National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP)

Ques. Describe the salient features, objectives and vision of National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).

National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development.

National Goal:

The National Goal of the programme is to provide every rural person with adequate safe water for drinking, cooking and other domestic basic needs on a sustainable basis.


Safe drinking water for all, at all times, in rural India

Components of the NRDWP:

  1. Coverage for providing safe and adequate drinking water supply to unserved, partially served and slipped-back habitations,
  2. Sustainability to encourage States to achieve drinking water security at the local level,
  3. Provide potable drinking water to Quality-affected habitations,
  4. Desert Development Programme (DDP) areas to tackle the extreme conditions of low rainfall and poor water availability,
  5. Mitigate drinking water problems in rural areas in the wake of Natural Calamities,
  6. Operation & Maintenance (O&M) for expenditure on running, repair and replacement costs of drinking water supply projects and
  7. Support activities.

Criteria for allocation of funds to the States under the NRDWP:


What is safe drinking water?

 Safe drinking water should have the following characteristics:

  • Colourless
  • Odorless
  • Free from bacteriological contamination
  • Free from chemical contamination.

Norm for potable drinking water:

The basic minimum level of potable drinking water supply is :

(a) 40 liters of safe drinking water per capita per day (lpcd) for humans.

(b) Water source within the habitation/within 500 m distance from the household or 30 min of time taken for fetching water.


Involvement of PRIs

  • As per the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution, the responsibility for drinking water may be devolved to the panchayati raj institutions (PRIs).
  • In many States, rural drinking water schemes have been transferred to PRIs for operation and maintenance. To encourage this aspect and involve PRIs in O&M, the Government of India has revised its guidelines for the rural water supply scheme to provide for a 10% weightage in allocation of funds to States. This weightage is given for the rural population managing their water supply schemes.
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