In India the provision of clean drinking water has
been given priority in the Constitution, with Article 47 conferring the duty
of providing clean drinking water and improving public health standards to
the State. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
has rightly themed this year's Water Day as 'leaving no one behind'. This
goes on par with the promise on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030, a
successor to Millennium Development Goals, include Goal 6 for dean water and
sanitation for ensuring their availability and sustainable management. Goal
6.1 specifically says that by 2030, countries including India should
'achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking
water for all'.
According to global reports released by the United
Nations, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home and 80
per cent of those who have to use unsafe and unprotected water sources,
reside in rural areas.
Further, more than 700 children under five years of
age die every day from diarrhoea due to unsafe water and poor sanitation.
This report also makes a mention that in eight out of 10 households, women
and girls are responsible for water collection. Nearly two-thirds of the
world's population experiences severe water scarcity at least for 31 days
per year. The intense impact of water scarcity could displace 700 million
people by 2030.