• cheriyanmk posted an update 8 years, 4 months ago

    Water Policy draft- 2012 in India favours privatisation of services

    The Union government has begun consultations on a new National Water Policy that calls for privatisation of water-delivery services and suggests that water be priced so as to “fully recover” the costs of operation and administration of water-resources projects. Recently circulated to water experts for consultations, the 15-page draft National Water Policy suggests that the government withdraw from its role as a service provider in the water sector. Instead, it says, communities and the private sector should be encouraged to play this role. The proposals could mean sharp rises in the cost of water for both rural and urban users — an outcome the policy suggests will help curtail misuse of a precious but scarce resource.

    The draft policy calls for the abolition of all forms of water subsidies to the agricultural and domestic sectors, but says “subsidies and incentives” should be provided to private industry for recycling and reusing treated effluents. It also proposes that subsidy to agricultural electricity users be curtailed, saying it leads to a “wasteful use of both electricity and water.”

    In 2005, a World Bank paper made similar recommendations, arguing that “if India is to have sustainable economic growth, the role of the Indian water state must change from that of builder and controller to creator of an enabling environment, and facilitator of the actions of water users large and small.” The paper called for, among other things, “stimulating competition in and for the market for irrigation and water and sanitation services”.

    The draft policy calls upon the government to ensure access to a minimum quantity of potable water for essential health and hygiene to all citizens, available within easy reach of the household. Significantly though, it does not suggest that these be turned into enforceable rights through new laws.


    • cost recovery is essential. In Nigeria our problem is psychopathic; people just have this unfounded notion that tap water should not appropriately priced even if economic rates are paid for the informal water sector. International advocacy support for campain against the place of business in water supply also make private investors (risk shy) to shun investment in water. I have made comparative analysis in my country, the expenditure household make on telephone and electricity more than triples that made on water,yet studies repeatedly reveal that people consider water ahead of phones and electricity on their scale of preference. Our communication strategy must change, somehow the urban population are deliberately exploiting the structural and technical challenges in enforcing payments to make water provision so economically nonviable. At least, urban water supply should be provided in a financially viable manner.

      • Dear Mr.Adedayo,

        Greetings from India. You are absolutely right that cost recovery is essential. But we must consider the course of poorest of the poor. After all we are all consider “water- a public good and a common property” . Further, consider as a basic human right of the poor.

        Privatization of water services may have its own consequences!