With India’s power sector expected to account for 98 per cent of additional water withdrawals and 95 per cent of additional consumption between 2010 and 2035, reuse of treated water is essential for sustainable water management, suggested a recent ASSOCHAM-KPMG joint study.
“A water regulator is essential to create power legislation and regulations for private sector participation and innovative financing mechanism,” recommended the study titled, ‘Water sector resilience-Reimagining a blue future,’ conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) jointly with global professional services firm KPMG. The report added that with fossil fuels having the biggest water footprint, energy sector is inextricably linked with water since almost all forms of energy production rely on the supply of water. It further said that lack of regulatory authority is hampering the growth of water sector in India more so considering the enormous challenges and multiple disputes around allocation of water. Considering that water is a state subject, it is imperative that government of India makes it mandatory for each state to have a state water policy. “This should focus on innovative technological approaches across various consumers of water for implementation, operation and maintenance and mandate establishment of a water regulatory authority.”
The study also highlighted need to improve water efficiency for irrigation infrastructure in India as agriculture sector requires 800 billion cubic meters of water annually out of which 60 per cent is dependent on rain and nearly 40 per cent is through assured water supply (irrigation). Besides, lack of capacity building of the utilities in managing water infrastructure is leading to poor service delivery. Thus, the study suggested for involving community (end beneficiary) in the process of infrastructure management for optimum use.