Water is one of the most essential requirements of life. Assured availability of potable water is vital for human development. India is home to 18% of global human population and 15% of global livestock population. However, it has only 2% land mass and 4% of global freshwater resources. As per estimates; in 1951, per capita annual freshwater availability was 5,177 cubic meter which came down to 1,545 cubic meter in 2011. It is estimated that in 2019, it is about 1,368 cubic meter which is likely to further go down to 1,293 cubic meter in 2025. If present trend continues, in 2050, freshwater availability is likely to decline to 1,140 cubic meter.
With the growing population and expanding economic activities, there is an increase in demand for water in various sectors, viz. agriculture, industry, domestic, recreation, infrastructure development, etc., whereas the source of water is finite. Thus, finite availability and competing demands make drinking water management a complex issue. The widening demand-supply gap is further compounded by other challenges, viz. depletion of groundwater caused by over-extraction, poor recharge, low storage capacity, erratic rainfall due to climate change, presence of contaminants, poor Operation and Maintenance (O&M) of water supply systems, etc.
The Government of India launched reform initiatives in the rural water and sanitation sector in 1999 by introducing a high esteemed State Water & Sanitation Mission. The Mission has the overall goal to improve the quality of life by enhancing access to better water supply & sanitation facilities in the rural areas ensuring sustainability. In this regard, “State Mission” (State Water & Sanitation Mission) has been constituted and established in Rural Development Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh, for providing overall policy guidance for community led and participatory projects.
SWSM, a state level institution headed by Chief Secretary with Principal Secretary/Secretary in-charge of PHED/ RWS Department as Mission Director is the organisation responsible for implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) in the state. Most of the mission officials are being taken on deputation from various departments/agencies/institutions for time-bound implementation of JJM. However, to bring synergy and drive with latest knowledge, in addition to regular officials, it will also have subject matter specialists on contract. To provide specialized support, SWSM hires consultants also.
The structure of the mission and human resources is decided by the State. In addition to public health engineers, the mission also consist of officials/personnel for project management, finance management, IT, IEC, capacity building and training, NGO coordination, etc.
Committees of SWSM
The SWSM has i.) Apex Committee, and ii.) Executive Committee.
The Apex Committee is headed by the Chief Secretary of the State with Secretaries in-charge of PHE/Rural Water Supply, Rural Development (RD), Panchayati Raj (PR), Primary Education, Health, Finance, Planning, Information and Public Relations and a Government of India representative as members. In addition, three experts/eminent persons working in the field of rural water supply, public service, natural resource management, community development, etc. are also the members of the Apex Committee.
The functions of Apex committee are:
- To provide policy guidance and responsible for the overall planning, strategizing, and implementation of JJM in the State;
- Responsible for finalization of State Action Plan (SAP) to provide FHTC to every rural household of the State by 2024;
- Decide charges for providing FHTC to rural household;
- Decide water service standards;
- Appraisal and in-principle approval of State Action Plan (SAP) after discussion with Department/National Mission;
- Responsible for financial planning including ensuring timely utilization of fund and no parking of funds;
- Responsible for coordination among various Departments and other agencies for convergence;
- Responsible for devolution of powers empowering GP/ sub-committee of GP for management of in-village infrastructure, if not done already;
- Develop powers to DWSM to accord administrative approval of intra-district and in village infrastructure water supply schemes;
- Decide modalities for operation of single nodal account;
- Build suitable incentive and disincentive mechanism in the policy to discourage wastage of water as well as to meet recurring expenditure on bulk water, distribution network and household level supply;
- Bringing about effective policies & regulations for water use by other sectors, abating water contamination by industries, agricultural practices or mis-management of solid & liquid waste by individual households/ institutions;
- To enforce uniform policy for various uses of groundwater within the annual replenishable ground water recharge;
- Responsible for water allocation;
- To firm up State policy on engaging dedicated human resource for ensuring water quality testing as well as surveillance using Field Test Kits;
- Finalize ToR for various contracts especially penal provision for delays and its monitoring;
- Developing O&M strategy and monthly tariff/ user charges for ensuring financial sustainability of the system/ scheme. To firm up policy on O&M accounts and its operation process by GP and/ or its sub-committee;
- To firm up policy on earmarked % of support fund for IEC/ BCC activities;
- Decide action on unauthorized/ unmetered/ unaccounted connections to stop continued loss of water/ revenue.
- Mission Director will be assisted by an Executive Committee consisting of 5-10 members. Engineer-in- Chief/ Chief Engineer in charge of Rural Drinking Water Supply, officers from the related Departments, viz. Water Resources, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Health, Primary Education, Finance, etc. will be exofficio members. Experts, not exceeding three, from the field of water, rural development, public/ community health and hygiene, sanitation, and reputed voluntary organizations are to be co-opted as members.
The functions of Executive Committee are:
- Support in creation of DWSMs, ensure necessary capacity building, regular monitoring of its functioning; coordinate with DWSMs, collate information, finalize Annual Action Plans (AAPs);
- Monitoring of physical and financial performance and management of the water supply projects;
- Approval for opening a single nodal account and ensure PFMS implementation;
- Prepare and share design of different types of schemes with DWSMs;
- Promote/support innovation, new technology wherever feasible;
- Take up evaluation studies, impact assessment studies, R&D activities;
- Ensure regular updates of JJM physical and financial progress on IMIS and validate the same;
- Decide rate contracts and empanel reputed construction agencies/vendors through centralized tendering for expeditious implementation;
- Empanel partner NGOs/VOs/SHGs as Implementation Support Agencies (ISAs);
- Engage third party inspection agencies for inspection of work before payment;
- Finalize State Information, Education and Communication (IEC)/ Behavioural Change Communication (BCC) strategy. Ensure effective utilization of the earmarked support fund for IEC activity;
- Prepare capacity building action plan for personnel at various levels of the mission and monitor its implementation, arrange Training of Trainers (ToTs), IEC material use, etc.;
- Ensure that Utilization Certificates (UCs), Audited Statement of Accounts (ASA), etc. are submitted to Government of India on time;
- Sharing of reports, success stories, best practices on IMIS and within State and disseminate through State social media accounts;
- Conduct campaigns across State that are initiated by both Central and State governments;
- Recognize well performing Districts, Gram Panchayat and/ or its sub-committee, i.e. VWSC/ Paani Samiti/ User Group, etc., ISAs from time to time and develop policy to encourage them;
- Create and maintain digital inventory of JJM assets on a GIS platform;
- Decide on state-specific slogans for introducing JJM, wall paintings based on the number of houses in a village and areas where it will be painted.