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