Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Water Resources
11-March-2011 16:20 IST
Measures Initiated by The Government to Check Unsustainable Over-Extraction of Ground Water
The annual extraction of groundwater in the country is by far the highest in the world and the growing dependence on ground water has led to over unsustainable / over extraction which is lowering the water table in many parts of the country. Giving this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Shri Vincent H. Pala, Minister of State for Water Resources, said that to check this the measures initiated by the Government in the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) are :

(i) Artificial recharge projects are being taken up under the ongoing Central Sector Scheme of Ground Water Management & Regulation in priority areas viz. over-exploited and critical assessment units, urban areas etc.

(ii) Scheme of Dug well recharge was implemented during 2007-10 in Over- exploited, Critical and Semi-Critical assessment units of seven States viz. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, underlain predominantly by hard rock terrain, to provide sustainability to the dugwells.

(iii) Various activities including mass awareness campaigns, training programmes, workshops, painting competitions etc, have been organized under the scheme of Information, Education & Communication of Ministry of Water Resources.

(iv) Ministry of Water Resources has instituted Bhoomijal Samvardhan Puraskars & National Water Award to encourage adoption of innovative practices of ground water augmentation and artificial recharge through people's participation. The awards aim to encourage the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)/ Gram Panchayats/ Urban Local Bodies (for population up to 1 lakh)/ Institutions/ Corporate Sector and Individuals for adopting innovative practices of ground water augmentation by rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge, promoting water use efficiency, recycling & re-use of water and creating awareness through people's participation in the targeted areas resulting into the sustainability of ground water resources.

(v) The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has directed all the Residential Group Housing Societies/ Institutions/Schools/ Hotels/ Industrial Establishments falling in the over-exploited and critical areas (Except in the water logged areas) in the country to adopt Roof Top Rain Water harvesting systems in their premises.

(vi) The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has issued directions to Heads of Central Road Research Institute, National Highway Authority of India, Central Public Works Department, Railway Board, Sports Authority, Airports Authority of India, Civil Aviation, Youth Affairs & Sports to implement the Scheme of Ground Water Recharge along all National/State Highways and other roads, railway tracks and other establishments of Railways, all stadia and airports.

(vii) The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) is not giving permission on extraction of Ground water for commercial activities in notified over exploited areas.