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Talking  Points     of   Sh  Vinay  Kumar,  CE(PAO),  CWC   at    Brainstorming  Session  of  India  Water  Week  2013     on   Incentivizing  the  Water  Use  Efficiency  –  Defining  Roadmap   on     th 11  April  2013   -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐     •

The   Document   on   National   Water   Mission   has   identified   “Incentivizing   the   water   use   efficiency”   as   one   of   the   important   strategies  for  achieving  the  goal  of  increasing  water  efficiency  by   20%.     Water   has   a   very   important   role   in   the   developmental   activities   and   economic   growth   of   any   country.     Water   is   required   for   various   purposes   e.g.,   domestic   and   industrial   needs,   irrigation,   hydropower   generation,   navigation   and   industrial   uses   etc.   Growing  population,  industrialization  and  urbanization  will  result   into  increased  demands  for  various  purposes.  At  the  same  time  it   is   a   fact   that   the   water   resources   available   for   meeting   the   demands  are  more  or  less  constant.  Therefore,  it  is  necessary  to   have  a  comprehensive  planning  to  address  the  growing  needs  for   various   purposes.   It   is   also   equally   important   to   develop   the   resources   in   a   sustainable   manner.   We   have   instances   of   development,   particularly   of   groundwater   resources,   which   have   resulted  in  lowering  in  ground  water  table  in  certain  areas.  Such   lowering   of   ground   water   table   has   been   partly   responsible   for   deterioration   of   quality   of   ground   water.   Such   instances   should   not  be  repeated  and  all  the  developments   should  be  planned  in  a   sustainable  manner.   In   India   we   are   facing   a   number   of   challenges   in   water   sector   which   include   ensuring   water   and   food   security   to   our   people,   meeting   increasing   demand   for   water   for   irrigation,   drinking   domestic   and   technical   purposes   due   to   industrialization   and   urbanization,   reducing   per   capita   availability   of   water   due   to  


population   growth,   deteriorating   water   quality   due   to   anthropogenic   pollution   and   depletion   of   ground   water   in   some   areas.   We   cannot   create   more   water   than   provided   by   Nature.   But   we   can  manage  water  optimally  to  mitigate  the  impact  of  inadequate   availability  of  water.  The  situation  emerging  due  to  deficiency  of   rainfall   at   the   crucial   time   of   sowing   and   transplantation   during   last   year   in   some   parts   of   the   country   has   only   highlighted   the   importance   of   efficiency   in   water   management.   Even   under   normal   monsoon,   the   availability   of   water   and   its   temporal   and   spatial   distribution   has   a   direct   impact   on   agriculture   sector   and   hence   the   food   security.   National   Commission   on   Integrated   Water  Resources  Development  has  projected  that  the  demand  for   water   in   2050   will  be  1140m3   against   the   per   capita   availability   of   about   1700m3   and   per   capita   utilizable   water   of   1123m3   provided   we   adopt   most   efficient   technologies,   techniques   and   practices   in   the  management  of  water  resources  systems  and  in  its  application   in  agriculture  urban  and  industrial  sectors.   Two   very   serious   challenges   for   India   are   food   security   and   climate  change.  Obviously,  water  is  crucial  to  both  the  challenges   and  water  resources  development  and  management  plays  a  very   important  role  in  addressing  these  challenges.   The  objective  of  food  security  cannot  be  achieved  without  water   security.  This  is  more  so  in  case  of  our  country  which  is  primarily   agriculture   based   society   and   agriculture   provides   livelihood   for   majority   of   its   people.   Agriculture   in   India   is   the   largest   provider   of  employment.  Though  agriculture  contributes  only  over  17%  of   the   GDP,   it   provides   employment   to   more   than   half   of   the   workforce.   The   labour   productivity   in   agriculture   is   far   less   than   the   productivity   of   labour   in   other   sectors.   The   existing   scenario   makes  it  imperative  that  the  productivity  of  agricultural  labour  is   increased   if   we   have   to   eradicate   rural   poverty   and   improve   income   and   livelihood   in   rural   areas.   Water   being   an   important   input   to   agriculture,   expansion   of   irrigation   and   improvement   in   irrigation   practices   will   go   a   long   way   in   increasing   agricultural   productivity.     The   present   level   of   efficiency   of   the   irrigation   system   in   our   country   is   relatively   low   and   there   is   considerable   scope   for  


improvement.   The   National   Commission   for   Integrated   Water   Resources  Development  assessed  that  irrigation  efficiencies  from   surface  water  in  India  can  be  improved  from  the  present  level  of   35   to   40%   to   about   60%   and   ground   water   from   65%   to   about   75%.  With  the  improvement  in  efficiency  –  both  through  efficient   end  water  use  as  well  as  by  improving  the  efficiency  of  the  gross   irrigated  area.  Studies  by  Water  and  Land  Management  Institutes   /   Irrigation   Management   and   Training   Institutes   covering   evaluation   of   dam   efficiency,   delivery   system   efficiency   /   conveyance   efficiency,   on   farm   application   efficiency,   drainage   efficiency   and   Irrigation   potential   created   and   utilized   revealed   that   the   efficiency   of   water   use   was   in   general   low.   As   per   the   studies   the   important   reasons   for   low   efficiency   are   a)   damaged   structures   b)   silting   in   the   canal   system   c)   poor   maintenance   d)   weed   growth   in   canal   system   e)   seepage   in   the   system   f)   over   irrigation   g)     change   of   cropping   pattern   and   that   common   recommendations   for   improving   water   use   efficiency   are   rehabilitation   and   restoration   of   damaged   /   silted   canal   system,   proper  and  timely  maintenance  of  system,  selective  lining  of  canal   and   distribution   system,   scientific   system   of   operation,   revision   of   cropping   pattern,   restoration   /   provision   of   appropriate   control   structures,  efficient  and  reliable  communication  network,  reliable   and  adequate  water  measuring  system,  conjunctive  use  of  ground   and  surface  water,  regular  revision  of  water  rate,  encouragement   for   formation   of   Water   User’s   Association,   training   to   farmers,   micro-­‐credit  facilities,  and  agricultural  extension  services  etc.   The  sub-­‐optimal  utilization  of  the  created  facilities  is  yet  another   challenge.  In  our  country  only  about  85%  of  the  created  potential   has   been   utilized.   Some   of   the   factors   which   contribute   to   the   under   utilization   of   created   potential   include   (a)   relatively   poor   operation   and   maintenance   (b)   lack   of   field   channels   and   on-­‐farm   development  (c)  change  in  the  cropping  pattern,  and  (d)  diversion   of   available   water   for   non-­‐irrigation   sectors.   Obviously,   the   modern   tools   for   system   improvement   in   the   form   of   hardware   and   better   management   practices   in   the   form   of   software   can   play  very  important  role.   Best  technologies  and  practices  are  transferred  to  the  farmers  to   enable  them  to  translate  the  slogan  “More  Crop  and  Income  per  


Drop   of   Water”   in   to   reality.   Ministry   of   Water   Resources   has   implemented  “Farmers’  Participatory  Action  Research  Programme   (FPARP)”   through   agriculture   Universities   and   agricultural   research   institutes   to   demonstrate   available   technologies   for   increasing   productivity   profitability   of   agriculture.   The   study   reports   indicate   that   there   is   very   good   response   from   farmers   and   the   programme   has   helped   in   increasing   yield   and   saving   in   water.   National   Mission   on   Sustainable   Agriculture   has   identified   following  intervention  in  respect  of  water  use  efficiency.   − Promoting  water  use  efficiency  in  irrigation;   − Research   and   development   in   the   areas   of   energy   efficient   water  systems;   − Developing   mechanisms   for   integrated   management   of   rainwater,  surface  and  ground  water;   − Policy  instruments  for  PPP;   − Strengthen  local  institutions  in  managing  water  allocation   and  utilization  

  •

Adoption  of  latest  techniques  and  technology,  both  at  macro  and   micro  level,  is  necessary  to  ensure  the  optimum  and  efficient  use   of   water.   Apart   from   measures   for   improving   the   efficiency   of   larger  water  facilities,  due  emphasis  has  to  be  given  to  measures   like  waste  water  treatment,  reuse  of  water,  rainwater  harvesting   and  ground  water  recharge,  watershed  development  etc.    Various   studies   about   climate   change   indicate   that   the   change   may  result  in  intensification  of  the  temporal  and  spatial  variations   in   the   availability   of   water.   National   Action   Plan   on   Climate   Change   has   been   launched   by   the   Hon’ble   Prime   Minister   which   envisages  institutionalization  of  eight  National  Missions  including   “National   Water   Mission”.     The   main   objectives   of   “National   Water   Mission”   are   conservation   of   water,   minimizing   wastage   and   ensuring   its   more   equitable   distribution   both   across   and   within   States   through   Integrated   Water   Resources   Management.   One  of  the  five  goals  identified  for  the  “National  Water  Mission”  is   increasing  water  use  efficiency  by  20%.   Documents  on  National  Water  Mission  and  National  Water  Policy   have   indicated   about   the   importance   of   incentivizing   the   water  


use   efficiency.   It   has   been   stated   therein   that   “project”   and   the   “basin”   water   use   efficiencies   need   to   be   improved   through   continuous   water   balance   and   water   accounting   studies   and   provision  for  incentivizing  efficient  water  use  and  suggested  areas   in  this  regard  are  as  under.     − Declining  ground  water  levels  in  over  exploited  areas  need  to   be   arrested   by   introducing   improved   technologies   of   water   use  and  community  based  management  of  aquifers;   − A   system   to   evolve   benchmarks   for   water   uses   for   different   purposes   i.e.   water   auditing   should   be   developed   for   incentivizing  efficient  use  of  water;   − Project  financing  should  be  structured  to  incentivize  efficient   &   economic   use   of   water   and   facilitate   early   completion   of   ongoing  projects;   − Water  saving  in  irrigation  use  is  of  paramount  importance,  as   it   counts   for   about   70   to   80%   of   total   water   uses.   Methods   like   aligning   cropping   pattern   with   natural   resource   endowments,   micro-­‐irrigation   (drip,   sprinkler   etc.),   automated   irrigation   operation,   evaporation   –transpiration   reduction,  etc  should  be  encouraged  and  incentivized;   − Recycle   and   reuse   of   water   after   treatment   to   specified   standards   should   also   be   incentivized   through   a   properly   planned  tariff  system;   − Least   water   intensive   sanitation   and   sewerage   systems   with   decentralized   sewage   treatment   plants   should   also   be   incentivized;   − States   should   be   encouraged   and   incentivized   to   undertake   reforms   and   progressive   measures   for   innovations,   conservation  and  efficient  utilization  of  water  resources.    


IncentivizingtheWaterUseEfficiency–DefiningRoadmapon11thApril2013