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Quantification Of Domestic Water Supply In Large Indian Cities

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Pankaj SAMPAT (Ahmedabad, India)

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 14: Valuing water: monetary and non-monetary dimensions,

Author: Pankaj Sampat

Guide: Dr. Y. K. Alagh


1. Introducing the case:

Literature review summary shows that- Fresh water scarcity, supply cost and recovery, judicious use, citizen rights and other stake holders requirement to know the information on the water supply management are major drivers which leads ULB to the circumstances to enhance domestic water supply system for optimum and judicious use of water as natural resources in a cost effective manner. A solution may be the simultaneous functioning of market for water working and rationing system. Such system could be designed based on quantified supply. Quantification could be done by tabulation or accounting method. Very few cities are practicing Tabulation method sincerely. Water accounting method is in its infant stage and very limited information is available in literature. So, it requires exploratory work and a systematic study on the quantification methods to understand how to develop and practice it.

'Quantification' is a concept based solution which can meet the ULB requirements but its implementation requires system reforms and scientific knowledge to put it in to practice for the cities having metered or non-metered water supply arrangements. This concept should be tested before use.

Measurements are necessary requirement for 'Quantification'. Wherever accurate metered measurements are not available or it is costly, estimated measurements can be used for accounting with reference to the reliability scale. This is meaningful and serves the purpose. Water meters have also limitations of errors and accuracy levels. To develop Metered system is costly; require much time, political will and social acceptance. The reality at present in 2013 is that very few Indian cities that have developed 100% metering facility. This reality demands for alternative methods other than metering for 'Quantification'. Thus, it is very important to know about the role of metering, its limitations and linkages with other aspects of 'Quantification'. But literature review throws limited light on this role in relation with the concept. Therefore, it requires exploratory study on roll of metering and its linkages with 'Quantification'.

Further, Water accounting is adopted as quantification practice in line with financial accounting at basin level linked with national economy by countries like Australia, America, Spain, China and Africa except India. Very little information is available on quantification by water accounting method particularly for domestic water supply system. Further, neither literature nor field experience has clarity in the area of water accounting practice and its implementation for non-metered city. This requires a conceptual framework suitable for water accounting practice.

NWF Bill 2013, India, shall give legal status to draft NWP 2012. This will legally enforce State and ULB to start practice for water accounting, auditing and publishing the reports. This legal enforcement shall require reforms at ULB level supported by State policy with financial support for developing the system as Market in co-ordination with private sector.

This study covers Roll of metering and its linkages with 'Quantification' by case study of two large cities, conceptual frame work is developed. It was tested by creating a sample water account. This study addresses the issues and challenges discussed above to meet the developmental aspects to make domestic water supply system more efficient, optimum use of resource in a sustainable manner.

Aim is to study developmental aspects and develop conceptual 'Quantification' framework for domestic water supply system in the Indian context based on financial accounting and auditing principles.

1. To develop an approach how to quantify domestic water supply. 2. To identify which are the planning issues and work out possible solutions. 3. To develop a sample water account to quantify domestic water supply system for demonstration purpose.

2. Methods and Material Used:

This study doesn't amount to a simple exercise, but explains at length and breadth how 'Quantification' and 'Metering' are co-related. It is also reinforced by the expert interviews, focus group presentation and two case studies included in the report and based on them; it explains what are the issues and possible solutions and what reforms are necessary for the system improvement.

3. Contribution of this Study:

The thrust of this study is that the domestic water supply sector is facing challenges of Quantification that cannot be addressed in the current ULB practice and State policy frame work. Reform is not only to include re-orientation of present Practices & Policy, but also in the restructuring of the system as multi disciplinary system supported by proper planning.

It is also demonstrated that how water accounting can be done similar to financial accounting in the current ULB set up. What are the limitations and cautions required while putting it in to practice.

Planning Issues are addressed by possible solutions and recommendations are given best to suit implementation requirements in time line.

To make a practical contribution to domestic water supply system, I suggest focusing this analysis to introduce 'Water Accounting' in a phased manner, first at bulk water distribution at city level and second at user level. Following the study above, I suggest that a multidisciplinary approach is essential to bring efficiency in domestic water supply and it could be right direction for future.

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