Presently, 31.16% of the population of India (377 million) lives in urban areas of the country and is increasingly facing water scarcity. Urban local bodies are seeking to execute multiple programmes under various government schemes/programmes to address issues of service delivery, primarily in the sectors of water supply, wastewater management and solid waste management.
ICLEI South Asia is working towards building water secure communities at city level as well as at regional level under its agenda on building Resource-efficient City that goes beyond minimizing the use of natural resources, and is productive, competitive and sustainable. Resource-efficient cites - often called Eco-Cities - ensure that their socio-economic development is significantly decoupled from resource exploitation and ecological impacts. They accomplish this by minimizing the required inputs of all natural and human resources within their area, including water, air, soil, nutrients, minerals, materials, flora and fauna, ecosystem services, and social and financial resources, while avoiding their degradation and reducing waste generation. Productive cities go beyond improving the efficiency of current or future urban systems, including new cities or new urban developments, with the aim of becoming net productive systems in ecological, economic and social terms.
ICLEI South Asiapromotes integrated urban water management as an alternative approach to build water secure cities and to improve the quality and quantity of water along with the inter sectorial integration. ICLEI South Asia works with the Government of India (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs), local governments, the private sector and civil society groups to plan and promote efficient urban services, efficient water and waste water use, sustainable waste management and sustainable sanitation, thus improving health conditions, alleviating poverty and fostering the local economy.