The Center for Water and Sanitation (CWAS) undertakes active research, implementation support and capacity building initiatives in the field of urban water and sanitation. Acting as a thought catalyst and facilitator, CWAS works closely with city and state governments to support them in delivering water and sanitation services in an efficient, effective and equitable manner.

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ratified by all member countries, including India.  SDG 6 states “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”. CWAS strives to ensure that cities in India are able to meet SDG 6.

The Center was established in 2009 with a pioneering project of performance assessment of water and sanitation service delivery in Indian cities (PAS).  PAS has grown to cover 1000+ cities, enabling informed policy decisions and actions for improvement. Recent work of CWAS includes supporting the Govt. of Maharashtra in implementing the Swachh Bharat Mission. This also entails support to city governments to attain and maintain ‘open defecation free’ status and move beyond toilets to address entire sanitation service chain including safe management of waste-water with inclusive service delivery. With water re-emerging as a focus in development discourse, CWAS is also revisiting its efforts in water governance.

Key Themes and Initiatives:

Monitoring: Developing and implementing a Performance Assessment System for urban water and sanitation. More than 1000 cities in India of diverse geography and varied levels of development have used this online system as a self-assessment tool and track their performance level. Various decision support tools and improvement plans have been developed to assist local service providers.

Sanitation: Demonstrating sustainable and equitable sanitation solutions in small and medium cities that are scalable.  Supporting cities to become open defecation free (ODF) and move towards ODF+ and ODF++. Development of policies, guidelines and strategies for the effective implementation of sanitation programmes at city and state levels.

Water: Conducting studies and preparing tools and service level improvement plans for water secure cities. Collaborating with partners through a ‘water governance hub’ to provide technical support to local governments and other stakeholders for improved water governance.

Finance: Research and policy-advocacy on approaches for strengthening financial capacity of local governments. Exploring innovative financing methods for investments in urban sanitation.

Equity: Assessing equity in service delivery to urban poor, mainstreaming gender inclusivity in sanitation and ensuring safety and dignity of sanitation workers.


Performance Assessment for Urban Water and Sanitation (PAS)
Performance Assessment for Urban Water and Sanitation (PAS)

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
2009 - Ongoing | Capacity Building,Research

Technical support to the State Government of Maharashtra on urban sanitation and FSSM
Technical support to the State Government of Maharashtra on urban sanitation and FSSM

Govt. of Maharashtra, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
2019 - Ongoing | Capacity Building,Research

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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


  August 22, 2022
CWAS enhancing urban environment in Satara
  August 22, 2022
CWAS enhancing urban environment in Satara

CWAS, in partnership with HT Parekh Foundation, has supported the cities of Kolhapur and Satara in Maharashtra in implementing Faecal S...

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Center for Water and Sanitation

Near AES Boys Hostel Campus,
University Ground, Navrangpura,
Ahmedabad - 380 009

Phone: +91 7265800060
Fax: +91 7926302075