State-wide Drinking Water Supply Grid - Ensuring water for happiness
Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Gujarat has diverse geological, hydrological, climatic and soil conditions, all of which had implications on the status of surface and groundwater resources in the State. Gujarat has already lost “Sarasvati”, “Indus” and “Luni” rivers due to climatic and geological adversities. Major rivers such as Narmada, Tapi, Mahi pass through narrow line of South Gujarat. There are 185 rivers in Gujarat out of which only 8 are perennial and located in Southern Gujarat. The distribution pattern of rainfall in the State ranges from about 200 mm in Kachchh to over 2000 mm in the Dangs in South Gujarat. Typical geological formations across the State make water storage in the aquifers and percolation for ground water recharge difficult. Gujarat has long coastline and two huge gulfs – the Gulf of Cambay and the Gulf of Kachchh. The entire Little Rann of Kutch and Greater Rann of Kutch are inundated with saline sea water for a long period of the year which deteriorates the ground water quality in adjoining areas. In a large area of the State, over drafting of ground water mainly for agriculture and subsequent depletion of aquifers has had a great impact on the water availability during the recent past. The State has 5.96 percent of nation’s geographic area with 5% percent population but only 2.63 percent of country’s water resources. The per capita fresh water availability in the State is about 920 M3/Annum as against the country’s per capita freshwater availability of 1545 M3/Annum. In the past 75 years, 26 years were declared as drought years in the state. The State Government spent about 125 to 150 crore rupees annually on making emergency arrangements of drinking water to overcome the scarcity during droughts upto 2002. People also spent about Rs. 700 to 800 crore on water and social cost of paucity of water was estimated to be more than Rs. 2,000 crore per annum. More than 75 percent of the drinking water supply was dependent on the groundwater sources. The water quality problem in terms of excessive fluoride and nitrate content as well as salinity was observed in significantly high number of habitations with Dangs being the only district without any quality affected sources. As per a survey in the year 2003, more than 50 percent of total habitations were facing either low water availability or water quality problems. Gujarat has 31 Talukas that are declared as Over Exploited and 12 Talukas are identified as Critical zones as per Central Ground Water Board. At this juncture, the State has carried an ambitious planning based on surface water for drought proofing and water security by establishing “State-wide Water Supply Grid” and tried to address the water scarcity situation on a long term basis by bulk water transmission from sustainable water sources to the drought prone areas. This is one of the largest inter-basin water transfer system.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The pragmatic and positive leadership of State Government has taken initiative to create “State-wide Water Supply Grid” with an aim to address the water scarcity situation of the state on a sustainable basis. The implementation of the ambitious project started from the year 2001 (The last phase of project work is under progress). The State-wide Drinking Water Supply Grid was a part of Narmada Master Plan. To achieve goal for providing long term water security the initiative has the following inbuilt strategies and the State has directed all possible resources and strength to provide adequate, regular, and safe water at convenient place/ time: 1.Paradigm shift from ground water to surface water has been made through inter-basin bulk transfer from water surplus area to water scarce area. 2.The Grid has integration of infrastructural engineering solution combining Dams includes mini dams, check dams, major dams, Transportation through Canal, Pipelines and other medium like aqueducts, canal siphon etc. 3.Regional water supply schemes have options to use dual/ multi sources, whatever possible to be ready for meeting challenges or to resume services in case of break-down of one source. Narmada water, being secured supplementary source covers entire Saurashtra and Kachchh and more than 2/3 villages of north Gujarat . 4.Distribution network has been taken up parallel alongwith bulk transmission pipeline to provide benefits to people. 5.Advanced technologies have been used for selection of alignment resulting into viable and techno-economical grid. 6.Prevailing technical criteria, background experience, and introduction of alternative materials have been kept in mind while implementing Grid. 7.The selection of various kinds of pipes has been done based on the soil conditions, operating conditions and background experience of different kind of materials. 8.The implementation of project has been taken up on turnkey basis, which also includes defect liability for one year and operation & maintenance for a period of two years. For the inspection of materials as well as construction supervision, qualified consulting agencies with earlier experience for such projects in the State were hired. 9.The drinking water has been taken up-to the door steps of villages and town with bulk water transmission pipelines and with distribution network. Community participation has been encouraged to manage in-village distribution of drinking water for efficient service delivery. 10.The system has been designed to provide assured potable water supply to the population for the next thirty years. 11.Required independent institutional set up has been established with necessary authority and clear cut roles and responsibilities. Special Purpose Vehicle has been launched to create State-wide Drinking water supply grid with state of art infrastructure.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
In order to solve the pressing water scarcity problems of more than 2.5 crore people, it was a befitting project to bring in Narmada Water. This is one of the largest inter-basin water transfer system of world considering the population coverage. The state has also taken a historical decision to switch over from its dependency on ground water to surface water. This paradigm shift has led to reservation of water in more than 50 dams including Narmada Dam. The Gujarat State has skewed distribution of available water. It is an ambitious and integrated plan with robust infrastructure for drought proofing in the State aims to cover 75% rural population to provide drinking water for all with safe and sustainable water sources. The State had adopted infrastructure driven approach with bulk Water transmission from water surplus to water scarce and water quality affected areas. With this, State has gained drought proofing status and multiple benefits on quality of life of people in the State. Under this project priority was given to the North Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch being no source and dark zone covering more than 50% of total villages of the state.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Saurashtra, Kutch, North Gujarat and Panchmahal areas of Gujarat State are facing acute water scarcity throughout the year as in these areas the rainfall is scanty and there is no perennial river. Also, the underground sources are not adequate to cater the drinking water demand to overcome the drinking water supply problem. The Government of Gujarat has therefore conceived a major and challenging drinking water supply master plan based on Sardar Sarovar Narmada Canals as source of water for supplying drinking water to 8215 villages and 135 urban centers of above areas. As per the award of the Narmada Tribunal, 1.06 MAF (3571 MLD) quantity of water is reserved in Sardar Sarovar and out of which 0.86 MAF (2900 MLD) will be used for drinking water purpose whereas 0.20 MAF (671 MLD) quantity of water is for industrial purpose. The Sardar Sarovar Project on Narmada River has allocated 1.06 MAF of water for domestic and industrial use. The project aims at supplying 3571 MLD of drinking water (2900 MLD for domestic consumption and 671 MLD for industrial consumption) to 8215 villages and 135 towns of Saurashtra, Kutch, North Gujarat and Panchmahals. The primary estimated cost on base-price of year 1996 has worked out to Rs.4700 crore. The Planning Commission, GOI, New Delhi has approved the Master Plan of Government of Gujarat and is being implemented as Plan Project. In the network of the Sardar Sarovar Canal, the water is to be drawn from seven off-take points i.e. A, B, C&K, D, M, H & P provided in the Narmada Main Canal, Saurashtra Branch Canal, Vallabhipur Branch Canal and Maliya Branch Canal and accordingly the project has been divided in 7 segments covering the project areas. To monitor the project activities a High Level Empowered Committee has been constituted by Government formed under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary for implementing the Sardar Sarovar Canal Based Drinking Water Supply Project in which the Secretaries of concerned Departments of Government are the members. For implementing the above master plan, the Government of Gujarat has established Gujarat Water Infrastructure Ltd. Till the formation of this Company, the project was implemented by Sardar Sarovar Canal Based Drinking Water Supply Project Cell under Water Supply Department and after registration on 26th Oct.’ 1999 the Company has started functioning independently. The basic function of the company is to formulate, implement, and maintain the Bulk water pipeline projects and to recover the cost from the beneficiaries. So far, the Government appointed five Directors. The Gujarat Water Supply & Sewerage Board is implementing the Distribution Network Group Projects as connectivity to the Bulk water pipeline projects for supplying water to the beneficiaries. Moreover, the Board has also implemented the Bulk water pipeline projects as decided by the Water Supply Department. 1.Original plan was to cover 8215 villages and 135 urban centers of 12 districts as per census of 1991. 2.Under revised Master Plan for supply of drinking water 9633 villages and 131 urban centers of 17 districts are covered. Against this master plan, the following progress has been achieved. 1.2684 Km Bulk Water Transmission main pipelines and 120769 Km distribution pipelines have been laid down 2.1600 Million Litre Daily (MLD) Narmada water supplied through Grid arrangements. 3.Approximately 70% of State’s population is supplied about 3000 MLD water. 4.11571 Villages and 131 Towns are connected through Water Grid. 5.23005 Water Storage Reservoir 6.181 Water Treatment Plant of 3000 MLD Capacity

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
1.Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board (GWSSB): A Board constituted through an Act of Govt. of Gujarat is responsible for implementation and management of Regional Water Supply Schemes, filtration, chlorination and treatment of water and its distribution up to village / habitation level and to certain towns. The Board, being the prime water organization, responsively planned for State-wide Water Supply Grid and had initiated the process and had set up GWIL (Gujarat Water Infrastructures Limited). 2.Gujarat Water Infrastructure Ltd (GWIL) a Special Purpose Vehicle: GWIL has been registered as a company under Indian Company Act responsible for creation of infrastructure for bulk water transmission across the State. 3.Water and Sanitation Management Organisation (WASMO): WASMO has been established as an autonomous organisation in 2002-03. WASMO facilitates Pani Samitis and village community, generates awareness and builds up their capacity to enable them for planning and management of village water supply arrangements. 4.Gram Panchayat, Pani Samiti and Community: User’s are the Best Managers. Gram Panchayat, Pani Samiti, Village Community are empowered to plan, implement, manage, own and arrange operation of in-village water supply systems and services. 5.Irrigation Department & Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited for providing raw water at various planned off takes. 6.Farmers Total grid constitutes of more than 1, 20,000 kms of pipeline network. Farmers rightly understood the impact of water development work and they extended whole heartedly support by allowing lying of pipeline work peacefully in their agricultural land with “Right to Use provision. 7.Contractors & Suppliers is for executing and providing timely service to complete the task as per planning and schedule. 8.Revenue Department: The Revenue Department smoothened the process for making land available for creation of infrastructures such as pumping stations, treatment plants, storage reservoirs and laying of pipelines
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Under the guidance of Water Supply Department, Government of Gujarat, Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board (GWSSB) initiated to form a company; Gujarat Water Infrastructure Limited (GWIL). Committed engineers known for excellent performance at field level were deployed at GWIL to take up the planned works effectively and efficiently. GWSSB also with all possible strength and resources deployed dedicated team for development of State wide Water Supply Grid. Since the year 2002 to the end of March 2014, Rupees (INR) 171.93 billion have been spent out of which Government of Gujarat through State funds has provided Rupees 132.43 billion and Government of India contributed with the remaining sum of Rupees 39.49 billion. The following committees have been set up for the purpose of implementation: 1.Technical Scrutiny Committee: The committee is responsible for technical verification of the project. 2.Tender Purchase Committee: The committee is responsible for justification and approval of tenders. 3.Monitoring and Evaluation Committee: To ensure periodical monitoring of the project. 4.Vigilance Team: The team ensures monitoring of the quality of the work in the project including preventive vigilance.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1.11,571 villages have been covered through the State-wide water supply grid. 2.Water security has been ensured through availability of dual sources i.e. surface as well as ground water. In case of failure of one source, other source meets the water demand. 3.As per the survey of Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission in year 2003, 166 habitations were not covered with water supply, 9462 habitations with inadequate water supply and 7675 qualify affected habitations in Gujarat. Most of such habitations were covered under State-wide water supply grid by 2010. 4.75% households have access to tap water facility in rural areas of the State. 5.The people earlier were largely depended on single source and in summer/ drought period, due to drying up of source, tanker supply was resorted to tackle emergency. After grid development, tanker service has been drastically reduced from 4054 villages in year 2000 to just 478 villages in year 2012 and that too, tankers are filled up from nearby source. 6.Earlier large scale migration of cattle from the area of Kutch and Saurashtra used to occur during summer season in the years of water scarcity. Now a day’s migration of cattle due to non-availability of water has been prevented. 7.Only 72% of average rainfall in year 2012 monsoon resulted in heavy water scarcity for the State. Saurashtra region got only 57% of its average rainfall and Kachchh region had only 64% of rainfall. The Dams of Saurashtra and Kachchh region received only 5.5% water of its storage capacity in year 2012. The Water Supply Grid proved as a life line for Saurashtra and Kachchh region. As per one estimate Rs. 900 crore could be saved which would have been spent otherwise for tanker water supply in absence of water grid. 8.Assured availability of water availability has also led to industrial development in Kachchh. 9.Piped safe water is provided to soldiers deployed at the international border - Dharamshala in Kachchh district. Earlier the struggle for fetching water was going on through tanker service.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
There is a well placed system for monitoring the progress and evaluation of the project. An Annual Action Plan keeping in view the overall strategy of the department including State Wide Water Supply Grid, is developed. Appropriate allocation of budget is also being done at the beginning of every year. Once the project implementation starts, it is properly monitored through the progress reports received from the field units. There is a well placed mechanism for the monitoring once in a week at Sub-Division Level, fortnightly at Division level and monthly at the Head Office level. There is also a system for physical verification of work, surprise checking by Head Office and taking up preventive vigilance. Verification of quality of material used in pipeline and civil work is done and it is analysed at accredited laboratories of Central and State Government. The following committees monitor project progress and evaluate activities: 1.Technical Scrutiny Committee: The committee is responsible for technical verification of the project. 2.Tender Purchase Committee: The committee is responsible for justification and approval of tenders. 3.Monitoring and Evaluation Committee: To ensure periodical monitoring of the project. 4.Vigilance Team: The team ensures monitoring of the quality of the work in the project including preventive vigilance. Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) carried out socio-economic impact study of Statewide Water Supply Grid in the year 2013. 11483 households of 250 villages in 15 districts were randomly selected. The study finds that 94% villages had grid water supply whereas it was 100% in Kachchh district. 74% villages had household tap facility. Service frequency varied from 2 times a day to once in 2 days, but often once a day. About 85% grid-connected households reported payments of the charges annually up to Rs. 200. The survey findings shows that 87% households with grid water were happy as compared to just 25% non-grid households.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Huge bulky pipelines of different sizes even with diameter of 2.3 metres have been used. These pipelines pass through roads, railways tracks, forest areas, canal and oil and gas pipeline tracks etc. Prior statutory clearance is also mandatory before taking up works in such areas and initiation of paper process or compliance to certain procedures became a hindrance and was time consuming. Water supply pipelines under the grid arrangements are laid beneath the ground on the land mostly owned by the farmers or private land owners. In laying the pipelines ‘Right to Use’ is obtained from land owners. More than 1.2 lac kilometres of pipelines are laid down for State Wide Drinking Water Supply Grid. Considering average 15 metre width of ‘Right to Use’ land it is estimated that about 4.5 lac acres of land have been used for the purpose. Intensive social mobilisation efforts have been made to obtain consent of about one lac land owners. Land owners were convinced after knowing the fact that such use does not affect their ownership. It is for a good cause of public utilities. The department continued its efforts to have the trust of people and farmers, who have cooperated with Water Supply department in taking forward the planned works. Effective coordination has been maintained with all concerned stakeholders including Revenue Department. Timely payment of all dues to all concerned stakeholders ensured that any delays or conflicts are avoided. There is continuous enhancement in these utilities which could not be estimated at the time of preparation of the project. Timely approval of the same by different authorities of the Central and State Government is required to avoid delay in execution of planned works.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Improvement in service delivery : During the year 2001, when the project was initiated, about 1750 villages were connected with supplementary and sporadic regional water supply scheme. In 2014, about 11571 villages have been connected through grid in a much more systematic manner. The quality of water has been ensured by using the surface water with necessary treatment plants. The project has been able to provide minimum 100 lpcd (water) which was 40 lpcd in past. Better beneficiaries feedback: State has started a toll free helpline as a complaint registration and grievance redressal system for beneficiaries. In spite of wide publicity of helpline, there were very few complaints even in water scarce areas where the situation was worse due to a failed monsoon. This points to the fact that people remained satisfied with the water supply service and it’s a positive sign The same has also been claimed by beneficiaries through the media. A negligible number of issues are raised by public representatives in District Co-ordination Committees held in every month at District HQ. Time saved in the search of water by community and mainly by women is now largely being utilized for child care, health care and occupational activities. Due to the availability of water for livestock, high yield of milk production has been recorded in Northern Gujarat and this led to the establishment of Dairy in Saurashtra and Kutch region. Improvement in measurable indicators: During 2001, when the project was initiated, about 1750 villages were connected with supplementary regional water supply schemes and as of today, about 12000 villages have been connected through grid. 2684 Km bulk water pipelines with high quality 3 lpe coating and food grade epoxy coating inside and 1.20 lakh distribution pipelines have been laid down. 23,693 storage and hydraulic structures and network of 181 water treatment plants are in service with a total installed capacity of 290 crore litres of water per day. The initiative provides benefits to 11,571 villages and 131 towns, which have access to adequate, regular and safe water at convenient time. Cattle, like humans, need safe water for their health and milk production. Average Milk Production in year 2001 was about 53.71 lakh tones whereas now Milk production is above 100 lakh tones and safe and secured water supply has played important role in this dairy development drive. As per the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission survey data in year 2003, 166 habitations were not covered with water supply, 9462 habitations had inadequate water supply and 7675 qualify as affected habitations. Most of such habitations were covered under State wide water supply grid by 2010. The data clearly indicates that Milk production has increased by 82%, Agriculture growth by 216%; drop out ratio by 80% in last 10 years in the state of Gujarat. . This data is based on the Socio economic survey carried out by Government of India. Simplified procedures: Roles and responsibilities have been clearly defined and assigned since the inception of the initiative. Gujarat Water Supply & Sewerage Board has been entrusted with bigger role to ensure safe water availability at one point of the village. Whereas Gram Panchayat through Pani Samiti plans, implements, owns and arranges in-village water supply systems and services. Water and Sanitation Management Organisation (WASMO) facilitates and develops capacity of Pani Samitis and community.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Assured availability of 1.06 MAF water from Sardar Sarovar Dam on long term basis goes a long way in achieving water security especially in water scarce areas. The source is considered as supplementary but reliable and it can be diverted to areas of high requirement in order to tackle water problems. Narmada, being a Perennial River with adequate flow, is capable of ensuring sustainable sources and creation of massive infrastructure ensures water supply services to beneficiaries. Projects other than Narmada, based on surface source, are also reliable as drinking water reservation is approved by irrigation authorities for ultimate demand of the projects. Drinking water enjoys first priority by the State; hence the grid has the arrangement of water source, wherever possible. 11571 villages and 131 towns have already been connected with the grid arrangements. This may be a unique effort wherein water supply was assured to livestock also. People and live stock in these areas get assured safe water supply due to availability of dual source. The grid arrangement, which serves as supplementary source, ensures uninterrupted water supply round the year. The initiative is sustainable due to required infra-structure being in place. The government with all possible resources and strength works diligently and the community participates to manage in-village water distribution arrangement including income generation through water tariff collection, incentive from Government etc. The Canal Network of most reliable source of water Sardar Sarovar Dam is used as basic off take point for bulk water transmission making optimum use of Narmada Canals and phase wise shifting of off-take for better management. Judicious planning was made for laying pipelines. Need based pipes were laid and subsequent to it parallel lines are also planned and laid. The bulk water transmission pipelines are laid for intermediate demand in some sections and planning for parallel pipelines in phased manner is done. Bulk water carried through state-wide water supply grid has access to all project areas covering about 75% population of the State. It has enabled service provider to have effective alternate sustainable source. In case the service of main source is broken down due to any reason, consumers get the uninterrupted water supply through the grid arrangements. Availability of dual/ multi-source options has ensured water security. The initiative is replicable. The grid initiative considering the population coverage is the largest intervention in the World. Delegations from Government of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, U.P., Delhi etc have visited Gujarat to study and assess suitability for replication in their States. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh States are pursuing the matter for similar sort of arrangements for providing water security to people of their States.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Saurashtra, Kutch, North Gujarat and Panchmahal areas of Gujarat State are facing acute water scarcity throughout the year as in these areas the rainfall is scanty and there is no perennial river. Also, the underground sources are not adequate to cater to the drinking water demand. The Government of Gujarat has therefore conceived a major and challenging drinking water supply master plan based on Sardar Sarovar Narmada Canals as source of water for supplying drinking water to planned villages and towns. Huge pipe networks of State Wide Water Supply Grid pass through road, railway lines, canals, forests areas, oil and gas pipelines etc. Prior statutory clearance is necessary for laying of pipelines in these areas. Cumbersome processes take a lot of efforts and time to obtain clearance. Owners of land provided their land with Right to Use and timely payment of compensation with assistance of revenue officials helped in ensuring that there were no conflicts. In spite of careful planning with a 30 year forecast, a pressing need was felt to augment capacity. Hence parallel pipelines in certain places were laid to meet the water demand. Programmes through various tools and techniques are arranged to generate awareness among people that Narmada based water supply has superior quality and is safe for drinking because raw water is filtered and treated fully with modern technology. Therefore, before taking up such projects, proper planning to accommodate future development including possible industrial growth, increased water requirements, augmentation of manpower and enhancing community participation may be considered to avoid any hurdles and slow progress in implementation.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Mr. Mahesh Singh
Title:   Member Secretary, GWSSB  
Telephone/ Fax:   +919978406501
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Jalseva Bhavan, Sector 10-A
Postal Code:   382 010
City:   Gandhinagar
State/Province:   Gujarat

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