Water Resources Regulation in India
The water sector in India has always been plagued by multiple challenges such as inefficient use of water resources, conflicts between various categories of water users, inadequacy of funds to complete resource development projects, fiscal issues in meeting operational and maintenance costs from water tariff revenue and lack of a uniform approach in water planning and development. These challenges have necessitated an assessment of the existing approach to water governance and formulation of a new water policy. The Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) was set up as an independent regulatory authority to pioneer the water sector reforms in India. Within a short span of time, the Maharashtra model for governance of water resources has been emulated by other states like Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh among others. Moreover, in 2011, the Planning Commission of India, proposed a model state water regulatory system, similar to the MWRRA. However, despite the uniqueness of the MWRRA model, its implementation has faced several challenges in the last decade of its existence. A review of the functioning of the MWRRA is, therefore, imperative if this model is to be scaled up on a nationwide level.