Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
prelims Test Series 2019
बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
Q. Water pricing: Is water pricing a sustainable solution to promote efficient and equitable use of the precious natural resource? Comment.
May 25, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3 and 1

Ans :

Introduction-

More than one-third part of the country is affected by the severe draught situation. This year at least 33 crore people in the country are facing intense water crisis, it shows the level of water scarcity in India. Though India ranks high on water scarcity but usage of water in India is very inefficient. In this background many argues that water pricing is a sustainable solution to promote efficient and equitable use of the precious natural resource. 

Why water pricing?

India accounts only 4% of the world’s renewable water resources. Its distribution in India is geographically uneven. The majority of rainfall occurs over just a few months, and there is reckless consumption in well-endowed areas during raining months. Pricing on usage of water will discourage the reckless consumption.

Benefits of water pricing? 

  • Water pricing provides incentives to improve sustainable water and to use water resources more efficiently.

  • It will generate funds for necessary infrastructure development like rain harvesting mechanism, waste water treatment, hence assuring water quality protection.

  • Having to pay for water can encourage people to reduce wasting water.

  • Subsidising tariffs for low-income groups ensure that poor households also have sufficient and affordable water services.

Challenges-

  • As most vulnerable to water shortage are already reeling under severe economic hardship and water pricing adds further hardship in their economic condition.

  • Distribution of water is uneven in India and water is state subject. Also water is most sensitive issue in India and many times politician used it to score their self interest. It may create problems between centre and states and also between states.

  • Also there is an inherent problem in designing the water pricing, because in India government does not exercise control over water as it does over other resources.

Suggestions-

  • Government with more vigour needs to start awareness campaign about efficient water usage and also needs to gather opinion from all sections about water pricing.

  • Central government must consult state government on this issue and by taking opinion of states it can formulate water pricing policy.

  • It is important to target irrigation water for pricing purposes because it alone comprises more than 78% of the total water usage in India. Also, irrigation consumption is an area where the scope for increase in efficiency is very high.

  • Groundwater can be priced by comparing uses of electricity or diesel, used by farmers to pump the water.

Conclusion-

Water is an important natural resources and India is experiencing acute water crisis since last two years. Hence there is an urgent need to formulate mechanism for efficient usage of water.  Water pricing is one of the good ideas to promote efficient and equitable use of the precious natural resource. Though it has some difficulties, but with strong political will it can be implemented in India. Several countries including rich ones such as Singapore and poor ones such as Burkina Faso have, within their own constraints, benefited from water pricing. India needs to do the same to address the water problem in the country.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.