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Audit of Water and Water issues

Water is an essential thing for life.

Without water life is impossible
How much water is required per person per
As per universal standards(Average)
* For drinking 5 litres
* sanitation 20 litres
* Bathing 15
* Food preparation 10
Geography of water
Major Stocks of Water Volume: %of
(1000km) water

Salt water:

Oceans 1,338000 96.54

saline/backish Gr. Water 12,870 0.93

salt water lakes 85 0.016

Fresh Water
Glaciers, permt. Gr. Water 24,064 68.7
Fresh ground water 10,530 30.6
Ground ice, permafrost 300 0.86
Fresh water lakes 91 0.26
Soil moisture 16.5 0.05
Atmosph. Water vapor 12.9 0.04
Marshes wet lands 11.5 0.03
Rivers 2.12 0.006
Incorporated in biota 1.12 0.003

Some facts on fresh water
Only 2.5 % of the total water on earth is fresh water: the usable portion
is only 1 %
About one third of the worlds population lives in countries where
water stress persists
About 80 countries 40% of the worlds population suffering from
water shortages
By 2025 two thirds of the world population may suffer from serious
water problems
Still, I.I billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.4
billion lack access to proper sanitation
Agriculture accounts for more than 70% of the fresh water
In return they give back 40% of the worlds food production

Fewer than 35% of the cities in the developing world treat their waste
Many countries lack adequate legislation and policies for efficient
water management
Water is widely shared among nations, religions, groups and
A total of 261 rivers are shared by 2 or more countries and which
makes the management of trans boundary water resources one of the
most important water issues to day
Water management problems
There is sufficient water in the world.
It is not managed well
Water security was a subject to all the world
countries during the World summit, 2002
Water policy is required by all the nations
SAIs can play a pro active role in auditing the
But SAIs shy away from this because they do not
want to comment on the water policy.

Water policy
Salient features of water policy
Water pricing
Water legislation
Inspection and enforcement
Investment in infrastructure
Scientific research
Providing information to public
Monitoring and evaluation
Water-International issues
No. of International Agreements
Subject No.
Water Resources and Conservation Management 20
Desertification 6
Sea Water quality and Pollution 91
Marine resources conservation and management 32
Fishing management and the use of harvestable fish 54

Audit issues of water
SAIs Audit Reports cover:
Water quality
Rivers & Lakes,
Drinking water &Sanitation,
Water in relation to nature & biodiversity,
Marine environment

Water Quality
Related with financial issues as well as
water issues.
Absence of policy for clean water to the
Environmental programmes for

Types of Audit
Many laws are existing for water pollution
Laws are made to comply with International
Audit of such compliance will be one method
Performance appraisal of water management
Regularity audit and Performance audit can be the
methods of audits.

Absence of policy
Absence of reliable and sufficient policy for
water issues is another area of audit
The type of audit would be compliance in
The environmental degradation due to
absence of proper policy will be highlighted
Rivers and lakes
Rivers and lakes provide a wide variety of
environmental problems
Pollution of the rivers and the lakes poses risk to
the lives of the fauna/flora in the lakes and the
It also gives risk to the area or the river banks due
to contact of the polluted water.
The plants and the agriculture on the rivers and
river banks get affected by the polluted water that
This is another environmental issue of
Flood protection system, flood prevention
etc are matters of financial concerns
Programme evaluation of the flood control
and emergency plans etc. will be a subject
matter for Performance type off audit.
Drinking water and sanitation
This is the most common factor and most
important one.
Lot of world population is devoid of access to
clean drinking water
Masses from the rural areas lack facility for
potable water for household purposes.
The massive amount required to be spent to
bring water to the population is some times
criticized by the SAIs

Sanitation and environment are connected
Un hygienic conditions in the environment
create environmental problems
Sanitation is also a matter which will
require lot of funds for implementation.
It is therefore, both performance audit as
well as regularity Audit.
Marine environment
More than one country is involved
Marine issues are therefore, complex in
nature and resolved through International
Marine issues affect the flora and fauna of
the seas.
It affects the countries where the sea
Marine water audits
As the subject the audit is also complex.
Therefore, more than 1 SAI is engaged in
the audits of marine issues.
Joint audits of water issues
Audits relate to compliance, financial and
Audit of water- Indian
The audit of water issues in India is done as
per the provisions of various Acts and rules
passed by the Legislatures and the
Legislative compliance is itself an audit.
The Water(Prevention and Control of
Pollution) Act, 1974 is the first Act to
address the issues regarding water in India.
Section 3 of the Act
Under Sn. 3 of the Act, Central Government
to constitute a Central Pollution Control
Under Sn. 4 of the Act, State Pollution
Control Board to be set up.
Sn. 18 of the Act, Central Govt. to get the
work of the State done through Central
Board in the event of failure of State Boards
Functions of the Central/State
Planning comprehensive programmes for
prevention,control,abatement of pollution of
streams and wells in the States
Collection and dissemination of information
relating to water pollution and prevention
Inspection of sewage/trade effluents
Laying down standards for treatment of
sewage and trade effluents
Audit issues in water
SPCBs are required to issue consent letter to
polluting industries for commencement and
continuance of operations
They are required to take effective action against
the industries which do not install control
mechanisms for prevention of pollution
They are required to inspect the polluting
industries regularly. Targets are fixed by the
Drinking water supply to have certain
parameters: SPCBS are to check this.
Proper sewage system in cities is an
environmental issue. The boards to ensure this
Untreated effluent not to mix with the water
Domestic sewage from Municipal areas also
not to mix
Funds for implementation of
Environmental programmes are budgeted
and the funds are drawn by the Boards for
implementation of various programmes
Amounts unspent becomes less
implementation of environmental
Audit to verify the budget and actual
expenditure for any gap
Environmental activities have to be
monitored by the Government for proper
Such a monitoring is absent in many of the
State Govts.
Absence of MIS on Environmental issues
will give thrust to the Audit coverage and
Some facts about the
Environmental Auditing in India.
In the AR 2001 of the MOEF, audit reported that:
Only a meagre amount of Rs.3 crore was spent
against a provision of Rs.12.75 cr.
As of April 2000 Rs.145.95 cr.was lying unspent
with SPCBs
Absence of mechanism to ensure that Industrial
units operate after getting consent letters from
SPCBs failed to take action against faulting
industries which did not install ETPs

Non achieving of targets of inspection
Drinking water not meeting the requisite
Inadequate sewerage facilities resulted in
pollution of water and discharge of untreated
water in the water bodies posing health hazards
Dumping of Municipal waste resulted in
polluting the area and air
Major failures in complying with the Water
Act, 1974

Water Audit Checks
Audit of water issues to be conducted through
PCBs are the regulating authorities.
PCBs have to visit industries/factories to
ascertain proper implementation of provisions
of Water Act
They have to issue consent to commence
They have to issue consent letter to continue
Water quality
Water quality of the various uses has to be
Water has to be wholesome
Drinking water has to be clear, free from
Industrial water has also be of certain
Depending up on the quality of water the uses
have to be fixed
Drinking water has to be of certain quality in
terms of contamination and pH value
Even the industrial water has to be of certain
If the water used in industries is not of the
quality the plant and machinery may get
affected.They may get corrosion
This applies to the water pipe line that
brings water to the plant and the house
If the water is having high or low pH value
it may become acidic or alkaline.
The water piping system therefore, gets
corroded and water will be lost in transit
causing losses.
How the quality is assured
PCBs test the water quality frequently to
ascertain the quality
In industries, the water is tested at definite
The water that is being discharged to the
water system is also tested.
Water quality is maintained by constructing
The PCBs check the quality of water that is
If the quality is not as per standard the water
has to be treated before it is discharged into the
water system so that no further epidemic like
problems are not there.
If chemicals are discharged before treating they
affect the system and the land, flora/fuana of
the river, lakes etc also get affected
Water from the factories are tested at the
end to see if it is fit to be discharged
Otherwise, the water has to be treated
before it is discharged.
ETPS are used to purify the mixed water so
that treated water is recycled for either
industrial use or for gardening use etc.
SOP concept also helps reduce the wastage
Water recycle
Water is drawn from water system for
Water is treated for drinking purposes
Local bodies assures the quality
The water is treated with disinfectants
PCBs have to see whether the
measurements of the chemicals used is as
per standards fixed or not
Audit of quality
Audit has to verify whether the required
quality is maintained or not
pH value is maintained or not
Wholesome water pH is 5.5
Lesser than 5.5 acidic
PCBs ascertain the pH value and grade
Drinking water of acidic nature if allowed
affects human health, corrosion of piping and
the storage system
To ascertain whether the country has any
obligation under the International Accords.
Whether the PCB has fixed the toxic level of
ground water/River water/Lakes etc.
Whether the country/State has adequate
arrangement for the supply of Drinking water,
Industrial water, etc.
Whether water recycling is resorted to or not

What is marine degradation of water?
How does it affect the mankind and marine
How are the water issues solved by the
What are the Legislative measures to address
the water issues?
What are the methods to finance water projects
in the country?
How are they collected? How are they spent?
How is ground water protected/de-polluted?
Water policy-whether existing in a particular
state/Region or not?
Whether the country has evolved a water policy
for the country? If so, what are the key factors?
What are the methods of water pricing?
What are the pollution control rules in force in
the country/region and local area level?
What are the problems associated with river
Whether the entity/country has any disaster
recovery programme for drought/flood? If so,
have they been documented, declared?
Who are the key players in the water issues ?
Are they been regulated?
What are the problems associated with marine
How water is shared among various states,
and what are the policies?
What are the policies for irrigation?
How water distribution is regulated at the
programme level?
For the access of safe water and sanitation is
necessary infrastructure in poison and
efficiently working particularly in urban and
rural areas?
What are the machinery to ensure the efficient
and equitable allocation of water resources?
Do these machinery have a clear cut agenda
and the time frame to implement the
Have they been declared and documented
What are the machinery in position to
ensure protection of water resources from
depletion, pollution and degradation by
promoting low cost, upgradable
technologies for sanitary waste; recycling
and reuse of industrial and domestic waste
water and solid waste; protection of existing

What are the agencies, their mechanisms and
efficiency in the control of water associated
What are the action plans for improving water
supply for irrigation, livestock water supply,
inland fisheries and agro forestry?
Are these managed efficiently for conservation
and scientific distribution and management?

Have the water preservation techniques been
perfected and the population educated? What
are the plans in this regard and are these
efficiently implemented?
Have the problems involved in water pollution
been studied in depth, systems and polluting
agents identified for addressing them in various
Whether action like legal remedy, imposition of
fine or cancellation of licenses, criminal action,
social education, roping of social organizations
or NGOs etc. thought of and properly
integrated in the policy paper?
Is there any provision for the research in
control, measures in various matters
concerning water pollution control, how are
the research agencies selected, funds
provided, programmes monitored, results
utilized, and patents obtained where
Collect the various policy declarations of the
Government as to its strategy to deal with
water pollution, sustenance of water resources,
water sharing, water pricing etc, to frame the
audit approach.
Get the detailed actions plans and programmes
prepared and proposed for implementation.
Conduct the usual regularity, financial
propriety and Performance audit of these
Examine the various statues to identify the
objectives, responsibilities and mandates of the
Governments, CPCB, SPCBs, etc particularly
the following acts and programmes
River Boards Act, 1956
Inter State Water Disputes Act, 1956
Irrigation Commissions (1901, 1972)
Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme
(1972 73)
Drought Prone Area Programme (1973)

The water (Prevention and Control of
Pollution Act) 1974
Command Area Development Programme
1974 75
The Water Cess Act, 1977
Setting up of National Water Resources
Council 1983
Centrally Sponsored Rural Sanitation
Programme 1986
Environmental Protection Act 1986
and 74
amendments to the
Constitution of India 1992, 1993
National Lake Conservation Plan 1993
Setting up of National River Conservation
Directorate 1995
Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme
National Water Policy 2002
Go though the various Audit Reports of Union
Government as well as the State Governments
to see the reviews as well as the Draft paras
dealing with Environment issues, the PAC
reports and recommendations and use them as
guidelines for audit particularly for reviews.
Collect the various publications of the Ministry
of Environment and Forests to gather data
useful for audit approach and audit analysis.
See the cases of funding of specific projects or
programmes, the conditions, monitoring
mechanisms evaluation, analysis of results etc.
See the commitments made as per the
international Accords and see the various
reports, data and progress reports to evaluate
the impact as well as adherence to the
See the research programmes undertaken,
funding arrangements, mile stones of research,
results of research, publications, scope for
patents on certain techniques developed,
commercialization of viable research out come,