States across India would soon be ranked on their efficient management of water resources as the NITI Aayog has developed a Composite Water Management Index to assess them and to encourage them to improve their rating. The new rankings would be released by the beginning of the next year, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Wednesday. The index would provide useful information for the states to formulate suitable strategy for better management of water resources, he said at the sidelines of a one-day national workshop on ‘Tracking Management Initiatives for Water Security’ here. “Water is India’s most critical challenge and it is necessary to measure and monitor outcome based performance.” Kant said it was the first time that such an outcome-oriented index was designed to rank states on their management of natural resources.
During the workshop, NITI Aayog Member Ramesh Chand advised states to take advantage of the index for achieving water security in the country. A document released by the government policy think-tank on the new index explained that there would be 28 key performance indicators — covering irrigation status, drinking water and other water related sectors — on which the states’ performance would be evaluated. “Critical areas such as source augmentation, major and medium irrigation, watershed development, participatory irrigation practices, sustainable on-farm water use practices, rural drinking water, urban water supply and sanitation, and policy and governance have been accorded high priority,” it said.
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The index would serve as a useful tool to track performance in the water sector and to take corrective measures for achieving better outcomes, the document said.