Affiliations: [a] Senior Programme Lead, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Thapar House, 124 Janpath, New Delhi 110 001, India; Email: [email protected] | [b] Research Analyst, Council on Energy, Environment and Water, Thapar House, 124 Janpath, New Delhi 110 001, India; Email: [email protected]
Abstract: Rapid urban growth and increasing pressure on water resources has become one of the biggest global challenges. The Sustainable Development Goals require nations to achieve access to potable water, improved sanitation facilities, and increase water use efficiency across all sectors. Cities in developing countries such as India are experiencing difficulties in meeting water demand, which is negatively impacting lives of citizens and overall productivity. There are some exemplary urban water management practices spread across the globe but their documentation, feasibility assessment of replication, and upscaling potential analysis has not been done adequately; thus, they have become standalone practices. Also, the interventions for enhancement of urban WUE in India have mostly been targeted from either technical or financial perspectives, which are inadequate, unless social and environmental components are also integrated. Thus, this article looks into the social, economic, and environmental dimensions to come up with essential policy reforms required for sustainable urban water management in Indian cities. The article also extends the analysis to two other essential dimensions—political and science and technology. This assessment defines pathways/essential steps for the policymakers in India to build water-secured cities; the recommendations would be applicable in any developing country with similar challenges.
Keywords: Cities, collective action, water resource use efficiency, sustainable development, water security, decision making, technology, willingness to pay, urban water management, land and water rights, wetland conservation