No More Dry Days! Why the Next Delhi Government Must Prioritise 24/7 Water Supply

10 Feb 2020

Water has been at the core of political agenda to lure voters. Subsidising bills and tariffs may increase the vote bank, but it results in the misuse of a finite resource. Highly subsidised tariffs, if clubbed with a 24/7 water supply scheme, will lead us into a dark zone. Instead of providing some units of free water, there should be a consumption-based pricing mechanism. Such a mechanism, along with round-the-clock supply scheme, can help in creating awareness about the value of water among consumers and help in recovering the cost of the system, thus making it a sustainable solution. It will take a lot to make the nonstop water supply scheme a success - bridging the demand-supply gap, relaying the pipe network across the city, metering, introducing a rational tariff structure, and creating awareness among people. Considering these prerequisites, the 24/7 water supply scheme seems like an over-ambitious target for the next five years. Nevertheless, it will be a worthwhile attempt at supplying quality water to all with minimum wastage. Round-the-clock water supply promises many benefits – if it is adopted with due consideration of all techno-financial, social and institutional aspects.

Urban water tariffs
Water supply
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