In the drinking water sector, the Eleventh Plan identifies the major issues that need tackling during this plan period as the problem of sustainability, water availability and supply, poor water quality, need for decentralized approaches and financing of O&M cost while ensuring gender and social equity. Taking cognizance of these issues, and in an effort to address the emerging issues, the RGNDWM has modified the existing rural water supply guidelines, made effective from 01.04.2009. The major changes in approach are in regards to:
Source sustainability, community managed programmes and recognition of the gap between infrastructure created and service available
Installation of a water source will not be considered as the criteria for fully covered habitation, but adequate water supply received by all household of the habitations will be the criteria.
Change the lpcd (litres per capita per day) standard as a mean of measuring availability of water, but look at larger and various indicators of water security;
Focus on ensuring household level drinking water security through preparation of village water security plans and household level water budgeting.
Conjunctive use of surface and groundwater and focus on rainwater harvesting for recharge. For old and new ground water schemes, recharge mechanisms will be made mandatory;
Need for social regulation of agricultural water for meeting the demand of drinking water;
Revival of traditional systems of water conservation and introduction of catchment protection schemes for surface water.