As per a government release, the government has already made tap-water available in 2 crore households under the Jal Jeevan Mission, and all households in nine districts, 342 blocks and 40,000 villages have a functional piped water connection. The government is also working on establishing standards to provide a standard quality of water across the country. This will likely translate into greater sanitation, given the link between piped water availability in households and the usage of toilets.
With improved sanitation, will come better health, with the incidence of water-borne diseases coming down. This, in turn, will reap a significant yield for reducing child malnutrition and mortality.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) draft drinking water supply quality management system is a step in the right direction. The draft encodes uniformity across all households as far as the water supply is concerned. It stipulates that all water departments obtain a IS 105000 certification before starting supply. This would set the standard for acceptable limit for dissolved substances such as arsenic, iron and zinc, and also check parameters like pH level, turbidity, colour and odour.
The draft also lays down a detailed mechanism on storage and supply of water and also asks bodies to conduct regular water audits. These, it says, can be done using bulk meters and automatic metering at the household level. While supplying each household with a tap connection and clean drinking water needs to be the priority, the government must also leverage IoT solutions and technology to curb water wastage and
enforce quality standards.