Measures taken to reduce ground water expolitation
Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has also been constituted under Section 3(3) of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to regulate indiscriminate ground water abstraction in the Country.
Excessive withdrawal of ground water for various purposes including irrigation, domestic and industrialization are some of the factors responsible for decline in ground water levels and in many areas ground water recharge is reduced due to varied & erratic rainfall pattern as well as change in land use. The Central Government has taken several steps to curb the underground water exploitation and for managing ground water level in the country:-
• Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has also been constituted under Section 3(3) of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to regulate indiscriminate ground water abstraction in the Country.
• As per Schedule-I of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the water conservation and water harvesting structures to augment ground water constitute a special focus area for MGNREGA works.
• During XI Plan, Demonstrative Artificial Recharge Projects were taken up under Central Sector Scheme "Ground Water Management & Regulation". The scheme on Artificial Recharge project under Ground Water Management & Regulation Scheme has been discontinued during the XII Plan period.
• A conceptual document entitled "Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Ground Water in India" has been prepared during the year 2013, which envisages construction of different types of Artificial Recharge and Rainwater Harvesting structures in the Country in an area of 9,41,541 sq.km for harnessing surplus monsoon runoff to augment ground water resources. The Master Plan has been circulated to all State Governments for implementation.
• Ministry of Urban Development in its Draft Model Building Bye-Laws (2015) has incorporated a Chapter on Provision of Rain Water Harvesting.
• Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) constituted under 'The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986' for the purpose of regulation and control of ground water development and management has issued advisory to States/ Union Territories and Ministry of Urban Development to take necessary measures for adopting rain water harvesting/ artificial recharge in all the Government buildings. Besides, 30 States/UTs have made rainwater harvesting mandatory by enacting laws / formulating rules & regulations / by including provisions in building bye-laws / through suitable Government Orders etc.
• CGWB has been organizing mass awareness programmes in the Country to promote rain water harvesting and artificial recharge to ground water.
This information was given by Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.