Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Water Resources
09-December-2010 14:10 IST
Management of Ground Water
The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) under the Ministry of Water Resources has reported that decline in ground water levels in an area is a cumulative effect of ground water withdrawal for all purposes including domestic, industrial as well as agricultural sectors. As per assessment carried out by CGWB in association with the State Ground Water Departments, the share of agriculture in total ground water used in the country is 92%. Remaining 8% is used in domestic and industrial sectors.

The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) is regulating withdrawal of ground water by new industries/projects in over-exploited, critical and semi-critical areas. The CGWA has issued guidelines for withdrawal of ground water in these areas and requested the State Governments to implement these guidelines. They have ‘notified’ 43 areas for regulation of ground water development and decentralized their regulatory powers to district level authorities for grant of permission for extraction of ground water for drinking and domestic use in these areas. Complaints of violations of norms in notified areas are referred to the Authorized officers for taking actions under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

However, the Ministry of Water Resources has circulated a Model Bill on Regulation and Control of the Development and Management of Ground Water to the States/Union Territories for enactment of suitable legislation on the lines of the Model Bill. The ground water legislation has been enacted by 11 States/Union Territories viz. Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep, Kerala, Pondicherry, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. 19 States/UTs are in the process of enactment of legislation. Remaining States/UTs have also been requested to enact similar legislation.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Water Resources, Shri Vincent H. Pala in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.