Composite Water Management Index | 10 Nov 2023

Source: IE

Why in News?

The Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) has been a pivotal tool in India, serving as a significant barometer for assessing states' efficacy in water management.

  • However, recent developments have raised queries regarding its future, casting doubts on its continuity.

What is the Composite Water Management Index?

  • About:
    • The Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) is launched by NITI Aayog to provide an annual snapshot of the water sector status and water management performance of the states and union territories (UTs) in India.
  • Genesis and Evolution of the Report:
    • Launched in June 2018 by Niti Aayog, the CWMI's debut edition spotlighted India's water challenges, rating states based on 28 parameters, utilizing data from 2015-16 and 2016-17. The second edition launched in August 2019 was for 2017-18.
      • The report was a result of collaborative efforts between NITI Aayog and three key ministries: Water Resources, Drinking Water & Sanitation, and Rural Development.
  • Themes and Indicators:
    • The Index comprises nine themes (each having an attached weight) with 28 different indicators.
      • Source augmentation and restoration of waterbodies
      • Source augmentation (Groundwater)
      • Major and medium irrigation — Supply side management
      • Watershed development — Supply side management
      • Participatory irrigation practices — Demand side management
      • Sustainable on - farm water use practices — Demand side management
      • Rural drinking water
      • Urban water supply and sanitation
      • Policy and governance
  • Delay in Subsequent Editions:
    • The NITI Aayog attributed delays in the third and fourth rounds of the CWMI to the unavailability of updated data caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
      • Considerations were made to combine rounds 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, and 6.0 to cover the years 2021-22 and 2022-23, while contemplating extending data coverage to the district level.

What is the Status of Water Resources in India?

  • The net amount of water that can be used in India in a year is estimated at 1,121 billion cubic meters (bcm). However, the data published by the Ministry of Water Resources shows that the total water demand will be 1,093 bcm in 2025 and 1,447 bcm in 2050.
    • This means that there will be a major water shortage in India within 10 years.
  • As per the Falkenmark Water Index (used for measuring water scarcity throughout the world), wherever the amount of water available per capita is below 1,700 cubic meters in a year, there is water scarcity.
    • Going by this index, almost 76% of people are already living with water scarcity in India.

What are the Government Initiatives Related to Water Management in India?

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. What are the benefits of implementing the ‘Integrated Watershed Development Programme’? (2014)

  1. Prevention of soil runoff
  2. Linking the country’s perennial rivers with seasonal rivers
  3. Rainwater harvesting and recharge of groundwater table
  4. Regeneration of natural vegetation

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only 
(b) 2, 3 and 4 only 
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (c)

Q. On the planet earth, most of the freshwater exists as ice caps and glaciers. Out of the remaining freshwater, the largest proportion (2013)

(a) is found in atmosphere as moisture and clouds
(b) is found in freshwater lakes and rivers
(c) exists as groundwater
(d) exists as soil moisture

Ans: (c)


Q. Enumerate the National Water Policy of India. Taking river Ganges as an example, discuss the strategies which may be adopted for river water pollution control and management. What are the legal provisions of management and handling of hazardous wastes in India? (2013)

Q. “The ideal solution of depleting ground water resources in India is water harvesting system”. How can it be made effective in urban areas? (2018)

Q. What is water stress? How and why does it differ regionally in India? (2019)