the-national-water-quality-sub-mission-nwqsm

The National Sub-Mission to provide safe drinking water is to be completed on mission mode before March 2020. 

The urgency of implementation of the mission is due to:

Criticality and urgency of the matter

  • Requirement of significant increase in operational efficiency
  • Requirement of additional funds, robust monitoring and surveillance of those
  • Requirement of special technology, manpower and strategy to achieve the goal
  • Goal
  • To cover all the arsenic & fluoride affected habitations with safe & perennial surface water based piped Water supply schemes as the permanent & sustainable solution.

Sub-mission phases

  • The sub-mission will have three phases namely:
  • Diagnostic phase: To correctly determine the action plan based on most recent and authentic data
  • Implementation phase: Roll-out of area specific schemes as per guidelines
  • Sustain phase: To ensure that schemes are running successfully with adequate monitoring and surveillance.

Standard drinking water quality: Bureau of Indian Standards has set specifications in its IS-10500-2012 standards for drinking water. However, this standard is only voluntary in nature and not legally supported for enforcement. This standard has two limits:

Desirable limits

  • Maximum permissible or cause for rejection limits.
  • If any parameter exceeds the cause for rejection limit, that water is considered as contaminated. Broadly speaking, water is defined as contaminated if it is biologically contaminated (presence of microscopic organisms such as algae, Zoo-plankton, flagillates, E-coli etc) or chemical contamination exceeds permissible limits (e.g. excess fluoride D1.5mg/l), salinity i.e.,
  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) (>2,000mg/l),
  • Dissolved iron D0.3mg/l),
  • Arsenic [>0.01mg/l),
  • Nitrates (>45mg/l) etc.).
  • In rural areas, more than 85% of drinking water sources are ground water based and in the short term, chemical constituents in groundwater do not change much, therefore testing once in a year for chemical contaminants is adequate. 
  • Testing for bacteriological contamination is recommended 4 times a year, once in every season. However, every year it should be carried out at least twice i.e. during pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons.