1. Executive Summary
Following the release of the new guidelines of the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), the Jharkhand government has committed to provide all villages with sustained access to potable drinking water. The new guidelines called the National Rural Drinking Water Programme makes a break from the past in several ways. It calls for deeper involvement by the communities through the Panchayati Raj system and has made improved norms in terms of quantity and quality of water to be supplied. It also has the ambitious aim of 100% coverage of piped water supply. The most important point is the stress on ensuring sustainability of water supply system as a whole. There is an emphasis on rainwater harvesting and recharging to ensure sustainability of groundwater resources as also to switch over to conjunctive use surface and ground water.
As part of the endeavour to set in motion the implementation of these new guidelines, the Jharkhand State Water and Sanitation Mission supported training workshops for PHED engineers, PRIs and NGOs on building sustainability into the water supply systems. These are significant pointers to the way the government of Jharkhand is thinking in terms of institutional structures at the village level for giving effect to participatory management.