04 September 2009

Safe drinking water

My article in the Financial Express today about drinking water data reporting in India : Regional disparities abound in the states across the country and while govt. statistics report 88% of households have access to improved source of drinking water, the devil lies in the detail. It is time we moved to surveys on the quality of the water used, and not the source.

So what should be the objective of drinking water supply management in India? Not just increasing access to ‘improved’ sources of drinking water, but increasing access to a service that is reliable, affordable and sustainable both financially and environmentally. Such an objective will raise considerable debate over the right way forward. However, one golden principle stands out here—water is an increasingly scarce resource, so it has to be used most efficiently and equitably. Reporting appropriate data would go a long way in raising sensibility towards achieving the MDG of increasing sustainable access to safe drinking water.

For more details read, World Bank-Indicus Analytics report ‘India Water Supply and Sanitation’ 

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