The highest water-use efficiency of more than $50 per cubic metre is in Oceania, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel, Denmark, Finland, and Great Britain while the lowest is in Central and South Asia, including India, at less than $10 per cubic metre.
Under the 12th Plan, the government had proposed setting up a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency as part of the Implementation of National Water Mission. However, the idea was put on the back burner after much discussion.
The new Jal Shakti Ministry, however, has started drawing up the broad framework of such a bureau on the lines of a similar body — The Bureau of Energy Efficiency. Some of the main objectives of the Bureau of Water Efficiency would be to improve water-use efficiency in irrigation and industrial activities. The government is also considering creating a mechanism for water-efficiency labelling in municipal and household sectors.
“Looking at increasing water stress and water disparities felt across all economic sectors and across geographies, having a National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency will play an active role in developing water use efficiency standards, certification against those standards,” said Kapil Kumar Narula, executive director, CII-Triveni Water Institute.
He said the bureau would be an agent for catalysing behavioural change.
He said the bureau would be an agent for catalysing behavioural change through sensitising stakeholders on efficiency improvement in water use. It would be an important step towards a water-secure future.
Globally, countries that have developed national programmes on benchmarking performances to improve water-use efficiency include the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Norway.
The Jal Shakti Ministry
is also finalising a policy framework for benchmarking water consumption in sectors such as cement, coal, steel, and power. The government will draw from the PAT – perform-achieve-target scheme which exists for the energy sector to regulate energy consumption.