Isha Ray

A study from Maharashtra found that piped water supply did not ensure access to safe water. Intermittent water supply and poor sanitation triggered water contamination and antibiotic resistance.

While Covid-19 has brought forth the need for better access to water for WASH practices to the forefront, how India plans to bring water at the doorstep through the Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) continues to be a challenge. This is especially in the context of not only access but also quality of the available water. Studies show that improved water sources  continue to provide unsafe drinking water in low resource settings in India where water borne diseases continue to be rampant.

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While piped water supply is the gold standard, a piped connection does not always mean good quality, quantity and frequency of water delivery.

Piped water supply has often been referred to as a gold standard while evaluating access to water supply.

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A study at Hubli Dharwad found that there could be limits to how formal a city's water supply systems is. These depended on consumer habits, the history of a city’s water supply and infrastructure.

Urban water supply can be classified into two categories -- formal and informal.  A formal system usually means piped delivery, at least partly treated, and regulated by a utility. An informal system usually includes a set of alternative water delivery mechanisms and practices which are largely unregulated by the state.

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How can India alleviate its household level drinking water deprivation, in the near-to-medium term, and in cost-effective ways?

This working paper by the Stanford Centre for International Development deals with household water delivery options in urban and rural India. The recent potentially far-reaching policy changes frame the paper on drinking water options for urban and rural India.  Given the primacy of drinking water as a national objective, and the policy of decentralization through community ownership, private sector participation and devolution to local governments, it asks: How can India alleviate its household level drinking water deprivation, in the near-to-medium term, and in cost-effective ways?

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