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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



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


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


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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