Jal Jeevan Mission, a central government initiative under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, aims to ensure access of piped water for every household in India.
In his Independence Day speech in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that half of the country's households did not have access to piped water. Earmarking Rs 3.5 trillion for Jal Jeevan Mission, he said the Centre and states would work towards it in coming years.
The mission’s goal is to provide to all households in rural India safe and adequate water through individual household tap connections by 2024.
The Har Ghar Nal Se Jal programme was announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget 2019-20 speech. This programme forms a crucial part of the Jal Jeevan Mission. The programme aims to implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, and rain water harvesting.
The Jal Jeevan Mission will be based on a community approach to water. According to the government, the mission will include information, education and communication as key components. The mission is meant to create a people's movement for water, making it everyone’s priority.
Drinking water crisis in India
India is facing one of its most serious water crises. According to the NITI Aayog's Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) 2018, 21 Indian cities could face Day Zero in the coming years. Day Zero refers to the day when a place is likely to have no drinking water of its own. Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad are among the most susceptible.
The report also said that 75% of Indian households do not have drinking water on premise and about 84 per cent rural households do not have piped water access.
Water is not properly distributed where it is supplied through pipes. Mega cities like Delhi and Mumbai get more than the standard municipal water norm of 150 litres per capita per day (LPCD) while others get 40-50 LPCD.
The World Health Organization prescribes 25 litres of water for one person per day to meet all basic hygiene and food needs. Extra available water, according to WHO estimates, is used for non-potable purposes like mopping and cleaning.