Objective of National Water Mission

The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) describes the features of National Water Mission as under: “A National Water Mission will be mounted to ensure integrated water resource management helping to conserve water, minimize wastage and ensure more equitable distribution both across and within states. The Mission will take into account the provisions of the National Water Policy and develop a framework to optimize water use by increasing water use efficiency by 20% through regulatory mechanisms with differential entitlements and pricing. It will seek to ensure that a considerable share of the water needs of urban areas are met through recycling of waste water, and ensuring that the water requirements of coastal cities with inadequate alternative sources of water are met through adoption of new and appropriate technologies such as low temperature desalination technologies that allow for the use of ocean water. The National Water Policy would be revisited in consultation with States to ensure basin level management strategies to deal with variability in rainfall and river flows due to climate change.

This will include enhanced storage both above and below ground, rainwater harvesting, coupled with equitable and efficient management structures. The Mission will seek to develop new regulatory structures, combined with appropriate entitlements and pricing. It will seek to optimize the efficiency of existing irrigation systems, including rehabilitation of systems that have been run down and also expand irrigation, where feasible, with a special effort to increase storage capacity. Incentive structures will be designed to promote water-neutral or water- positive technologies, recharging of underground water sources and adoption of large scale irrigation programmes which rely on sprinklers, drip irrigation and ridge and furrow irrigation.”

The NAPCC also describes the procedure for implementation of the Mission as under: “These National Missions will be institutionalized by respective Ministries and will be organized through Inter-Sectoral Groups which include, in addition to related Ministries, Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission, experts from industry, academia and civil society. The institutional structure would vary depending on the task to be addressed by the Mission and will include providing the opportunity to compete on the best management model. Each Mission will be tasked to evolve specific objectives spanning the remaining years of the 11th Plan and the 12th Plan period 2012-2013 to 2016-2017. Where the resource requirements of the Mission call for an enhancement of the allocation in the 11th Plan, this will be suitably considered, keeping in mind the overall resources position and the scope for re-prioritization".

Comprehensive Mission documents detailing objectives, strategies, plan of action, timelines and monitoring and evaluation criteria would be developed and submitted to the Prime Minister’s Council on Climate Change by December 2008. The Council will also periodically review the progress of these Missions. Each Mission will report publicly on its annual performance. Building public awareness will be vital in supporting implementation of the NAPCC. This will be achieved through national portals, media engagement, civil society involvement, curricula reform and recognition / awards, details of which will be worked out by an empowered group. The Group will also consider methods of capacity building to support the goals of the National Missions. We will develop appropriate technologies to measure progress in actions being taken in terms of avoided emissions, wherever applicable, with reference to business as usual scenarios. Appropriate indicators will be evolved for assessing adaptation benefits of the actions. These Eight National Missions taken together, with enhancements in current and ongoing programmes included in the Technical Document, would not only assist the country to adapt to climate change, but also, importantly, launch the economy on a path that would progressively and substantially result in mitigation through avoided emissions.” The ‘Technical Document’ annexed with the NAPCC has identified key areas related to
(a) studies on management of surface water resources,
(b) management and regulation of ground water resources,
(c) upgrading storage structures for fresh and drainage system for wastewater,
(d) conservation of wetland, and
(e) development of desalination technologies etc. required to be considered while preparing the comprehensive document for the National Water Mission.