The NITI Aayog has recently released a Composite Water Management Index (CWMI) report – an assessment of states’ progress in water resource management. The report’s larger goal, as it says is will help to “...enable effective water management in Indian states in the face of this growing [water] crisis.” How will the CWMI help in achieving the stated goal is not clear yet. This has allowed speculations about its significance in the background of the 15th Finance Commission’s terms of reference suggesting the possibility of attaching states’ financial allocations to their respective ‘performance indicators.’ Irrespective of how far these speculations hold good, the exercise of assessing performance of states in water resource management is a significant step in federal governance of water resources.
This Roundtable consultation is aimed at brainstorming the report, its intent, and implications for federal governance of water resources. NITI Aayog will be making the opening presentation at the roundtable. The Roundtable will address the following questions: