India: Water Management What's Under the Hood Of India's 5.5–Billion–Dollar Water Plan?

Editor: Dominik Stephan

India wants to boost water management, analytics and quality with an ambitious plan: The country's new National Hydrology Project is a 5.5–Billion–Dollar behemoth - But what's are the facts behind these impressive figures?

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New Delhi/India – The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval towards the implementation of the National Hydrology Project. It will be a central sector scheme with a total outlay of 37 billion Rupees. This includes Rs 36 billion for the National Hydrology Project (NHP) and Rs 400 million for the National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) to be taken up in two stages. It also provides for establishment of NWIC as an independent organization under the control of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR).

The NHP will help in gathering Hydro-meteorological data which will be stored and analysed on a real time basis and can be seamlessly accessed by any user at the state/district/village level. The project envisages to cover the entire country as the earlier hydrology projects covered only 13 states.

The components of the proposal are:

  • In Situ Hydromet Monitoring System and Hydromet Data Acquisition System
  • Setting up of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC)
  • Water Resources Operation and Management System
  • Water Resources Institutions and Capacity Building

Out of the total outlay of Rs 3,679.7674 crore, Rs 3,640 crore has been earmarked for the National Hydrology Project while Rs. 39.7674 crore has been kept aside for NWIC. Out of the total outlay, fifty per cent of the amount that is Rs 1,839.8837 crore, would be World Bank loan which would be repaid by the Central Government. The remaining 50 per cent that is Rs 1,839.8837 crore would be central assistance from the budgetary support. The entire World Bank's Loan component and central assistance to the states and central organizations shall be passed on to them as grants.

The National Hydrology Project is intended for setting up of a system for timely and reliable water resources data acquisition, storage, collation and management. It will also provide tools/systems for informed decision making through Decision Support Systems (DSS) for water resources assessment, flood management, reservoir operations, drought management, etc. NHP also seeks to build capacity of the state and central sector organizations in water resources management through the use of information systems and adoption of state-of-the-art technologies such as remote sensing.