Revised Guidelines for Ground Water Extraction Notified (Download PDF)


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Central Ground Water Authority of Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation notified revised guidelines for ground water extraction. Guidelines were revised in wake of directions issued by National Green Tribunal (NGT) to address various shortcomings in existing guidelines of ground water extraction.

Image Of Ground Water Situation In India

Image Of Ground Water Situation In India

Image Of Ground Water Situation In India

Revised guidelines will be effective from 1st June, 2019. They aim to ensure more robust ground water regulatory mechanism in country.

Concept of Water Conservation Fee

  • One of imp. features of revised guidelines is introduction of concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF), fee charged on extraction of ground water.

  • WCF payable varies w/category of area, type of industry & quantum of ground water extraction.

  • Fee may progressively increase from safe to over-exploited areas & from low to high water consuming industries as well as w/increasing quantum of ground water extraction.

  • High rates of WCF are expected to discourage setting up of new industries in over-exploited & critical areas as well as may limit large scale ground water extraction by industries, especially in over-exploited & critical areas.

  • WCF would compel industries to adopt measures relating to water use efficiency & discourage growth of packaged drinking water units, particularly in over-exploited & critical areas.

Salient Features of Revised Guidelines

  • Encourage use of recycled & treated sewage water by industries

  • Provision of action against polluting industries

  • Mandatory requirement of digital flow meters, piezometers & digital water level recorders, w/or w/o telemetry depending upon quantum of extraction

  • Mandatory water audit by industries abstracting ground water 500 m3/day or more in safe & semi-critical area & 200 m3/day or more in critical & over-exploited assessment units

  • Mandatory roof top rain water harvesting except for specified industries

  • Measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of ground water contamination in premises of polluting industries/projects

Exemptions under Revised Guidelines

  • Revised guidelines exempt requirement of NOC for 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.

  • Other exemptions are granted to strategic & operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defence & Paramilitary Forces Establishments & Govt. water supply agencies.

Ground Water Extraction in India

  • Ground water extraction in India is primarily for irrigation in agricultural activities, accounting for nearly 228 BCM (Billion Cubic Meter), which amounts to 90 % of annual ground water extraction.

  • Remaining 10 % of extraction that is 25 BCM is for drinking, domestic as well as industrial uses.

  • Industrial use is estimated to account for only about 5 % of annual ground water extraction in country.

  • India is largest user of ground water in world, extracting ground water to tune of 253 BCM per year, which is about 25 % of global ground water extraction.

Categorisation of water extraction units

  • Out of total 6584 assessment units, 1034 are categorised as ‘Over-exploited’, 253 as ‘Critical’, 681 as ‘Semi-Critical’ & 4520 as ‘Safe’.

  • Remaining 96 assessment units are classified as ‘Saline’ due to non-availability of fresh ground water due to salinity problem.

Regulator of ground water extraction in India

  • Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), constituted under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, has mandate of regulating ground water development & management in country.

  • CGWA is regulating ground water development for its sustainable management in country thru measures such as issue of advisories, public notices, granting No Objection Certificates (NOC) for ground water withdrawal.

- Published/Last Modified on: February 26, 2019

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