The World Bank's Executive Board of Directors has approved a $363 million loan to the state of Karnataka in India. The loan aims to provide two million rural households with clean drinking water through piped water connections. The loan has a maturity of 13.5 years, including a grace period of two years.
The World Bank-supported Karnataka Sustainable Rural Water Supply Program will support the Government of Karnataka's ambition to provide functioning tap water connections to every rural household in the state. These initiatives are anticipated to increase the overall operational effectiveness of providing services for rural water supply.
Clean Drinking Water for Rural Households
The loan aims to support Karnataka's goal of providing functioning tap water connections to every rural household in the state. The assistance will help enhance the capacity of rural local governments to manage water supply services efficiently, directly benefiting women who bear the biggest burden of fetching water. The program will provide women with better health and more time to pursue education and formal jobs.
Reviving Rural Water Reservoirs
Under the program, around 500 rural water reservoirs in seven water-stressed districts will be revived to increase water storage capacity and groundwater recharge. According to the World Bank, almost 77% of Karnataka is arid or semi-arid and is vulnerable to climate-change-related variable rainfall causing droughts and floods.
Operational Effectiveness of Rural Water Supply
Despite progress in rural water supply over the previous decade, inadequate capacity at the local and village levels has caused setbacks. The Bank's Program will assist the state government in enacting legislation and launching initiatives that produce tangible results. These initiatives are anticipated to increase the overall operational effectiveness of providing services for rural water supply.
Mapping Climate Change Vulnerability
A recent report by Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) warned that 17 districts in Karnataka are highly vulnerable to water crises. The report titled 'Mapping Climate Change Vulnerability: An assessment of water resources sector across different districts of Karnataka' warned policymakers about the dangers ahead. Simulated models based on an optimistic global emission scenario hinted at large-scale changes.