[Essay] Water Management in Urban India - System & Suggestions

The situation of urban water management in India is graver than in rural India. Realizing this fact the twelfth five year plan acknowledges the need of a comprehensive strategy of affordable and sustainable water distribution. It aims on reducing the distance of the pipeline and thereby cutting the distribution losses.

The losses in distribution are more serious than in electricity distribution. As per the survey published by NSS, only 47 percent of urban household has the individual water connection. It is estimated that 40 to 50 percentage of the water is lost during the distribution process. This results the impossibility of subsidies in this sector.


Most worrying problem is related with wastage of water. Sewage water goes into streams and this again contaminates the same water which the people use to drink. It was reported on higher level of microbiological contamination in the water of Indian cities.  Ultimately this will contaminate the source water and the authority would have no any option than to remove the source. Again it increase the cost on consumer

Sewerage system

As per the 2011 census, 32 percent of urban Indians are connected with piped sewerage system and 12 percent of are roughly defecate in the open. Large part of our cities is unconnected. More critical is the system of our infrastructure at sewerage plants. Here there are different problems.

1-      As per the pollution control board of India reports India has only the installed capacity to treat only the 30 percentage of excreta.
2-      Again some of all these treatments plants are not working properly
3-      They have no any option to treat the treated sewage.
4-      Location is also problematic. Because it can’t dispose the treated effluent and it goes to drain


1-      The focus area of water management should be moving towards the sustainable solutions of urban water management
2-      The policy should be directed on the way which encourages each city to develop its  own source of water. Then it will cut the cost of distance and reduce the distribution losses.
3-      No water scheme should be sanctioned to the city without a proper sewerage plant
4-      The system of reuse and recycling should be mandatory for each city.  They can receive any of the diverse options from using it in agriculture, industry, recharge of ground water or gardening.

The proposal of twelfth planning to give an aquifer mapping and management program is ambitious.


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  2. Water pollution is a major concern! Hope this pollution will quickly improve!