How to Shape Private Participation in Water Management

Water management in India has reached a crisis point. Lack of safe drinking water, poor sanitation practices and almost unmanageable pollution has brought us to a point here we are facing an environmental catastrophe. Private participation is not a new idea. In fact, the involvement of private players in this field has ben encouraged for the last two decades now.

This participation has come in many ways — from providing infrastructure like sewage plants and RO plants India to taking ownership of natural resources like rivers. The result has been a mixed bag. yet, we cannot ignore private participation. The benefits of PPP (public-private partnership) are too many to ignore. What we need is formulation of more detailed policies where the stake of each partner is defined. Increasingly, we are also seeing different models of PPP with some proving more effective than others.

Benefits of private participation with RO Plants

1. Wider Reach

One of the most worrying aspect of the public sector infrastructure is that there is no feasible way it falls severely short of serving every individual. There is simply no way that it can cater to overburdened cities or even remote area in the next few years. Our deficit is simply to much to meet quickly. The truth is that we have to involve the private sector to meet this lacunae. We can see this in many ways in both rural and urban areas.

Housing complexes and residential areas in cities today have their own RO plant that is used to purify water. In rural areas RO plant manufacturers have entered the water infrastructure. In fact, the rural sector is now seen as a high growth sector in this industry. We combine social development with economics — providing newer markets to the private sector while meeting our own severe shortages.

2. Community Involvement

For sustainable development, it is imperative that we focus on community involvement. Involving the community in the running of an RO plant has multiple benefits. It gives them a stake in the operational success. It allows them to develop a sustainable revenue structure and it ensures that RO plant India will remain operational even when the initial team leaves at the end of its contract period. This is how many PPPs work in RO plant management.

This is especially relevant in rural sector where community involvement has been one of the major pillars of water management. In urban areas we can see the complete ownership of residential communities after an initial start-up period by the manufacturers. Plants are run and managed by community representatives who also fix a model of revenue. Many RO plant manufacturers prefer this model because their expertise lies in setting up plants. Running them for a prolonged time stretches their resources.

3. Development of Rural Healthcare

The setting up of RO plants by the private sector in rural area can have (and has had) a direct impact on rural healthcare, especially women and childcare. Rural areas are the one severely hit by lack of safe drinking water. Lack of awareness coupled with lack of availability creates a crippling shortage that is proving to be a major health risk. Women, especially, are badly hit by this problem.

As primary carer for health and nourishment of family and children, lack of available water has proved to a major reason for poor health of rural women. Studies also show that women healthcare and their economic development is directly impacted by the scarcity of water in rural area. RO plants India offer the most viable and effective solution to this challenge, offering ready access to safe drinking water.

4. Accountability

Private companies also bring greater accountability. A recurring problem in many publicly run plants is the spread of malpractices. Many plants lay in shambles despite budgetary allocations. Private companies bring more accountability because their revenues are the sole source for running a plant.

5. Maintenance

Many of the private players in water management today take up management of plants. These are not necessary RO plant India manufacturers. Their role as a management body is critical in the running and maintenance of these plants. By hiring and involving these private companies we ensure that the plants will keep running in the way they should without shoddy management that eventually ruins them.

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About the Author: Vijay

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