The ministry has set a tough target at a time when hundreds of millions don't have access to clean water.
Aiming at laying huge pipeline networks for water supply means that yet again, we are giving more preference to infrastructure.
This indicates that for most of the non-potable uses, a quality lower than drinking water is required.
Thus, for economic efficiency and environmental sustainability, water must be treated and supplied according to usage.
With nearly 50 per cent of India grappling with drought-like conditions, the situation has been particularly grim this year in western and southern states that received below average rainfall.
According to the Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report released by the Niti Aayog in 2018, 21 major cities (Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and others) are racing to reach zero groundwater levels by 2020, affecting access for 100 million people.The road ahead Looking at the current situation, there is a need for a paradigm shift.We urgently require a transition from this 'supply-and-supply-more water' provision to measures which lead towards improving water use efficiency, reducing leakages, recharging/restoring local waterbodies as well as applying for higher tariffs and ownership by various stakeholders.Emphasis on behavioural change is not getting enough attention because it is nuanced and complex.But locals/citizens/ communities have a huge part to play.Also, the moot questions are: what will happen if there is no water to supply?What will happen to all the wastewater that gets generated?This indicates that there is a clear disconnect between water, society and economy.Currently, we are interested in laying large networks, constructing huge storage dams, fetching water from 150 kilometres and above, which involves a huge carbon footprint.Some areas of mega cities like Delhi and Mumbai are privileged to get more that than the standard municipal water norm of 150 litres per capita per day (lpcd) while other areas get 40-50 lpcd.Aggravating the problem is that the water being supplied currently is of drinking water standards.