Addressing issues of river contamination and sewage treatment would require a decentralized approach by bringing in Local governments, NGOs, private bodies and most importantly citizens’ participation. Unless the citizens do not realize a sense of ownership and responsibility to jointly safeguard water quality, addressing problems of drinking water and water induced diseases would be impossible. Government needs to put in sustained efforts for creating public awareness and vigilance, building consensus about unfair practices and evoking relevant stringent rules, laws and framework around water safety.
The impact of climate change is significantly larger for the water sector. Therefore newer strategies have to be evolved to achieve a sustainable trajectory of growth and development.
Privatisation of water: private sector efficiency can be harnessed with structures ensuring accountability, leading to sustainable development. The involvement of the private operator, who will bring in the investment, would ensure long-term commitment to the cause.
India should note the efforts of countries like Israel and Singapore for sustainable water consumption in their implementation of drip irrigation and desalination plants.
Encouraging adoption of traditional water conservation methods such as Ahar Pyne and Khadin and knowledge of traditional herbs as water purifying agents along with increased participation of local communities and devolution of power.
Practices such as Rain water harvesting, Micro irrigation methods such as drip and sprinklers need to be easily accessible at a subsidized rate for the farmers to ease the burden on drinking water sources. Economic Survey of 2018 noted that “Technologies of drip irrigation, sprinklers, and water management—captured in the “more crop per drop” campaign—may well hold the key to future Indian agriculture (Shah Committee Report, 2016; Gulati, 2005) and hence should be accorded greater priority in resource allocation.”