Magazine 2014
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Rashmi Maurya  
Kanchan Dutt  
More than 20% water is lost in transit, stolen by the water mafia, which sells it at a higher price. If the  
mafias are charged for this water at commercial rates, the civic body can earn a better revenue. But  
there is a nexus between ward-level officials, chaabiwallas, the police and senior civic officials. Without  
them, the network cannot function,”  
Dhaval Desai Research fellow of Observer Research Foundation (ORF)  
Water is basic necessity of life. Water availability indicates the social status of an individual. Water pricing  
is not only a method to recover the cost of supplying water and water treatment but also a tool to restrict  
the wastage of water. The sources of clean drinking water are limited and depleting slowly. The water  
pricing strategy is demand for current water condition There is need to change the social, political,  
cultural and behavioral aspect of people towards water pricing. It is necessary to make the mass  
understand the importance of water pricing for the long term suitability. The present study is an academic  
effort to understand the importance of long term sustainability of water through water pricing.  
Keywords : Water scarcity, water pricing, charges on water  
Water scarcity is an ever-growing global problem. Increased population pressures, improvedstandard  
of living and growing demands for environmental quality drive to think towards pricing of water.India  
faces a desperate water shortage both the industrial and domestic sectors have accepted the disparity  
between supply and demand. The Indian government has tried to lead market-based approaches  
and privatization of urban water. The National Water Policy drafted last year defines water as an  
economic good. Considering water as economic goods the price of water has to be decided according  
to use. The present water tariff is to cover the minimum cost of water supply. The pricing of water like  
other economic goods will not only cover the expense of water treatment but also restrict the wastage  
of water.  
Water status in Maharashtra  
Urbanization in Maharashtra is higher then the all India average. There is wide disparity in the levels of  
urbanization within the state of Maharashtra. The status of basic amenities are different within the state  
especially in Mumbai. Basic amenities i.e. water, sanitation are not as per the requirement or need of  
urban population. The quantity of inland water resources in Maharashtra accounts for only 4.93 percent  
of the total availability in India. Since the state houses more than 9 percent of the country’s population,  
per capita water availability in the state is lower than the national avrage. 1 ( Water and environment,  
Maharashtra Development Report 2007, p.g. 363).  
The quantity of inland water resources in Maharashtra accounts for only 4.93 percent of the total  
availability in India. Since the state houses more than 9 percent of the country’s population, per capita  
water availability in the state is lower than the national avrage. 1 ( Water and enviornment, Mhahrashtra  
Development Report 2007, p.g. 363)  
Maharashtra was the first state to prepare a White Paper on Water and sanitation in June 1995, following  
which the GoM established a separate department for water supply and sanitation for better co ordination  
of the sector. As per the policy approved by the state government , the water suuply and sanitation  
department (WSSD) implements the programmes fro provision of drinking water supply service through  
the Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP), the Groundwater Survey and Jeevan Pradikaran  
Agency(GSDA), and the Zila parishads(ZPs). The MJP is responsible for the design and construction  
of water and waste water schemes in urban and rural areas and mobilisation of resources on behalf of  
local bodies.  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Among all the metabolic flow of matter and energy none is more important and more contested than  
water-especially water used for meeting basic drinking and other domestic consumption needs.  
Water scarcity is fast becoming urban India’s number one woe, with government’s own data revealing  
that residents in 22 out of 32 major cities have to deal with daily shortages. The figures reveal that in  
Greater Mumbai and Delhi — which have the highest water demand among all cities — the gap  
between demand and supply is comparatively less. The shortfall is 24% for Delhi and 17% for Mumbai.  
However, the situation is worse than that.  
India is home to around 18% of the world’s population that lives in approximately 2.6% (China is 6%)  
of the total land mass of the earth, with a population density of 350 people per square kilometre. There  
is a tremendous pressure on all resources, none more so than that which sustains life itself — water.  
One man was killed and about a dozen injured in a violent protest on Thursday against water cuts in  
India’s largest city after the worst monsoon in nearly four decades left Mumbai authorities scrambling  
to ration supplies.  
Objectives of study  
To study the concept of water pricing  
To study the effects/benefits of water pricing  
Mehta Vishal, Social Ecology of Domestic Water Use in Bangalore, Economic & Political Weekly,  
vol XLVIII no. 15, April 13, 2013.  
Dipak Kumar Dash 22 of India’s 32 Big Cities Face Water Crisis Times of India, Sep 9, 2013  
Harini Calamur, In a water-scarce world, every drop counts, DNA Thursday, Apr 4, 2013.  
Mark, “One Killed in Mumbai Water Shortage Protest”, The Global Warming Foundation, December  
, 2009  
Water Pricing  
Water pricing is a method/ tool to maintain the long term sustainability of water. It is also a method to  
recover the minimum cost of supply of water and cost of treatment of waste water.  
Model 1.1  
Principles of water price  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Need for Water Pricing  
The over use and misuse of water can be observed in various human activities. Due to intermittent  
water supply system. It is normal practice of every household to store more water than needed. When  
fresh water to be stored, the old stock of previous day is just thrown away to empty the containers.  
Unnecessary keeping the water tap ruuing, while bathing, shaving and so on, is a common feature.  
Leakage from water mains, feeder lines and public and private taps is a common and neglected  
phenomenon. It is estimated that, on an average, for domestic use about 20-50 per cent water is  
wasted in urban areas such as Mumbai 2 ( Water and enviornment, Mhahrashtra Development Report  
2007, p.g. 365). The following table explain the minimum tariff on water charge by municipal corporation.  
Table 1  
Mumbai: Water Tariff Structure  
Water Charges  
Rs/1,000 litres)  
Domestic - Stand Post  
Buildings & Chawls  
Halls, Hospitals, Playgrounds, Swimming Pools etc  
Industries, Dhobi Ghats, Government Premises, etc.  
Refineries, Airports, Public Sector Undertakings, etc.  
Race Courses & Star Hotels  
Source- Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai 2002  
In Mumbai, consumers have to pay water as per the meter. Water charges is unrelated to water  
consumption. Further,in Mumbai, water is supplied at very low rate. The tariff charged from high  
income group is as low as lower income group. The lower income groups residing in slums are  
paying very high price for water as they purchase water from unauthorized source. The water pricing  
is needed to sustain fresh water for longer period. Water pricing will reduce the wastage of  
water.Further there is need to change the social –political view about the water pricing in India.  
Previously water tariff was very low because water is precious now water must be priced high as  
water is precious.  
Model 1. 2  
Status of water  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Mehta Vishal, “Social Ecology of Domestic Water Use in Bangalore”, Economic & Political Weekly,  
vol XLVIII no. 15, April 13, 2013.  
Vaidyanathan A. “Use and Abuse of Poverty Line”, Economic & Political Weekly, vol XLVIII no. 44,  
November 2, 2013.  
Patnak Utsa, “Poverty Trends in India 2004-05 to 2009-10”, Economic & Political Weekly, vol XLVIII  
no. 40, October 5, 2013.  
Dipak Kumar Dash, “22 of India’s 32 Big Cities Face Water Crisis”, Times of India, Sep 9, 2013  
Harini Calamur, ‘In a Water-Scarce World, Every Drop Counts’, DNA Thursday, Apr 4, 2013  
Meena Panickar, ‘State Responsibility in The Drinking Water Sector- An Overview of The Indian  
Scenario’, IELRC working paper 2007-06.  
Colin McFarlane, Renu Desai, and Stephen Graham, ‘Water Wars in Mumbai’, Public Culture, volume  
5, November 2013.  
Human Development report Maharashtra—2002, Government of Maharashtra, Mumbai, India  
World Resources Institute (1997) World resources 1996–97: a guideto the global environment, New  
Abdul Shaban, ‘Water Poverty in Urban India: A Study of Major Cities’, Seminar Paper UGC-Summer  
Programme (June 30- July 19, 2008)  
Sule Surekha, ‘Understanding our civic issues - mumbai’s water supply Mark, one killed in Mumbai  
Water Shortage Protest, The Global Warming Foundation, December 8, 2009.  
Dr. Rashmi Maurya : Assistant Professor, Dept. of Accountancy, K.P.B. Hinduja College of  
Dr. Kanchan Dutt : Associate Professor, Dept. of Commerce, Shailendra College of Arts, Commerce  
Science, Mumbai