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Composite Water Management Index (CWMI)


Conservation related topics.


Composite Water Management Index (CWMI)


What to study?

For Prelims: CWMI- key features, best and worst performing states.

For Mains: Water crisis- concerns, challenges and solutions.


ContextNITI Aayog has released its report on Composite Water Management Index (CWMI).

About CWMI:

  1. The Composite Water Management Index report is a step in a direction that aims to create awareness among people and governments about the realities of water crisis in the country.
  2. CWMI aims to enable effective water management in Indian states in the face of this growing crisis.
  3. The index would provide useful information for the states and concerned Central ministries and departments enabling them to formulate and implement suitable strategies for better management of water resources.
  4. NITI Aayog has ranked all states in the index on the composite water management, comprising 9 broad sectors with 28 different indicators covering various aspects of ground water, restoration of water bodies, irrigation, farm practices, drinking water, policy and governance.


Key performers:

  1. Gujarat is ranked one in the reference year (2017-18).
  2. It is followed byAndhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. 
  3. In North Eastern and Himalayan States, Himachal Pradesh has been adjudged number 1 in 2017-18 followed by Uttarakhand, Tripura and Assam.
  4. The Union Territories have first time submitted their data and Puducherry has been declared as the top ranker.
  5. In terms of incremental change in index (over 2016-17 level), Haryana holds number one position in general States and Uttarakhand ranks at first position amongst North Eastern and Himalayan States.
  6. On an average, 80% of the states assessed on the Index over the last three years have improved their water management scores, with an average improvement of +5.2 points.


Key findings and concerns:

  1. Even as states are making progress in water management, the overall performance remains well below what is required to adequately tackle India’s water challenges.
  2. Of the 25 states and two union territories, assessed in the CWMI, 80 per cent have improved their water management scores, with an average improvement of more than 5.2 points. But, 16 states still score less than 50 points on the index (out of 100) and fall in the low-performing category. 
  3. The low-performing states, which include Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Delhi, Rajasthan, Nagaland and Meghalaya, collectively account for around 48 per cent of the population, 40 per cent of agricultural produce and 35 per cent of economic output of India.
  4. The report cautioned that urban hubs are likely to witness severe water shortages in the future. This which could risk growth and reduce quality of life for citizens in urban areas.


Need of the hour:

The states must improve water management practices so that the country can provide its citizens with better quality of life, support economic growth and sustain its ecosystem.


Way ahead:

  • Water scarcity is one of the biggest problems the country is facing today and that more than the scarcity of water, it is an issue of management of water resources.
  • Water management is often currently viewed as a zero-sum game by states due to limited frameworks for inter-state and national management. However, Centre-state and inter-state cooperation can help address the issue.
  • There is a need to reward those states which are doing well in managing their water resources and also to bring in the public domain the names of those states which are not managing their resources properly.