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Revising the Draft National Water Policy

By S Ramesh

The draft National Water Policy 2012 recommended that water other than that required for drinking and sanitation, be treated as an economic good. Subsequent revisions have ensured that the water requirements for food security and agriculture are also considered primary

 Inda’s water resources  Water disputes


Water: Economic good or right to life?

The Draft Water Policy 2012 makes all the right noises about keeping livelihood and ecosystem needs as the first priority, but contradicts this by insisting that water must be seen as an ‘economic good’, says Ranjan K Panda

resettlement in Delhi


Impact of industrial expansion on water availability

By Ranjan K Panda

Demand for water from the domestic sector is expected to rise from 25 billion m3 to 52 billion m3 over the next 20 years. However, water consumption in the industrial sector is rising at 4.2% per year, and will shoot from 67 billion m3 to 228 billion m3 by 2025. State governments such as Orissa’s, which are signing MoU after MoU with industry, citing a surplus water situation in their state, need to think of the consequences of this industrial overdrive on availability of water in the future


Staring drought in the face

By Rahul Goswami

With 167 districts being declared drought hit, including in major grain producing states, and several others registering a deficit rainfall, the central government is preparing to put into action its Crisis Management Plan for Drought


Privatisation unlimited: Rivers for sale in Chhattisgarh

By Alok Prakash Putul

In March 2007, a Public Accounts Committee came down heavily on the Chhattisgarh government for allowing a private company to appropriate the waters of the Sheonath river. Nevertheless, business continues as usual. In fact, more corporate houses have been given easy access to river waters in the state at the cost of the drinking water and irrigation needs of local communities


Floriculture needs 20 times more water than cotton cultivation

By Devinder Sharma

When Punjab exported 18 million tonnes of surplus wheat and rice in 2003-04, it actually exported 55.5 trillion litres of water as well. The focus on exports and the shift to cash crop cultivation will come at a huge social and environmental cost as India's water crisis worsens


Are supply-side solutions to water access sufficient?

By Darryl D'Monte

While overall access to water supply infrastructure in cities is increasing, coverage remains uneven. But are dams and so-called "flexible water allocations", as advocated by the World Bank, the answer?


Why a groundwater cess won't work

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

The proposed cess on groundwater extraction will only give big players such as the bottled water industry carte blanche to extract as much as they need. A water cess in the absence of blanket checks on over-extraction is not a good idea


Model law

By Rakesh Shukla

Laws drafted in dusty government offices are often vague and full of loopholes. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is a clear and concise piece of legislation that demonstrates the value of involving stakeholders in the drafting of a law


The powerful get water, the powerless don't: UNDP report

By Himanshu Thakkar

The UNDP's annual Human Development Report for 2006 focuses on water and advocates small-scale solutions and efficiency improvements to tackle the global water crisis


Sardar Sarovar: Don't forget the environment

By Ashish Kothari

In the current debate over the rehabilitation of those displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Project, the fundamental question about the environmental impact of the dam, and whether such a dam should be built at all, has been forgotten, says Ashish Kothari


The World Bank's misguided advocacy of large water storage facilities

By Himanshu Thakkar

In its new report, the World Bank states that India's dams can store only 200 cubic metres of water per person against the US's 5,000 cubic metres per capita. But before advocating more large water storage facilities, the Bank should consider why India is losing over 36 billion cubic metres of existing storage capacity every year


Privatisation of Delhi's water supply: There's a hole in the bucket

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Four foreign companies have been shortlisted to manage water distribution in South Delhi. There are fears that water tariffs may rise 800% as a result. Is privatisation the only way forward?


World Bank shifts gear on water privatisation

By Darryl D'Monte

There appears to have been an imperceptible shift in the World Bank's stand, away from privatisation being the only answer to the world's water crisis, towards a more pragmatic approach of public-private investments. On World Water Day, March 22, Indian non-government organisations and civil society groups will review trends towards private investments in the country


Budget 2004 revisited: Water harvesting on dry ground

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Although last year's budget held out great promise for water harvesting in India, nothing much came of the proposed schemes. Can we expect much more from Budget 2005 due out later this month?


Is the exit of private investors from the water sector bad news for the poor?

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Activists have long lobbied to get both big water firms and the World Bank out of the water sector in the developing world. They may just have succeeded, with the three biggest global players announcing their decision to withdraw. Isn't it time civil society proposed a viable alternative to the Bank and the private sector?



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