3rd Stakeholders Meeting on Roadmap for Rating System for Water Efficient Fixtures in India

The 3rd stakeholders meeting on the rating system for water efficient fixtures was held at the Centre for Science and Environment’s office on 23rd March 2011. This meeting had participation from various stakeholders who have been a part of the core group formed after the 1st stakeholders meeting in September 2010. Ms. E. P Nivedita, Director (water supply and local self government), Ministry of Urban Development was also present.

CSE is a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on sustainable water management, has been given the task of preparing roadmap and drafting rating system for water efficient fixtures in India. This document was presented and discussed during the meeting. The fixtures categories covered water closets, urinals, showerheads, faucets (including kitchen faucets), hand-held bidets, dishwashers and clothes washers. The roadmap document provides a framework and process for its implementation. The recommendations made by CSE include setting up of Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee with representation from Ministry of Water Resources, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Power (from Bureau of Energy Efficiency), Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (from Bureau of Indian Standards) amongst others. It also suggests setting up of a technical advisory sub-committee, with experts from various fields who would provide technical, legal, regulatory, management and economic based inputs to facilitate inter ministerial committee. As recommended in the roadmap these committees could initiate processes towards setting up of a Bureau of Water Efficiency to undertake water conservation and efficiency reforms in all sectors including a system for rating the water efficient fixtures. In addition, a Water Conservation Act is also recommended. It is primarily to instutionalise and regulate water efficiency which requires a strong legal support in terms of a comprehensive and visionary act, that would ensure water efficiency in every sector including domestic, agriculture and industrial.

The document also provides framework for implementation of rating system, which includes objectives, technical specifications for rating system, protocols and testing facilities, strategies for sustaining rating systems, Integration of Product Standardization and Water Efficiency, water-energy convergence and awareness campaigns. The roadmap suggest that rating system could be initiated on a voluntary basis and could be made mandatory in a later stage in a time bound and systematic manner with least inconvenience to the relevant stakeholders. Short, medium and long-term goals for implementation have also been suggested in the roadmap.

The roadmap document was discussed in the meeting with the core group members. Ms. Nivedita, Director MoUD agreed to take forward the dialogue process with relevant ministries and organisations including water resources, BIS, BEE and CSE in the near future to implement the proposed roadmap. The core group also agreed on the need disseminate and advocate water efficiency on the lines of energy efficiency ratings.