Central Ground Water Authority Current Affairs - 2020

National Green Tribunal brings in stricter rules for commercial use of ground water

The National Green Tribunal has made the guidelines for the commercial use of ground water more stringent in the country.

Highlights

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has banned general permission to withdraw ground water for commercial purposes without an EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment). The permit given should be for a specified quantity of water. The NGT has provided three-month time period to make water management plans for all critical, over exploited and semi-critical areas.

The Scenario

In India, around 89% of ground water is extracted by the farmers and 5% by the industries. The rest of the underground water is used for domestic purposes.

What is the issue?

In January 2019, the National Green Tribunal ordered GoI to put on hold its new norms on ground water use.

The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) issuing No Objection Certificate (NOC) had thus put the process on hold. There are more than 20,000 applications for the use of ground water that are pending before CGWA. Around 800,000 companies fall under over exploited, semi-critical and critical blocks and they represent 36% of 3,881 ground water assessment units.

However, the members of FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) and CII (Confederation of Indian Industry) approached Jal Shakti ministry to resolve regulatory over granting No Objection Certification (NOC).

National Aquifer Mapping Programme: Plans developed for 11.8 lakh sq km

On March 19, 2020, the Ministry Jal Shakti replied in Lok Sabha that out of 25 lakh square kilo metre of mappable area, plans for 11.8 lakh square km area have been developed.

Highlights

The Ministry also informed that the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) implementing the mapping programme has assessed 3,600 units out of 6,881 assessment units. Also, the CGWB has began to update the data collected about ground water levels through a website.

National Aquifer Mapping and Management Programme

Though water is a state subject, Centre has launched the programme to learn about the available ground water in the country. Also, the centre aims to learn about ground water availability in the country to initiate artificial recharge of under ground water.

The Mission is being implemented by the CGEB under Ministry of Jal Shakti

Central Ground Water Board

The CGEB was established in 1970. The main aim of the board is to provide scientific inputs in exploration, management, assessment, augmentation and regulation of ground water in the country.

It is a statutory body constituted under the Environment (Protection) act, 1986.