Rural Water Supply Departmentwas formulated during the year 1997 by the Government of Andhra Pradesh creating separate divisions of Rural Water Supply since a number of villages are still to be provided with quality drinking water ,Prior to 1997,the PR Engineering Department used to look after the water supply besides PR engineering works program and after separation

Panchayat Raj Rural development Engineering service gets bifurcated into Panchayat Raj Engineering service and Rural water Supply Engineering Service during the Year 2007 and deemed to have been created with effect from 1.4.2008 .

It functions directly under the Ministry of Rural water Supply with Principal Secretary to Government (RWS) as its administrative head and Engineer-in-Chief as its technical head. 

The Drinking Water Supply is a very important issue as over 80% of health problems are due to consumption of unsafe water and increasing health awareness among the rural public, underlines the additional attention to be paid to the subject. Hence, one of the most important programs of the Government is the provision of safe drinking water to the rural population.

(II) Work Programs (Schemes):

Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWS) :

Though rural water supply is a State subject, but considering the magnitude of the problem and to accelerate the pace of coverage, Government of India introduced ARWSP in 1972-73 to assist the States and Union Territories with 100% grant-in-aid. The programme continued till 1973-74 and then temporarily withdrawn. The ARWSP was however reintroduced by Government of India in 1977-78 .

Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission (RGNDWM):

The second generation programme was launched in 1991-92 as Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission. With the involvement of community in planning, implementation and management of drinking water supply schemes the Sector Reform Projects came up in 1999-2000 as third generation programme which later turned to Swajaldharain 2002.

State Water and Sanitation  Mission(SWSM) :

The autonomous body of SWSM was established as per the Government of India guidelines and the Department requirement to accelerate all-round development of the Rural are by providing connectivity and other infrastructure. Reforminitiates to create awareness among the Rural Population in implementation of schemes to provide Dirking Water and Sanitation facilities, the SWSM is undertaking programs Viz ARWSP, TSC, Swajaladhara etc. 

National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) :

                        Rural drinking water supply facilities are being looked after by RWS&S organization . However, the management of drinking water supply projects has been transferred to PRIs w.e.f. 21st Oct, 2006 for their management, operation and maintenance. Mostly, provision of drinking water supply to the rural population is made through hand pump tube wells and piped water supply schemes. Under the modified NRDWP programme, the drinking water supply projects are implemented under the following components:

Coverage-   Priority has been given to provide safe drinking water to “Not Covered” (NC) habitations followed by coverage of “Partially Covered”(PC) habitations. 45% of the annual NRDWP funds is earmarked for this purpose which is spent for PWS schemes alongwithinstallation of Spot Sources ( Hand pump tube wells/sanitary wells). The Govt. of India & State Govt.share the cost in the ratio of 50:50.

Water Quality-  To provide safe alternative sources of drinking water supply in quality affected habitations, priority has been accorded to  Fluoride affected habitations followed by salinity and iron contamination. 20% of the annual NRDWP funds is earmarked for this purpose. The sharing of cost between Govt. of India & State Govt is in the ratio of 50:50.

Sustainability (Swajaladhara mode) – To encourage community participation for sustainability of water supply sources and systems, these schemes are implemented in broad Swajaladhara principle. 20% of the NRDWP fund is earmarked for this purpose. That apart, recharging of ground water is also a very important component.

Support activities- Water quality monitoring and surveillance (Water testing laboratories), communication and capacity development ( CCDU), Management of Information System (MIS) & Computerization are also essential activities. 5% of NRDWP fund is earmarked for this purpose.

O&M- 10% of NRDWP fund can be utilized for operation and maintenance of existing rural water supply systems which are yet to be transferred to the PRIs for a varieties of reasons. But the sharing of cost between Central Govt. and State Govt. will be in the ratio of 50:50.


The concept of sanitation was expanded to include personal hygiene, home sanitation, safe water, garbage disposal, excreta disposal and waste water disposal. With this broader concept of sanitation, CRSP adopted a “demand driven” approach with the name “Total Sanitation Campaign” (TSC) with effect from 1999. The revised approach emphasized more on Information, Education and Communication (IEC), Human Resource Development, Capacity Development activities to increase awareness among the rural people and generation of demand for sanitary facilities. This enhanced people’s capacity to choose appropriate options through alternate delivery mechanisms as per their economic condition. The Programme was implemented with focus on community-led and people centered initiatives. Financial incentives were provided to Below Poverty Line (BPL)  and some categories in Above Poverty Line (APL) households for construction and usage of individual household latrines (IHHL) in recognition of their achievements. Assistance was also extended for construction of school toilet units, Anganwadi toilets and Community Sanitary Complexes (CSC) apart from undertaking activities under Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM).

            To give a fillip to the TSC, Government of India also launched the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) that sought to recognise the achievements and efforts made in ensuring full sanitation coverage. The award gained immense popularity and contributed effectively in bringing about a movement in the community for attaining the Nirmal Status thereby significantly adding to the achievements made for increasing the sanitation coverage in the rural areas of the country.

Encouraged by the success of NGP, the TSC is being renamed as “Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan” (NBA). The objective is to accelerate the sanitation coverage in the rural areas so as to comprehensively cover the rural community through renewed strategies and saturation approach. Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (NBA) envisages covering the entire community for saturated outcomes with a view to create Nirmal Gram Panchayats with following priorities:

  1. Provision of Individual Household Latrine (IHHL) of both Below Poverty Line (BPL) and Identified Above Poverty Line (APL) households within a Gram Panchayat (GP).
  2. Gram Panchayats where all habitations have access to water to be taken up. Priority may be given to Gram Panchayats having functional piped water supply.
  3. Provision of sanitation facilities in Government Schools and Anganwadis in Government buildings within these GPs.
  4. Solid and Liquid Waste Management (SLWM) for proposed and existing Nirmal Grams.
  5. Extensive capacity building of the stake holders like Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Village Water and Sanitation Committees (VWSCs) and field functionaries for sustainable sanitation.
  6. Appropriate convergence with MNREGS with unskilled man-days and skilled man-days.


The Guidelines of NBA and the provisions hereunder are applicable with effect from 01.04.2012. Implementation of NBA is proposed with ‘Gram Panchayat ‘as the base unit. A project proposal that emanates from a district is scrutinized and consolidated by the State Government and transmitted to the Government of India (Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation) as a State Plan. NBA is to be implemented in phases with start-up activities. Funds are to be made available for preliminary IEC work. The physical implementation gets oriented towards satisfying the felt-needs, wherein individual households choose from a menu of options for their household latrines. The built-in flexibility in the menu of options gives the poor and the disadvantaged families opportunity for subsequent upgradation depending upon their requirements and financial position. In the “campaign approach”, a synergistic interaction between the Government agencies and other stakeholders is essential. To bring about the desired behavioural changes for relevant sanitary practices, intensive IEC and advocacy, with participation of NGOs/Panchayati Raj Institutions/resource organizations is envisaged.

Rural Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance :

Govt. has made significant interventions to improve the availability of drinking water in rural areas. Activities relating to water quality were limited to testing of water sources at the time of commissioning the PWS projects and provision of alternative water supply through Sub-Mission projects for areas where occurrence of Fluoride, salinity and Iron in ground water is beyond the permissible limit. The above programme would be implemented at three levels i.e the State level, District level and G.P. level.

To detect the contamination in water all the District level laboratories and State Level Laboratories have been provided with additional building infrastructures, State of Art, equipment, computers etc. All the District Level Laboratories have been provided with new equipment, furniture etc. The District level laboratories have been computerized providing necessary facilities. The FTKs have already been provided at the GP level to test the water samples at village level.

All flood affected areas will be covered with raised platform tube wells in a phased manner.

Steps have been taken to cover all GP HQRs with piped water supply. The habitations where PWS projects having no overhead tanks will be provided with storage based stand posts  of 2000 ltr /1000 ltr.

Administrative Setup:

The organization has established the following offices across the State in order to accomplish the organizational objectives.

  • Head office @ State Level (Engineer-in-Chief/Chief Engineer)
  • Circle office @ District Level(Superintending Engineer)
  • Division Office @ Division Level (Executive Engineer)
  • Sub-Division Office @ Constituency Level  (Deputy Executive Engineer)
  • Section Office @ Mandal Level (Assistant Executive Engineer/Asst. Engineer).