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Govt to explore strict 'water auditing' mechanism for industries
November, 06th 2013

Amid growing decline of per capita annual availability of water in India, different central ministries have resolved to chalk out a joint strategy to ensure efficient use of water and work for devising a mechanism of "water auditing" for various users including industries and municipal bodies across the country.

Such auditing may be done by an autonomous body - Bureau of Water Use Efficiency - which will ensure best practices of water use in industries, agriculture and municipal bodies.

"The auditing may be linked to a strict water regulation and pricing mechanism where the non-efficient users will face disincentive for wastage", said an official of the water resources ministry which will soon come out with a definite plan to set up such body.

The urgency in this direction was shown at the second India Water Forum where experts from various organizations appealed to the government during the three-day water convention last week to explore and evolve new concept related to water regulation and pricing mechanism.

Referring to the figures showing how the country is gradually moving towards a water crisis situation, participants at Forum - organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in association with water resources and other central ministries - also pitched for adopting new technologies like drip and sprinkler irrigation at a wider scale to conserve water in agriculture.

The data, shared at the Forum, show that around 80% of the water used in India at present is for irrigation while the remaining 20% is used to meet domestic, energy, industrial and other requirements.

Calling for an urgent action to deal with the situation through "water use efficiency", the TERI director general R K Pachauri emphasized on looking at the projection of water availability seriously and said the threat of an impending water crisis would affect all individuals around the world.

Pachauri, chairman Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations, noted the projection that said the per capita availability of water in India would be around two-thirds of the current level by the middle of the century.

It is learnt that the proposed body - Bureau of Water Use Efficiency - will be set up on the line of Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). It will work to stop leakages through propagating best practices of water use.

The move assumes significance when most of the options of harnessing available water in the country have already been utilized. The average annual potential of 'utilizable' water in the country remains constant at 1,121 Billion Cubic Meter whereas the demand for water is rising rapidly with an estimated annual requirement of 1,180 BCM of water by the year 2050.

The proposed body, comprising members from different central ministries, water experts and representatives from industries and civil society, will also oversee labeling and certification for public utilities, local bodies and industries that manufacture household water fixtures and appliances.

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