WASTAGE OF DRINKING WATER, ITs GLOBAL IMPACT AND ROLE OF INDIA
The whole world accepts that alternatively water is known as life. After air water is the most essential element of life. Life cannot be sustained without water. Scientists calculated that there are one billion cubic kilometers of water are available on this earth means one fourth of the earth’s surface are covered by water. But the availability of useable fresh water is less than one percent which is found in the lakes, rivers, ponds, ground water, rainfall etc. Demand of drinking water is increasing with the increasing of world population, urbanization, industrialization (globalization) but source is very less as well as wastage of water decreasing the available percentage. There are different causes of wastage of water but directly or indirectly human being are the main cause of wasting of water. There are many examples where people are suffering for lack of clean drinking water e.g. there are certain areas in India where people especially women cross long distance to collect drinking water, also the quality of water available for drinking is poisoning a serious threat to the existence of life. It is not only problem for the human but also for the all other living beings. So, if it is not taken seriously by the world in near future it may be one of the serious causes for destruction of living being of this earth.
The object of this paper is to identify the reason of wastage of drinking of water and its global impact and the initiatives taken globally.
Definition of drinking water:
Article 2.2 of the Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Trans- boundary Watercourses and International Lake defines drinking wateras “drinking water means the water uses for drinking, cooking, personal use or like similar purposes by the human being”.
Though this Protocol has tried to define the concept of drinking water but it is not absolute. This Protocol has been defined drinking water on the basis of need of human being and without giving focus on the other living being that cannot live without water. So, drinking water means the fresh water which is needed for the existence of all living being.
‘Fresh water is a source of drinking water’ and its relation with wastage of fresh water:
Fresh water is the main source of drinking water (rivers, lakes, ground water etc. are the source of fresh water.)
Wastage of fresh water is resulted crisis of drinking water. In previous discussion it has been seen that drinking water includes water uses for the purpose of drinking, cooking, personal use or like similar purposes by the human beingas well as other living being e.g. animals or other species depend on the fresh or sweet water. So, if there is wastage of fresh water it will be crisis of drinking water.Thus if we focus on the wastage of fresh water it will be helpful to control wastage of drinking water. So, in the remaining part of this paper fresh water or drinking water will be treated same.
Areas where fresh water is used maximum:
At first question can come that why there is need of identify the area of using water? The answer is that wastage of water will be there where there is use of water or need of water. The area where there is no need of using water therewill be no question of wastage of water. So, these are following areas where maximum fresh water is used –
- irrigation 66%, (up to 90% in arid regions),
- 10% domestic household (urbanization has made it increased),
- 20% for the purpose of industrial productions,
- evaporated form reservoir is 4%
- Also in Governmental sectors, institutions, hotels and recently using for commercial purposes etc.
Causes of wastage of water:
There is need to identify causes or areas of wastage of water because it will be helpful to control wastage of water by legal instruments.
The reasons for wastage of water are as follows-
- Unsustainable water supply management by the government, leakage of pipelines, lack of technicalities used for the supply of water, most of the public water taps do not have water regulatory system to control water supply, careless house hold use etc.
- Urbanization: There is huge wastage of water by over flowing of water from the tanks or reservoir of multistoried buildings or flats, hotels, institutions, governmental sectors etc.
- Industrialization is one of the areas where fresh water is used to produce goods and wastage of water is too certain there also.
- Food loss causes water loss:
There is huge exploitation of ground water as well as other sources of water for the purpose of agriculture or food production. Food loss indirectly insists in wastage of water. The amount of food wasted in every year is equivalent to more than ½ of the world’s annual cereals crop (2.3 million tons in 2009/2010).
- Poor sanitary system is also one of the causes of wastage of water. Damage water services in health sectors causes wastage of water as well as increases water borne diseases.
- Water pollution (arsenic pollution in the ground water especially developing countries, diseases due to microbial hazardous from poor waste, sanitation and hygiene are responsible for 5.7% of the global total diseases). Polluted water effects directly on human, animals or other living being depending on fresh water.There are still now different villages near rivers that use river’s water directly for household purposes and we have seen in the definition of drinking water that drinking water includes water use for house hold purpose also.
- Climate change or increasing earth’s temperature for the pollution causing wastage of water and as a result scarcity of water, drought are increasing and its effecting on wildlife and natural habitats, wetlands and aquatic life.
- Power:By 2005 the globe electricity will be over 70% higher than 2009 level. So, to fulfill the demand of electricity need more hydroelectric and building more dams will be cause of wastage of water. Alternatively wastage of power causes wastage of water.
- Deforestation and overgrazing result soil erosion and it create the soil unable to filter the water etc.
So, it can see that the main causes of wastage of water and water crisis are imbalance between use of water and water resources.
Global impacts of wastage of water, worldwide sufferings and legal aspects:Global impacts for the wastage of water are as follows-
- Effects on Human being and related development:
- National effect:
- Water is a limited natural resource and a public good which is fundamental for life and health. The crisis of fresh water is increasing with the growing demand of fresh water but unsustainable use of water or wastage of water insisting the living being of this earth to suffer and die for the lack of fresh water. Over billion of people have lack access to a basic water supply while several billions do not have access to adequate sanitation which is the primary cause of lack of water. 
- Loss faced by commercial sectors:Water crisis is becoming the increasing operational costs of different commercial sectors (tourism sectors, chemical industries etc.) and competition with local communities and other water uses sectors could potentially lead to negative impact on the developing society.
- Effect on the sanitary system and health of people:Wastage of water effects on the proper implementation of sanitary system and for this reason the UN goal and plan of increasing proper sanitary system will be a failure project. The increasing costs of water service becoming high.There are more than 5000 children around the world dying each day from diarrhea which is one of the causes of lack of pure water. Damage to water infrastructure effects on the health of general people and water borne are dieses increased day by day.
- Most of the water is needed for irrigation. Unlimited exploitation of ground water by the land owners is decreasing the level of ground water but we are not sure that the exploited water is using properly without wasting it or not. The wastage of water is depriving the right of general people as well as those farmers who are the owner of less land and as a result food crisis will be increased.There will be malnutrition and national (GDP) loss will be increased.
- Cross boundary effect:
There are many rivers which are shared by two or more countries as example: Ganga, Tista Rivers are sharing by India and Bangladesh. There are more than 260 rivers in the world are used for Trans boundary water supplybut if any upper riparian state is wasting water of any river whose water is shearing with lower riparian state in this situation the neighbor state will suffer by flood, draught or pollution etc. Suppose if India is wasting water of river Ganga by building dam or by unsustainably using it or wasting the water by pollution it will affect Bangladesh also. The effect of wastage of water will be not only on the people but also it will reduce the development of the state. As a result the relationship between two states will be affected.
- Effect on Wild life or other living being:
Wastage of water results shortage of water and effects on human as well as wild life. Wastage of water results the present drought in England and it was suffered by wild life and natural habitats e.g. Wetland birds have been denied vital breeding habitat and the type of insects feed they need to survive, it was affected on river and aquatic life also. 
- International legal aspects to protect wastage of water:
The previous discussions of this paper have focused on the general reasons and effects of wastage of water. The next part will try to find out the legal aspects of drinking water or fresh water and the laws which protect water and provide remedy or guidelines in nationally and internationally are as follows:
- Non- binding or soft law international instruments:
ILA Berlin Rules 2004,International Conference on Water and the Environment 1992 in Dublin provides the need of fresh water issues for the 1992 Rio Declaration,The Hague Declaration 2000, Bonn Ministerial Declaration 2001, Third World water Forum 2003, The Fourth World Water Forum 2006, Ministerial Declaration of the 2009 World Water Forum – all these documents focused on the sustainable water management.
- Universal Declaration of Human rights and Related Conventions:
Article 3 of UDHR 1948 provides right to life which include right to get water to sustain human life. Article 25 of the (UDHR) 1948– This Article does not directly declare right to water but it provides about right to standard of living which includes right to water also because without water human being cannot live.
Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights- It prohibits States to take any action which violates right to life and right to access water comes under it. Article 11 (1)and Article 12(1)of ICESCR1966 provide rights of standard of living, adequate food etc. and right to health and without water these rights are not possible to implement.
- Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989: Article 24 (2) of this Convention provides
It imposes duty on the states to provide adequate fresh drinking water to the children.
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women 1979: Article 14 (2) of this Convention provides some rights for women as to ‘enjoy adequate of living condition including water.’
It provides that women have right to adequate water.
- General Comment 15:
General Comment imposes duty on the states as- The obligations to respect, Obligation to protect and fulfill the right to safe drinking water.
It treated water as social and cultural goods and not economic goods and states should have to adopt all measures to protect drinking water.
- Multilateral environmental Agreements:
1992 Convention on Biodiversity,1992 UN Convention on Climate Change,The 1994 Convention to Combat Desertification, Ramsar Convention 1971 (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat,World Heritage Convention 1972 (Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,Biodiversity Convention 1994 (Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Serious Drought particularly in Africa)
Basel Convention (Convention on the Control to Tran’s boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal), Stockholm 2001 (Convention on persistent organic Pollutants),Watercourses Convention 1997 (Convention on the Law of the Non- Navigation Uses of International Watercourses, not yet force),GATT and WTO.
So, the above international instruments (soft law or hard law instruments) provides right to water, protection of right to water etc. which indirectly means there should be protection of water and it is possible only by controlling wastage of water. The right to water will be definitely violated if there is wastage of water. So, it can be concluded that the above international instruments are indirectly applicable for prohibition of those acts which violate right to water.
- Water management at the regional level:
African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child 1990, American Commission on Human Rights in its Report on the Human Rights Situation in Ecuador, European instrument- exploitation and management of ground water
UNESCO, Water Convention, Protocol on Water and Health, Protocol on Civil Liability, Aarhus Convention, the PRTR Protocol, EU Water Framework Directive.
So, we can see all the international and regional Conventions do not deal with wastage of water but provide water management and right to water which also include not to waste water. Otherwise the plan and policies of water management will be violated also water right will be violating for the wastage of water. And the states will be liable.
Role of India to protect wastage of water:
Role of India to protect drinking water plans and policies: Water Resource Management in India:
- Indian Constitution,
List I- entry 56 interstate water manages by states, List two entry 17, supply, management etc.Article 32, 226- writ can be file if there is violation of fundamental rights.
Indian Constitution does not guarantee any right to water. Several judicial decisions have held that the right to water is linked to the Constitutional ‘right to life’ (Article 21)
Right to water and encourage governments not to take any active step to develop the water sector. CharanLalSahu v Union of India, AIR 1990 SC 1480(right to pollution free water).
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986: Central Ground Water Authority has been constituted under sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Power and function has been provided under Sections 4, 5, 15, 21 of this Act for the purpose of regulation and control of ground water in India.
Regulate and control exploitation of ground water. If necessary it will notify to those states as well as industry and drinking water supply agencies that are related with exploitation of ground water.
- Central Ground Water Board of Ministry of Water Resources Government of Indiawhich has responsibility to carry out ground management studies, exploration, monitoring of development, management and regulation of India’s ground water and the ground water resources has published an Annual Report 2010-2011. The data generated from these investigations provide the scientific base for preparation of ground water development schemes by the State Governments.
Objectives of this report are as follows-
The main objectives of this report are sustainable ground water management and support and coordinate with the State Government for planning and development of ground water. It also provides international cooperation to promote water management and promoting environment awareness.
- The Maharashtra Water Resource Regulatory Authority Act, 2005
This Act provides sustainable use of water and sustainable water management in the State of Maharashtra. This Act establishes a water resource Regulatory Authority for this Sate which will ensure sustainable and equitable water management, allocation and utilization of water. This Authority will fix the rate for the use of water in the area of irrigation, industry, domestic, drinking purposes etc.
- Plan and policies of Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh by issuing challan for wastage of water.
The Municipal Corporation is starting to issue challan and notices to the residence for wastage of water from 15th April till June 30 of this year because this period is summer and water crisis increases in this period. The price of fine is Rs. 2000 and it is for those who will waste water at morning for watering lawns, washing cars and courtyards using hosepipe, leakage of water pipes, over flowing water tanks, water coolers etc. The main reason of water wastage is the gap between water demand and supply.
- Green norms for hotels to prevent food and water wastage
Union Ministry of Environment and forests has suggested some guidelines for the hotels to reduce wastage of water. The guidelines are known as a green guideline where it has proposes to use environment friendly products instead using water.
|· Water Week 2013:
The Ministry of Water Resources of Government of India has organized a programme for effective water management for protecting water on 8, 12th April 2013 on behalf of Ministry of National Water Development Agency and Central Water Commission Ground water legislation:
To enable the States to enact Ground Water Legislation, a Model Bill to Regulate and Control Development of Ground Water has been circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources to all the States/UTs. So far the states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry have enacted and implemented ground water legislation
States’ responsibility for wastage of water:
After discussing all the International, Regional, National or local law it is clear that it is the responsibility of States to protect water and to take care proper water management that water cannot waste by enacting law. Those states who are the parties of International Convention which give importance to the protection of water and water resources, those states will be internationally responsible as well as liable to protect water.
Recommendations or suggestion:
After the above discussion of International laws and Indian laws it is clear that these laws have given more focuses on the access of water as right also it has focuses on the sustainable management of water services. But there is no such law which directly regulates wastage of water. It can be suggest that the above problem can be solved by spreading awareness among the people. But it is human tendency to avoid its duty until there is strict law.
- There should be a strict law to regulate wastage of water.
- There should be use of developed technology in the water management process.
- Municipality should be held liable for causing wastage of water by their negligence. If we take an example the water supply process of Kolkata Municipal Corporation we can see there are maximum water supplies systems are damaged water supply system. Sometimes water starts to flow at the night of 1 am from the road water taps. Though there are Municipality regulatory policy but not effective.
- There should be regular assessment of availability of water to make a balance between supply and demand.
- Also there is less focus on the village areas where exploitation of ground water for irrigation purposes as well as domestic purposes (using pumping system by the upper middle class people) is more. For this reasons poor are facing crisis of water.
- Educational institutions, Government sectors are not aware about the wastage of water.
- So, there should be a law which will be applicable for the all states of a country and will identify the area of wastage of water and will take strict action.
Whatever has discussed in the above paragraphs regarding wastage of water are in accordance with fresh water and its legal protection through international, regional and national laws. There are no such direct laws or data which deal with wastage of drinking water Maximum data shows and concern about protection of water as a whole it may be in the form of fresh water (river, lakes, ground water etc.) which also include drinking water. All the laws are concerned about protection or management of water which also include drinking water. But there are no such laws (except local laws) which directly deal with drinking water and wastage of drinking water and wastage of sources of drinking water. All the laws indirectly concentrate by way of management of water. Though there are different alternative process has raised which meet the supply of drinking water as eg. By processing sea water is using for the purposes of drinking. But I do not think that it may be suitable alternative of natural water resources available in the earth as fresh water. Also wastage of water is violation of right to water, which is granted or supported by international, regional or national laws.
As a conclusion I can say that it is tough to control wastage of water because there is need to change human habit and thinking. But at first there is need of uniform law for the all states of India. And there is more awareness should be spread by international Conventions, or Regional Conventions.
 SAIRAM BHAT, NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION LAW 92-93 (2010) SAGE PUBLICATION
Article 2.2 of the Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and use of Trans boundary Watercourses and International Lake defines drinking water-‘Drinking watermeans water which is used or intended to be available for use by humans for drinking, cooking, food preparation, personal hygiene or similar purposes’
 Water Crisis
Towards a way to improve the situation, available athttp://www.worldwatercouncil.org/library/archives/water-crisis/last visited on 12.8.2013
 Water Waste Threatens Wild Life (10.8.2006) see supra note 6
 Climate change, Water shortage, Biodiversity, Loss, will have Growing Impacts on Global Business :Un Report, see supra note 5……
O.Gbadamosi, Progressive Relation of the Right to Safe Water and adequate Sanitation, P 54, 12 U. Botswana L. J. 53 (2011)
 Experts Warn of Impending Global Crisis as Commission on Sustainable Development Continuous Review of Decision Relating to Water, Sanitation (Economic and Social Council) available at www.un.org. Last visited on 13. 8.2013
Water crisis: towards a way to improve the sanitation, supra note 4………….
 Water Waste Threatens Wild Life (10.8.2006) supra note 6
 ELENA BLANCO & JONA RAZZAQUE, GLOBALIZATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES LAW :CHALLENGES , KEY ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVES 299-300 ( 2011) EDWARD ELGAR PUBLISHING LTD
International Conference on Water and the Environment 1992 in Dublin ‘the need of fresh water issues for the 1992 Rio Declaration.It focused on the economic value of the water that should be maintained by the Judiciary and its suitable utilization’.
*ILA Berlin Rules-‘The general people play an important role to develop the concept of right to water. This rules said that the consequences of unsustainable use of water is the poverty. And because there is no such duty of the states to provide sufficient water to all unless states reach into the conclusion that getting sufficient water is a basic right of all’.
*The Hague Declaration 2000-‘ water resources and the ecosystem depended on it is in danger of change of land use, climate change, unsustainable use of wateretc. and to make a balance between environment and the threat of water crisis there should be sustainable use of water’.
*Bonn Ministerial Declaration 2001-‘focused in the implementation of Agenda 21 where it has given importance to the participation of civil society to the sustainable management of water. This document treated water as public good’.
 Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 provides, Available at
‘Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person’. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/ last visited on 4.01.2016.
Id, Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 provides,
‘(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control’.
Article 11 (1) of the International Covenant of Economic Social and Cultural Rights 1966 provides‘1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent’.
 Article 12 (2) of the International Covenant of Economic Social and Cultural Rights 1966 provides, ‘1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’.
 WOUTER VANDENHOLE and TAMARA WIELDERS, WATER AS A HUMAN RIGHT – WATER AS
AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE: DOES IT MATTER? 26 Neth. Q. Hum.Rts. 391 2008,
 14.2 of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women 1979 provides, ‘the States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural
areas in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, that they participate in and benefit
from rural development and, in particular, shall ensure to such women the right:
(a) To participate in the elaboration and implementation of development planning at all levels;
(b) To have access to adequate health care facilities, including information, counseling and services in
(c) To benefit directly from social security programmes;
(d) To obtain all types of training and education, formal and non-formal, including that relating to
functional literacy, as well as, inter alia, the benefit of all community and extension services, in order
to increase their technical proficiency;
(e) To organize self-help groups and co-operatives in order to obtain equal access to economic
opportunities through employment or self-employment;
(f) To participate in all community activities;
(g) To have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities, appropriate technology and
equal treatment in land and agrarian reform as well as in land resettlement schemes;
(h) To enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communications’.
 ELENA BLANCO & JONA RAZZAQUEsupra note 21,295-310,
1992 Convention on Biodiversity- for the conservation of ecosystem and biological diversity, ‘which includes protection of inlands water, integrated watershed management, as the best way to reconcile competing demands for dwindling supplies of inland waters’.
1992 UN Convention on Climate Change, ‘There are available evidences that climate change affect the quality and availability of water supply. As a result there is draught as well as flood and day by day it will increase. So, countries should adopt to control wastage of water and water management’.
The 1994 Convention to Combat Desertification, Ramsar Convention 1971 (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat)-‘Wetlands are the source of water especially ground water. This Convention is concern about wise use of wetlands and management of wetlands by providing guidelines. It also highlights on the impacts of ground water exploitation’.
World Heritage Convention 1972 (Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage- It included conservation of rivers, lakes, wetlands etc.
Biodiversity Convention 1994 (Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Serious Drought particularly in Africa) – It provides water management to control draught and desertification.
Basel Convention (Convention on the Control to Trans boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal)-‘The ultimate aim is protection of water from hazardous waste. Water includes surface as well as ground water’.
Stockholm 2001 (Convention on persistent organic Pollutants)-It provides protection of water from contaminating water resources.
Watercourses Convention 1997 (Convention on the Law of the Non- Navigation Uses of International Watercourses, not yet force)-This convention concern about sustainable use of watercourses and its protection and management.
 GATT AND WTO- provides about the removal of tariff barriers from water sector services.
 Globalizationsupra note 21.p 311-315
CENTRAL GROUND WATER AUTHORITY, available at http://cgwb.gov.in/H:/Central%20Ground%20Water%20Board,%20Ministry%20of%20Water%20Resources,%20Government%20of%20India.htm, last visited on 25.9.13
Annual Report 2010-2011Central Ground Water Boardof Ministry of Water Resources Government of India,available atwww.cgwb.gov.in/documents/Annual%20Report%202010-11.pdf on 3.9.13
The Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority Act, 2005, Law, Environment and Development Journal,1/1, Law Env’t& Dev. J. 80 (2005)
VishwaMohan,Green norms for hotels to prevent food wastage, TIMES OF INDIA, Aug 13, 2013,file:///E:/Documents/Documents/enviromental%20law%20projects%20documents/Green%20norms%20for%20hotels%20to%20prevent%20food%20wastage%20-%20Times%20Of%20India.htm. ‘The environment minister JayanthiNatarajan in her written response to a Parliament question said, “The five start hotels have been advised to take appropriate measures like waste reduction, water and energy conservation and follow environmentally responsible purchasing practices envisaged in the guidelines for Green Hotels”.
She said the guidelines were being enforced for compliance by the hotels. Respective State Pollution Control Board has the responsibility to enforce it within the state, she added.
Referring to waste of water in hotels, the minister said that the wastewater discharge from hotels varies from 51% to 93% of the total water consumption depending upon the wastewater management practices adopted by them.
‘Said that the guidelines while suggesting use of low flow showerheads bath and sink faucet aerators and low flow toilets.’
To encourage environmentally responsible purchasing practices, the norms suggest the hotels to buy recycled products like toilet tissue, facial tissues and paper towels. “Buy cleaning products that are biodegradable, use recycled paper for letterhead and guest room stationery,” it said.
Preference of use of invertors instead of diesel generation sets, switch to low-watt fluorescent light in place of bulbs, installation of solar water heatingparabolic concentrator for cooking, solar lighting, solar AC, use of pollution free electric vehicles and use of recycling bins for guest rooms or floors are some of the other key points in the guideline. available athttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/on 13.8.2013