- In order to comply with various directions of the Hon’ble NGT and to address various shortcomings in the existing guidelines of ground water extraction, the Central Ground Water Authority, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on 12th December 2018 notified revised guidelines for ground water extraction vide notification S.O. No. 6140 (E), which will be effective from 1st June 2019. The revised guidelines aim to ensure a more robust ground water regulatory mechanism in the country.
Details about the guideline:
- India is the largest user of ground water in the world, extracting about 25% of the global ground water extraction.
- Ground water extraction in India is regulated by Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986.
- Ground water is primarily extracted for irrigation in agricultural activities, accounting for 90% of the annual ground water extraction and remaining 10% is for drinking & domestic as well as industrial uses.
- Central Government has recently notified the revised ground water extraction guidelines which will be effective from June, 2019.
- The most important feature of the revised guideline is the introduction of the concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF).
- The WCF payable varies with the category of the area, type of industry and the quantum of ground water extraction.
- WCF is designed to progressively increase from safe to over-exploited areas and from low to high water consuming industries as well as with increasing quantum of ground water extraction.
- The high rates of WCF is to discourage packaged drinking water units in over-exploited areas and a deterrent to large scale ground water extraction.
- The guideline also encourages use of recycled and treated sewage water by industries.
- It exempted the requirement of No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for various following fields,
- Agricultural users,
- Users employing non-energised means to extract water,
- Individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe)
- Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment or during mobilization in forward locations.
- Strategic and operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defence and Paramilitary Forces Establishments and
- Government water supply agencies.