeting the MDG target in ur-ban areas would require invest-ment of about Rs 695 billionand Rs 875 billion (US$16billion and US$21 billion) forthe 11th and 12th Plans.
Improving Reliability 
 Whether in small towns ormega-cities piped water is usu-ally distributed for no more thana few hours per day, regardlessof the quantity available. Inurban areas, raw sewage oftenoverflows into open drains be-cause sewers are blocked orpumping stations not function-ing. Improving the reliability ofservice would require clarifyingthe roles of the actors in thesector (policymakers, regulators,financiers, asset owners, andservice operators) and establish-ing enforceable contractualrelationships between them soas to increase transparency indecision making and account-ability to end users, in addition,full responsibility for serviceprovision would need to bedevolved to the local govern-ment. As part of this, the func-tion of “promoter of Infrastruc-ture”, now the responsibility ofState engineering agencies,such as Public Health Engineer-The Millennium DevelopmentGoal (MDG) requires India tohalve by 2015 the proportion ofpeople who had no access tosafe drinking water and basicsanitation. Is India on course toachieve this goal in cities andtowns?In urban areas, access to drink-ing water considered safe bythe Government’s standardsrose from about 82% of thepopulation in 1991 to 90% in2001. This figure, which in-cludes access to non-piped wa-ter, could rapidly reach 100%,consistent with the objective ofthe Ministry of Urban Develop-ment to achieve 100% coveragein 2007 (end of the 10th Plan).But in an urban environmentnon-piped water may not beconsidered a safe source. Thus,progress toward Target 10 ofthe Millennium DevelopmentGoals (MDG) of halving by2015 the proportion of peoplewithout sustainable access tosafe drinking water and basicsanitation (in 1990) would needto be measured on the basis ofaccess to piped water. Thisindicator, which was about 65%in 1990, would need to reachabout 87% by the end of the12th Five-Year Plan (2017) ifIndia is to meet the MDG target. With access to piped water ofabout 74% in 2001 India ap-pears to be on track to achievethe MDG. The urban populationshare with access to basic sani-tation, which rose from 43% in1990 to about 62% in 2001, is
Volume II - Issue 03
Is Urban India on Course to Achieve MDG 7?
January 2006
WATSAN Provision inSmall and Medium Townsin India3Mobilizing the Community for Implementing CMWSS3CEE Organizes Resource Teachers visit to Gujarat 4
Water Education Ex-perts Plan RoundtableMeet in India
“In a world where some 1.1 billionpeople lack accessto safe water and 2.4 billion people lack access to basic sanitation, what could be a more direct attack on pov- erty than to enable them to access these vital, life-sustainingservices that could protect their healthand improve their productivity?” 
- Dr. Anna K. Tibaijukain her Keynote addressin Stavanger 
ing Departments or State WaterBoards, would need to be con-solidated with that of “providerof service” which are generallylocal bodies, to ensure that wa-ter supply and sanitation pro-jects are implemented at lowcost and correspond to whatservice providers can operate.The revenues and expenses ofwater supply and sanitationoperations would need to beseparated from those of thelocal government and “ring-fenced”; clarifying the financialsituation of service providers isdeemed to be essential to de-sign appropriate financial recov-ery programs. In slums andsquatter settlements, communi-ties need to be involved in thedecision making process, re-garding the choice of scheme,planning, design, implementa-tion, control of finances andmanagement arrangements,Monitoring and evaluation indi-cators need to be specially de-veloped to provide a compre-hensive coverage of inputs,processes, outputs and out-comes, related to various inter-ventions for improving serviceperformance, including periodicfeedback from the beneficiarycommunities.
 Achieving Financial Sustainability 
 A few mega-cities recover fromuser charges the full cost ofwater supply and sanitationservice, including operation andmaintenance and capital costs.But most urban operations still
Continued on Page 2......
survive on large operating subsidies and/or capital grants provided by the States. Achieving financial sustainability wouldrequire establishing sound principles forpricing water supply and sanitation serviceso as to meet financial, economic, equityand simplicity objectives. Aiming at fullrecovery of operation and maintenancecosts from user charges by the end of the11th Plan (2012) is probably feasible forurban service. Going beyond and contrib-uting to capital costs could be envisagedin a second phase; preliminary estimatesshow that it is likely that user chargesneeded to cover operation, maintenanceand capital costs would, as an average,be lower than those in countries with waterand sanitation sectors comparable to thatof India.The transition from today’s highly subsi-dized sector to a much less dependent onewould need to be financed in a transpar-ent and targeted manner, with any operat-ing subsidies still provided by the Stateslinked to actual improvement in the per-formance of service providers. State financ-ing programs would need to be designedto support the recovery of the urban watersupply and sanitation sector, not merely tofill gaps in infrastructure. Finally, externalfinancing needs would have to be har-nessed primarily to support implementationof new policies, institutional arrangements,and fiscal incentives, not just to rehabilitateand extend infrastructure.
 Achieving Environmental Sustainability 
Most cities compete with the agriculturalsector to secure surface water rights andtend to deplete local aquifers that they useas substitute sources; very few cities con-
PAGE - 2
January 2006
tribute to the abatement of pollution inreceiving bodies. To achieve environ-mental sustainability, bulk water wouldneed to be priced according to soundeconomic principles, to give consumers theright signals about the actual cost of thisincreasingly scarce commodity. Waterrights would need to be strengthened andwater rights markets developed to allowwater-starved cities an official access towater resources that are now used, ofteninefficiently, by other sectors. Groundwaterrecharge activities are required to addressthe “source sustainability” issues in “overexploited” or “critical” aquifers. Given theconflicting groundwater demand fromirrigation, industry and drinking water,there is an urgent need for State level regu-latory agencies with specific mandates forwater resource management and regula-tion of exploitation of groundwater. Waterquality would need to be protected bypaying as much attention to proper wastewater collection as to waste water treat-ment; a large share of the waste waternow generated never reaches treatmentfacilities, infrastructure would need to beplanned to achieve realistic environmentalobjectives waste water treatment to thehighest level often fails to improve the wa-ter quality in the receiving bodies enoughto be economically justified. Finally, effortsto support "collective" behavioral changetoward better sanitation practices shouldbe continued, particularly those aimed ateliminating open defecation.
Improving Affordability 
Most households, forced to cope with poorquality water supply and sanitation ser-vice, spend time and money on expensiveand unsafe substitutes and on treatment forwaterborne diseases, User charges arelow by international standards, but the costof the alternatives on which users must relyfar exceeds the full cost of providing goodquality service. And while the poor may bethe intended beneficiaries of the low usercharges, they suffer most from the resultingpoor quality of service. Due to inadequateO&M and increasing numbers of partiallyfunctioning or defunct schemes, the com-munities revert to conventional substitutesthat are often unsafe. Improving the af-fordability of service would require reduc-ing costs. Cost recovery strategies wouldneed to include transparent, well-targetedsubsidies for the poor, both to help obtainconnections to service and to encouragethe consumption of a minimum quantity ofwater. It is important that communitiesliving in slums, squatter settlements andperi-urban areas have a complete under-standing of the various technology options.The selection of water supply technologyshould be determined by a number offactors, such as technical feasibility, userpreferences and requirements, combinedwith willingness to contribute towards capi-tal and O&M cost.
“The true challenge is not to increase access to infrastructure to almost 100% of the population, but to increase access to reliable, sustainable, and affordable service. India is unlikely to be able to meet this objective unless it adjusts poli- cies, institutional arrangements, and financial incentives to help improve service delivery…” 
In the urban water supply and sanitationsector an important step toward buildingcapacity would be to create an identity forthe “Urban Water Supply and Sanitationindustry”. A professional association ofservice providers could play a key role indisseminating best practices, implementingfull scale benchmarking, and providingtraining and certification for sector profes-sionals. Training institutions would need toadapt then programs, currently focusedmainly on technical design issues, to thenew needs of the urban sector. And spe-cial information programs would need tobe developed for key stakeholders, i.e.,local politicians, consumer associations,and the many non-governmental organiza-tions with a special interest in water supplyand sanitation.
Source: World Bank Report on India’s Water Supply and Sanitation – Bridging the Gap between Infrastruc- ture and Service – January 2006
Note: Piped access includes pipes both within and away from the premises.Source: Census of India 1991 and 2001.
Progress and Slippage: Change in Access to Piped Water inUrban Areas between 1991 and 2001
Corporation (IMC) were also present. Theresidents of the locality were informed thatDUDA with financial support from UN-HABITAT would help the community createfacilities for water storage and distributionsystem under the community managedwater supply scheme (CMWSS) to beoperated and managed by themselves,for which the community has to organisethemselves to form a Community Waterand Sanitation Committee (CWASC), alegal entity, to whom required financefor the scheme will be provided as loan.The CWASC will be responsible forimplementation of the scheme and payback the loan amount in easy install-ments to DUDA. During the consultation,the residents decided to form the(CWASC) for the implementation of thescheme and elected the office bearersthrough voice votes. The DivisionalCommissioner asked the newly electedoffice bearers of the newly formedCWASC to work together for the over-all improvement of the living conditionof the locality.
PAGE - 3
 WATSAN Provision in Small and Medium Towns in India -Case Studies of Chertala, Ponani and Bharatpur
Chertala (Kerala)
 With around 43,000 inhabitants in 2000,there is an abundance of water and a highincidence of mosquito-related disease, espe-cially malaria and filariasis. Water supplyis operated by the state water authority. Themain water supply comes from tube wellsand is distributed untreated to 437 standposts (around 1 per 100 people) and 238house connections. The piped supply is bothinadequate and commonly regarded asunfit to drink. There is strong dissatisfactionamong the town dwellers with the stateagency and there are plans to developmunicipal water supplies in each ward.Estimates suggest that 70-80 per cent ofhouseholds have latrines. There are threepay and use toilets – at the hospital, busstation and market place. Two further toiletcomplexes are planned. Officials regardthese as facilities as only suitable for busypublic places, not for residential areas.
Ponani (Kerala)
 With a population of 51,770 in 2000, thisis one of the poorest towns in the state.Most of the poor live in ten coastal wardsand rely on fishing for their livelihoods. Thecoastal wards have saline ground water forsix months of the year and poor drainage.The piped water system has 845 houseconnections (serving roughly 12 per cent ofall households), 75 non-household connec-tions and 488 stand pipes. Most taps de-liver water for 8-12 hours a day. Officialsestimate that all houses will have latrines by2001. The positive impact of the communallatrines used by 13 per cent of householdswas highlighted, as they offered decentaccess to sanitation for inhabitants of‘problem areas’, even if this is relativelyexpensive and has been financed by exter-nal assistance. Each latrine is used byaround 20 families, all of whom participatein its cleanliness and maintenance.
Bharatpur (Rajasthan)
This urban centre in Rajasthan had205,104 inhabitants in the 2001 census. A study in 2000 found that 61 householdshave legal household connections to thepiped water supplies. The rest rely onstand posts or other water sources. Watersupplies in the piped system are intermit-tent and at risk of contamination.There are no sewers, 52 per cent of thepopulation rely on toilets connected toseptic tanks with 15 per cent using twin pitpour flush latrines and 33 per cent with nolatrine or a ‘service latrine’ (a simple drylatrine in which faeces are deposited onthe ground beneath a squat-hole and re-moved each day by a ‘sweeper’).There are also problems with flooding,especially for poorer groups who live inthe most flood prone areas.
Mobilizing and Engaging the Community for ImplementingCommunity Managed Water Supply Scheme in Indore
In a public consultation chaired by theDivisional Commissioner, Mr. Ashok Dasin Musa Khedi, Indore on 16.01.06, theresidents of the notified slum of Shiv Na-gar, Shahin Nagar, Chowdhary Park Col-ony, Pawan Putra Colony, Kamal Nagarand Chowdhary Park came together to putforward their demand for a sustainablewater supply scheme for their locality sofar deprived of an assured water supply.These settlements, having 1200 housesliving below poverty line, are situated inward No. 64 of Indore city. Presently thereare no dug wells or hand pumps availablein the locality. Households are mostly de-pendent on private tube well owners fortheir water requirements. The poor alsofetch water from nearby Lakhani factory,which is located at a distance of about 3kms. During summer months people getwater from the tankers of Indore MunicipalCorporation (IMC) and in other monthsthey buy it from private operators. Duringconsultation, CTA, UN-HABITAT, Officialsof District Urban Development Agency(DUDA), Indore and Indore Municipal
CMWSS in Indore
The scheme involves construction of an elevatedRCC reservoir of 420 kl capacity at Shivnagar andproviding 1200 new service connections to theresidents of Shiv Nagar, Shahin Nagar, Chowd-hary Park Colony, Pawan Putra Colony, KamalNagar and Chowdhary Park. A supply line from theextended Narmada water supply network of IMCupto the reservoir will be laid . The IMC will pro-vide 420 kilolitres of water once in two days atbulk water rates to the CWASC. The total capitalinvestment for the operation of the system has beenestimated at Rs 3 million. DUDA, Indore will contrib-ute Rs 1 million from the resources at its disposal.The balance amount of Rs. 2 million will be pro-vided by the UN-HABITAT under the CMWSScomponent of the Water for Asian Cities Pro-gramme. The capital work execution is expected totake 7-8 months. Initially water supply will be for alimited period . However, efforts would be made toincrease the number of supply hours towards thetarget of uninterrupted 24 hour supply. Every house-hold has agreed to pay connection charges of Rs1000 (as against normal charge of Rs 2500 in easyinstallments of Rs 200 /month as well as usercharges of Rs 60 per month. The CWASC willmanage proper water supply and recovery of watercharge from the households. The CWASC wouldpay back the capital cost in 4 years. This amountwill be revolving fund for implementation of similarscheme for another locality.

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