The Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) by the NITI Aayog shows that 600 million people face high to extreme water stress in India.
About the report –
- The report, which was published in association with the Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and the Ministry of Rural Development, places India at a dismal 120 among 122 countries in the water quality index.
- It predicts that a persistent water crisis will lead to an eventual 6% loss in the country’s Gross Domestic Product by 2030.
Themes covered –
The CWMI report covers these broad themes — ground water and surface-water restoration; major and medium irrigation; watershed development; participatory irrigation management; on-farm water use; rural and urban water supply; and policy and governance.
Findings of the report –
- There is a wide gulf of about 1498 billion cubic metres (BCM) versus 744 BCM — that has been predicted between the demand and supply of fresh water, by 2030.
- In the projections that the Central Water Commission (CWC) released in 2015, the sector-wise requirement of water (that is, for drinking and domestic use, industry and energy) will rise steeply between 2030 and 2050.
- The share of water consumed by the energy sector was 0.62% in 2010, which is pegged to rise up to 1.37% in 2030 and 8.98% in 2050.
Issues raised –
The CWMI also raises three main issues related to data:
- limited coverage,
- unreliable data and
- limited coordination and sharing.
The Energy Sector —
- Analysis shows that 77% of India’s total electricity comes from thermal power plants that are dependent on freshwater sources.
- Of all the freshwater-cooled thermal plants, 38.9% of generation capacity is installed in areas with high or extremely high water-stress.
- By 2030, more than 70% of India’s existing thermal power utilities are likely to experience an increased level of water competition from agricultural, urban, and other industrial demands.
- Information about water stress, power plant siting (location) and so on must be shared seamlessly across departments — a service that the CWMI could perform.
- According to NITI Aayog, this Index is expected to establish a public, national platform providing information on key water indicators across states. This platform will help in monitoring performance, improving transparency, and encouraging competition, thereby boosting the country’s water achievements by fostering the spirit of ‘competitive and cooperative federalism among the states.
- The data can also be used by researchers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to enable broader ecosystem innovation for water in India.”
- Factoring in the water-energy nexus linkages, especially the metrics around power plant water withdrawal and consumption, will only help make the Index better and the States better prepared to manage their water and power resources.
Source – The Hindu
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