States will be ranked annually from this fiscal on a Composite Water Management Index with 28 key performance indicators (KPIs) covering irrigation status, drinking water and other water-related sectors.

“A Cabinet note is ready. We will start from this fiscal year itself,” Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, told State representatives at a workshop here on Wednesday, adding that the data provided by States would be subjected to third party evaluation.

Iyer said the effort was essentially to reform rural water programmes along with urban ones. “We are trying to decide on allocation of resources for Centrally-sponsored schemes on a competitive basis, depending on outcomes.”

The index, developed by NITI Aayog after directions from the Prime Minister after his meeting with 13 Chief Ministers of drought-hit States last year, will form the basis of allocation of resources to Centrally-sponsored schemes.

NITI Aayog, meanwhile, has asked States to give their inputs at the earliest, as the index “will be frozen next week.”

Iyer, who was part of a top-level delegation to Israel recently, said Israel may also guide the whole business of water conservation and preservation in India.

Calling for “fixing institutions which fix the pipes rather than fix the pipes that supply water”, Iyer said: “Israel may provide technical expertise to Jal Nigams (State water boards). A meeting has already been held with the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister on Tuesday.”