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Clean drinking water to all by 2024

Topics covered:

  1. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.


Clean drinking water to all by 2024


What to study?

For prelims and mains: the target, need, concerns and challenges and what needs to be done?


Context: The Central government has decided to increase coverage of piped water to households from current 18 per cent to 100 per cent by 2024.



  • More than 163 million Indians – higher than the population of Russia – do not have access to safe drinking water.
  • Irrespective of the source of water, in most parts of rural India, availability of water decreases dramatically in the summer months as the water levels drop and surface sources may dry up.
  • India’s estimated per capita availability of water in 2025 will be 1,341 cubic metre. This may further fall to 1,140 cubic metre in 2050, bringing it closer to becoming water-scarce.


Performance of NRDP:

  • National Rural Drinking Water Programme, despite spending 90% of Rs 89,956 crore budget over five years to 2017, has “failed” its targets, according to an August 2018 report from the government’s auditor.
  • The programme’s target: providing 35% of rural households with water connections and 40 litre – about two buckets – of water per person per day. Less than half that target was achieved, thanks to “poor execution” and “weak contract management.
  • About 78% of 1.7 million rural Indian habitations have access to the minimum required quantity of water, 40 litre per person per day, but that does not mean they actually get this water, experts said. Nearly 18% of rural habitations get less than 40 litre per person per day under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme.
  • National Rural Drinking Water Programme is a centrally sponsored scheme aimed at providing every person in rural India with “adequate, safe water” for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic needs in a “sustainable manner”.
  • The scheme provides financial and technical assistance to state governments to install rural drinking water connections.


Way ahead:

There are nearly 14 crore households where clean drinking water is yet to reach.

Water falls under the state list of the Constitution and participation of states is crucial to make the mission of providing clean drinking water a success.

Therefore, there has to be a holistic approach towards water supply and demand.