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Water Supply and Sanitation in India

Water Supply and Sanitation in India

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Published by Munish Dogra

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Published by: Munish Dogra on May 14, 2011
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Water supply and sanitation in India
Water supply and sanitation in India
continue to be inadequate, despite longstandingefforts by the various levels of government and communities at improving coverage. Thelevel of investment in water and sanitation, albeit low by international standards, hasincreased during the 2000s. Access has also increased significantly. For example, in 1980rural sanitation coverage was estimated at 1% and reached 21% in 2008. Also, the share of Indians with access to improved sources of water has increased significantly from 72% in1990 to 88% in 2008. At the same time, local government institutions in charge of operatingand maintaining the infrastructure are seen as weak and lack the financial resources to carryout their functions. In addition, no major city in India is known to have a continuous water supply and an estimated 72% of Indians still lack access to improved sanitation facilities.A number of innovative approaches to improve water supply and sanitation have been testedin India, in particular in the early 2000s. These include demand-driven approaches in ruralwater supply since 1999, community-led total sanitation, a public-private partnerships toimprove the continuity of urban water supply in Karnataka, and the use of micro-credit towomen in order to improve access to water.
Access
Urban Rural Total
Improved water supply 96% 84% 88%Improved sanitation 54% 21% 31%In 2008, 88% of the population in India had access to an improved water source, but only31% had access to improved sanitation. In rural areas, where 72% of India¶s population lives,the respective shares are 84% for water and only 21% for sanitation. In urban areas, 96% hadaccess to an improved water source and 54% to improved sanitation. Access has improvedsubstantially since 1990 when it was estimated to stand at 72% for water and 18% for sanitation.According to Indian norms, access to improved water supply exists if at least40 liters/capita/day of safe drinking water are provided within a distance of 1.6 km or 100 meter of elevation difference, to be relaxed as per field conditions. There should be atleast one pump per 250 persons.
Service quality
Water and sanitation service quality in India is generally poor, although there has been somelimited progress concerning continuity of supply in urban areas and access to sanitation inrural areas.
Water supply
Challenges
. None of the 35 Indian cities with a population of more than one milliondistribute water for more than a few hours per day, despite generally sufficient infrastructure.
 
Ow
ititltltllt
wa
t
when
it
 
i
ava
il
ab
l
e.Accord
i
ng
t
o
t
he Wor 
l
d Bank, none have performance
i
nd
i
ca
t
ors
t
ha
t
compare w
it
h average
i
n
t
erna
ti
ona
l
s
t
andards. A 2007 s
t
dy by
t
he As
i
an Deve
l
opmen
t
Bank showed
t
ha
t
 
i
n 20c
iti
es
t
he average dura
ti
on of supp
l
y was on
l
y 4.3 hours per day. No c
it
y had con
ti
nuoussupp
l
y. The
l
onges
t
dura
ti
on of supp
l
y was 12hours per day
i
n Chand
i
garh, and
t
he
l
owes
t
 was 0.3 hours per day
i
n Ra
 j
ko
t
. In De
l
h
i
res
i
den
t
s rece
i
ve wa
t
er on
l
y a few hours per day because of 
i
nadequa
t
e managemen
t
of 
t
he d
i
s
t
i
 bu
ti
on sys
t
em. Th
i
s resu
lt
s
i
n con
t
am
i
na
t
edwa
t
er and forces househo
l
ds
t
o comp
l
emen
t
a def 
i
c
i
en
t
pub
li
c wa
t
er serv
i
ce a
t
proh
i
 b
iti
ve'cop
i
ng' cos
t
s;
t
he poor suffer mos
t
from
t
h
i
s s
it
ua
ti
on. For examp
l
e, accord
i
ng
t
o a 1996survey househo
l
ds
i
n De
l
h
i
spen
t
an average of 2,182 (US$ 49.5) per year 
i
n
ti
me andmoney
t
o cope w
it
h poor serv
i
ce
l
eve
l
s. Th
i
s
i
s more
t
han
t
hree
ti
mes as much as
t
he 2001wa
t
er b
ill
of abou
t
US$18 per year of a De
l
h
i
househo
l
d
t
ha
t
uses 20 cub
i
c me
t
ers per mon
t
h.
Ach
im
. Jamshedpur, a c
it
y
i
n Jharkhand w
it
h 573,000
i
nhab
it
an
t
s, prov
i
ded 25% of 
it
s res
i
den
t
s w
it
h con
ti
nuous wa
t
er supp
l
y
i
n 2009. Nav
i
Mumba
i
, a p
l
anned c
it
y w
it
h more
t
han 1m
i
nhab
it
an
t
s, has ach
i
eved con
ti
nuous supp
l
yfor abou
t
ha
l
it
s popu
l
a
ti
on as of January 2009. Bad
l
apur, ano
t
her c
it
y
i
n
t
he Mumba
i
Conurba
ti
on w
it
h a popu
l
a
ti
on of 140,000, has ach
i
eved con
ti
nuous supp
l
y
i
n 3 ou
t
of 10 opera
ti
ng zones, cover 
i
ng 30% of 
it
s popu
l
a
ti
on. Th
i
ruvanan
t
hapuram,
t
he cap
it
a
l
of Kera
l
a s
t
a
t
e w
it
h a popu
l
a
ti
on of 745,000
i
n2001,
i
s probab
l
y
t
he
l
arges
t
Ind
i
an c
it
y
t
ha
t
en
 j
oys con
ti
nuous wa
t
er supp
l
y.
ii
Mos
t
Ind
i
ans depend on on-s
it
e san
it
a
ti
on fac
iliti
es. Recen
tl
y, access
t
o on-s
it
e san
it
a
ti
onhave
i
ncreased
i
n bo
t
h rura
l
and urban areas. In rura
l
areas,
t
o
t
a
l
san
it
a
ti
on has beensuccessfu
l
(see be
l
ow). In urban areas, a good prac
ti
ce
i
s
t
he S
l
um San
it
a
ti
on Program
i
nMumba
i
 
t
ha
t
has prov
i
ded access
t
o san
it
a
ti
on for a quar 
t
er m
illi
on s
l
um dwe
ll
ers.Sewerage,where ava
il
ab
l
e,
i
s of 
t
en
i
n a bad s
t
a
t
e. In De
l
h
i
 
t
he sewerage ne
t
work has
l
ackedma
i
n
t
enance over 
t
he years and overf 
l
ow of raw sewage
i
n open dra
i
ns
i
s common, due
t
o b
l
ockage, se
ttl
emen
t
s and
i
nadequa
t
e pump
i
ng capac
iti
es. The capac
it
y of 
t
he 17 ex
i
s
ti
ngwas
t
ewa
t
er 
t
rea
t
men
t
p
l
an
t
s
i
n De
l
h
i
 
i
s adequa
t
e
t
o ca
t
er a da
il
y produc
ti
on of was
t
e wa
t
er of 
l
ess
t
han 50% of 
t
he dr 
i
nk 
i
ng wa
t
er produced. Of 
t
he 2.5 B
illi
on peop
l
e
i
n
t
he wor 
l
d
t
ha
t
 defeca
t
e open
l
y, some 665 m
illi
on
li
ve
i
n Ind
i
a. Th
i
s
i
s of grea
t
er concern as 88% of dea
t
hsfrom d
i
arrhea occur because of unsafe wa
t
er,
i
nadequa
t
e san
it
a
ti
on and poor hyg
i
ene.
Eim
 As of 2003,
it
was es
ti
ma
t
ed
t
ha
t
on
l
y 27% of Ind
i
a's was
t
ewa
t
er was be
i
ng
t
rea
t
ed, w
it
h
t
herema
i
nder f 
l
ow
i
ng
i
n
t
o r 
i
vers, cana
l
s, groundwa
t
er or 
t
he sea. For examp
l
e,
t
he sacredGanges r 
i
ver 
i
s
i
nfes
t
ed w
it
h d
i
seases and
i
n some p
l
aces "
t
he Ganges becomes b
l
ack andsep
ti
c. Corpses, of sem
i
-crema
t
ed adu
lt
s or enshrouded bab
i
es, dr 
i
t
s
l
ow
l
y by". NewsWeek descr 
i
 bes De
l
h
i
's sacred Yamuna R 
i
ver as "a pu
t
i
d r 
i
 bbon of b
l
ack s
l
udge" where feca
l
  bac
t
er 
i
a
i
s 10,000 over safe
t
y
li
m
it
s desp
it
e a 15-year program
t
o address
t
he prob
l
em.Cho
l
era ep
i
dem
i
cs are no
t
unknown.
Hl
h
im
ct
 The
l
ack of adequa
t
e san
it
a
ti
on and safe wa
t
er has s
i
gn
i
i
can
t
nega
ti
ve hea
lt
h
i
mpac
t
s. I
t
wases
ti
ma
t
ed
i
n 2002 by
t
he Wor 
l
d Hea
lt
h Organ
i
sa
ti
on
t
ha
t
around 700,000 Ind
i
ans d
i
e each
 
year from d
i
arrhoea. The d
i
sma
l
work 
i
ng cond
iti
ons of sewer workers are ano
t
her concern. Asurvey of 
t
he work 
i
ng cond
iti
ons of sewage workers
i
n De
l
h
i
showed
t
ha
t
mos
t
of 
t
hemsuffer from chron
i
c d
i
seases, resp
i
ra
t
ory prob
l
ems, sk 
i
n d
i
sorders, a
ll
erg
i
es, headaches andeye
i
nfec
ti
ons.
Water supp
l
and water resources
Dep
l
e
ti
ng ground wa
t
er 
t
ab
l
e and de
t
er 
i
ora
ti
ng ground wa
t
er qua
lit
y are
t
hrea
t
en
i
ng
t
hesus
t
a
i
nab
ilit
y of bo
t
h urban and rura
l
wa
t
er supp
l
y
i
n many par 
t
s of Ind
i
a. The supp
l
y of c
iti
es
t
ha
t
depend on surface wa
t
er 
i
s
t
hrea
t
ened by po
ll
u
ti
on,
i
ncreas
i
ng wa
t
er scarc
it
y andconf 
li
c
t
s among users. For examp
l
e, Banga
l
ore depends
t
o a
l
arge ex
t
en
t
on wa
t
er pumpeds
i
nce 1974 from
t
he Kaver 
i
i
ver, whose wa
t
ers are d
i
spu
t
ed be
t
ween
t
he s
t
a
t
es of Karna
t
akaand Tam
il
Nadu. As
i
n o
t
her Ind
i
an c
iti
es,
t
he response
t
o wa
t
er scarc
it
y
i
s
t
o
t
ransfer morewa
t
er over 
l
arge d
i
s
t
ances a
t
h
i
gh cos
t
s. In
t
he case of Banga
l
ore,
t
he 3,384 crore(US$ 768.2 m
illi
on) Kaver 
i
S
t
age IV pro
 j
ec
t
, Phase II,
i
nc
l
udes
t
he supp
l
y of 500,000 cub
i
cme
t
er of wa
t
er per day over a d
i
s
t
ance of 100 km,
t
hus
i
ncreas
i
ng
t
he c
it
y's supp
l
y by
t
wo
t
h
i
rds.
Respons
iili
ty for water supp
l
y and san
i
tat
i
on
Wa
t
er supp
l
y and san
it
a
ti
on
i
s a S
t
a
t
e respons
i
 b
ilit
y under 
t
he Ind
i
an Cons
tit
u
ti
on. S
t
a
t
es mayg
i
ve
t
he respons
i
 b
ilit
y
t
o
t
he Panchaya
ti
Ra
 j
Ins
tit
u
ti
ons (PRI)
i
n rura
l
areas or mun
i
c
i
 pa
liti
es
i
n urban areas, ca
ll
ed Urban Loca
l
Bod
i
es (ULB). A
t
presen
t
, s
t
a
t
es genera
ll
y p
l
an, des
i
gnand execu
t
e wa
t
er supp
l
y schemes (and of 
t
en opera
t
e
t
hem)
t
hrough
t
he
i
r S
t
a
t
e Depar 
t
men
t
s(of Pub
li
c Hea
lt
h Eng
i
neer 
i
ng or Rura
l
Deve
l
opmen
t
Eng
i
neer 
i
ng) or S
t
a
t
e Wa
t
er Boards.H
i
gh
l
y cen
t
ra
li
zed dec
i
s
i
on-mak 
i
ng and approva
l
s a
t
 
t
he s
t
a
t
e
l
eve
l
, wh
i
ch are charac
t
er 
i
s
ti
cof 
t
he Ind
i
an c
i
v
il
serv
i
ce, affec
t
 
t
he managemen
t
of wa
t
er supp
l
y and san
it
a
ti
on serv
i
ces. For examp
l
e, accord
i
ng
t
o
t
he Wor 
l
d Bank 
i
n
t
he s
t
a
t
e of Pun
 j
ab
t
he process of approv
i
ng des
i
gns
i
s cen
t
ra
li
zed w
it
h even m
i
nor 
t
echn
i
ca
l
approva
l
s reach
i
ng
t
he off 
i
ce of ch
i
ef eng
i
neers. Ama
 j
or 
it
y of dec
i
s
i
ons are made
i
n a very cen
t
ra
li
zed manner a
t
 
t
he headquar 
t
ers. In 1993
t
heInd
i
an cons
tit
u
ti
on and re
l
evan
t
s
t
a
t
e
l
eg
i
s
l
a
ti
ons were amended
i
n order 
t
o decen
t
ra
li
zecer 
t
a
i
n respons
i
 b
iliti
es,
i
nc
l
ud
i
ng wa
t
er supp
l
y and san
it
a
ti
on,
t
o mun
i
c
i
 pa
liti
es. S
i
nce
t
heass
i
gnmen
t
of respons
i
 b
iliti
es
t
o mun
i
c
i
 pa
liti
es
i
s a s
t
a
t
e respons
i
 b
ilit
y, d
i
fferen
t
s
t
a
t
es havefo
ll
owed d
i
fferen
t
approaches. Accord
i
ng
t
o a P
l
ann
i
ng Comm
i
ss
i
on repor 
t
of 2003
t
here
i
s a
t
rend
t
o decen
t
ra
li
ze cap
it
a
l
 
i
nves
t
men
t
 
t
o eng
i
neer 
i
ng depar 
t
men
t
s a
t
 
t
he d
i
s
t
i
c
t
 
l
eve
l
andopera
ti
on and ma
i
n
t
enance
t
o d
i
s
t
i
c
t
and gram panchaya
t
 
l
eve
l
s.
Po
li
cy and regu
l
at
i
on
The respons
i
 b
ilit
y for wa
t
er supp
l
y and san
it
a
ti
on a
t
 
t
he cen
t
ra
l
and s
t
a
t
e
l
eve
l
 
i
s shared byvar 
i
ous M
i
n
i
s
t
i
es. A
t
 
t
he cen
t
ra
l
 
l
eve
l
, The M
i
n
i
s
t
ry of Rura
l
Deve
l
opmen
t
 
i
s respons
i
 b
l
e for rura
l
wa
t
er supp
l
y
t
hrough
it
s Depar 
t
men
t
of Dr 
i
nk 
i
ng Wa
t
er Supp
l
y(DDWS) and
t
heM
i
n
i
s
t
ry of Hous
i
ng and Urban Pover 
t
y A
ll
ev
i
a
ti
on
i
s respons
i
 b
l
e for urban wa
t
er supp
l
y.However, excep
t
for 
t
he Na
ti
ona
l
Cap
it
a
l
Terr 
it
ory of De
l
h
i
and o
t
her Un
i
on Terr 
it
or 
i
es,
t
hecen
t
ra
l
M
i
n
i
s
t
i
es on
l
y have an adv
i
sory capac
it
y and a very
li
m
it
ed ro
l
e
i
n fund
i
ng. Sec
t
or  po
li
cy
t
hus
i
s a preroga
ti
ve of s
t
a
t
e governmen
t
s.
Serv
i
ce prov
i
s
i
on

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