National Rural Drinking Water Mission: Most Important Topic for 2021 RBI Assistant Exam

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  • The National Sub-Mission to provide safe drinking water is to be completed on mission mode before March 2020. The urgency of implementation of the mission is due to:
    • Criticality & urgency of the matter
    • Requirement of significant increase in operational efficiency
    • Requirement of additional funds, robust monitoring & surveillance of those
    • Requirement of special technology, manpower & strategy to achieve the goal.


  • To cover of all the arsenic & fluoride affected habitations with safe & perennial surface water based piped Water supply schemes as the permanent & sustainable solution.
Goals of Rual Driking Water Mission

Sub-Mission Phases

  • The sub-mission will have three phases namely:
    • Diagnostic phase: To correctly determine the action plan based on most recent & authentic data
    • Implementation phase: Roll-out of area specific schemes as per guidelines
    • Sustain phase: To ensure that schemes are running successfully with adequate monitoring & surveillance.

Standard Drinking Water Quality

  • Bureau of Indian Standards has set specifications in it IS-10500 - 2012 standards for drinking water.
  • However, this standard is only voluntary in nature & not legally supported for enforcement. This standard has two limits:
    • Desirable limits
    • Maximum permissible or cause for rejection limits
  • If any parameter exceeds the cause for rejection limit, that water is considered as contaminated. Broadly speaking, water is defined as contaminated if it is biologically contaminated (presence of microscopic organisms such as algae, Zoo-plankton, flagellates, E-coli etc) or chemical contamination exceeds permissible limits (e. g. excess fluoride D1.5mg/l) , salinity that is:
    • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) (> 2,000mg/l) ,
    • Dissolved iron D0.3mg/l) ,
    • Arsenic [> 0.01mg/l) ,
    • Nitrates (> 45mg/l) etc.) .
  • In rural areas, more than 85 % of drinking water sources are ground water based & in the short term, chemical constituents in groundwater do not change much, therefore testing once in a year for chemical contaminants is adequate. Testing for bacteriological contamination is recommended 4 times a year, once in every season.
  • However, every year it should be carried out at least twice that is during pre-monsoon & post-monsoon seasons.

Steps to Roll Out the Project

  • The action plan will contain unambiguous timelines, proposed schemes & corresponding village coverage, scheme wise funding requirements, potential sources of funding & tasks to be executed over the course of next four years to ensure the state is Arsenic/Fluoride free.
  • Identification of habitations: Identify the habitations, affected by water contaminated by Arsenic & Fluoride. The habitations will be geo-tagged for all future uses. The geo-tagged location will be accessible on the ‘Mobile Application’ , Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) for real time monitoring.
  • Priorities may be as below
    • Habitations not covered by any other existing long term programme of central or state government.
    • Habitations having higher degree of contamination according to IMIS data.
    • Identification of Source: State has to identify, geo-tag and select the source on the basis of following parameters
      • Source/Aquifer must be contaminant free
      • Source must be perennial in nature
      • Source must be the most economically feasible (least lifecycle cost) option which has the ability to provide clean drinking water in perpetuity
      • Quality testing of source: States have to follow the Uniform Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Protocol published & widely distributed by the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation.
      • Preparation of Schemes: On the basis of identification of habitation & source, State has to prepare a proposal.

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