The WASH governance hub is a joint project to improve water governance in Indian cities at risk of water scarcity.
Cities in India are more susceptible to water scarcity than ever before. Tens of cities and over 100 million people are estimated to have experienced running out of groundwater. The most vulnerable are the population living in urban slums and informal settlements, particularly women and children.
Climate change and the resulting uncertain weather patterns, together with population growth and urban inequalities and complexities, are forcing cities to take extreme steps to combat severe water crises. It is therefore important to acknowledge the need to improve water governance at different levels to be able to provide sustainable and resilient water service.
The WASH governance hub will provide technical support to the local governments in the country, to improving the delivery of water and sanitation services in an effective, efficient, and equitable manner.
In 2019, the WASH governance hub (WGH) was formed. It is a collaboration between SIWI, the Centre for Water and Sanitation (CWAS) at the CEPT Research & Development Foundation, in India, and the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), also in India. The hub was formed to share knowledge and use the experience of the respective partners to support and strengthen water and sanitation governance in India.
The hub will advance water governance in the areas of water supply and sanitation, wastewater, solid waste management, watershed and resources management, climate change adaptation, and gender and social equity.
The key objectives of the WASH governance hub are:
- Extend and deepen one of India’s largest databases on urban water services, the performance assessment system (PAS), by adding additional aspects related to water security and water governance.
- Provide policy and technical support to state and local governments.
- Develop the capacity of local governments and other stakeholders to deal with the impending water crisis.
- Develop a knowledge network and a repository for research and tools related to water governance.