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Punjab Groundwater Extraction and Conservation Directions 2023


Welcome to the blog that embraces the efforts of the Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA) in revolutionizing water management practices to pave the way for a sustainable future. 

The Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority refers to the regulatory Authority with associated tasks relegated to water usage. As ambassadors of water conservation, it is the duty and responsibility of the users to encourage and abide by the measures that are mainly targeted at each zone in the state.

Through effective policy-making, robust infrastructure, and conservation measures, PWRDA assures you of its commitment to leading the challenges, catering to the act of water scarcity or pollution.

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With their efforts, you can apply innovative technologies and empower the local communities, where PWRDA protects the environment, safeguards the rights of water users, and fosters economic growth. 

Nonetheless, let us explore how the Punjab Water Regulation & Development Authority is on its mission to create a water-secure Punjab for the generations to witness or acknowledge. 

What does the Punjab Water Regulation & Development Authority do?

The Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority is a legitimate body which regulates and directs water usage in the respective state by fulfilling the criterias for accomplishing the sustainable management of the Groundwater as well as adhering to the said requirements of the livelihoods of people in the state.  

As a part of this initiative, water conservation is requested for the users of Groundwater, which allows them to initiate and execute the water conservation measures that would help them achieve a said target based on conservation for every zone in the state.

If no conversation measures are adhered to, the Authority will not grant them water credits. Instead, they would be asked to pay a certain amount as a result of the groundwater user fee. 

The portion of groundwater charges, as received, will be used by the Authority in exercising what is called Water Conservation schemes, as per the government's orders. It is executed and carried out by the allocated departments nominated by the government. All-in-all, the main objective of the Authority is to pursue water conservation and conform to the targets of each user of the state. 

Charting a Sustainable Course: Punjab Groundwater Extraction and Conservation Directions 2023

Promotion of Water Resources

The Punjab Groundwater Extraction and Conservation Directions 2023 is a resilient approach to improve and administer the water balance through water conservation, involving conscious efforts of the users. Continuing, this objective pays heed to the same by ensuring that all users engaged in extracting the Groundwater would be required to pay the volumetric groundwater extraction charges utilized in water conservation. Additionally, according to the directions, the users themselves have the option of carrying out the water conversion, following the Authority's Permission, due to which (provision for those who conserve the water) will undoubtedly be entitled to water-conservation credits per the specified directions. 

It is brought to notice how users require implementing water conservation measures with the Authority's approval, whether within or outside. At that point, users need to be provided with the water-conservation credits that may result in or entitle them to the rebate in the groundwater extraction changes. 

It is acknowledged that a small fraction of the fees as per the groundwater extraction will be allocated by the governing body during the implementation of the Public Water conservation schemes/government agencies. These measures would encourage the essence of water conservation among the users while improving the overall water balance. 

Private Water Conservation Schemes Proposed and Implemented by Water Conservation Credits 

A user may design as well as implement the water conservation scheme to earn appropriate water conservation credits. Out of which, the water conservation scheme needs to be submitted by the user attached with the information as well as the data for approval. 

If, in any case, the Authority approves the respective scheme, as it may deem necessary, the users will be eligible for earning the water conservation credits, leading towards the successful implementation of the project. In addition, the Water-conservation credits would be provided to the user after the verification and inspection of the system as conducted by the Authority. 

Read Our: What is the CGWA guidelines on Groundwater Monitoring and Abstraction

Permissions and exemptions for Groundwater Extraction 

The permissions and exemptions related to Groundwater extraction are as follows-

  • No user shall extract the Groundwater or conduct any activity that is connected in addition to that, without obtaining the permission of the Authority, except for the cases which include-

Drinking and Domestic Usage 

Explanation: A unit shall be exempted under the following clause if the Groundwater is exclusively utilized for Domestic or Drinking purposes. 

  • For Exclusive usage in agriculture 
  • For use in place of Worship
  • For drinking and domestic Water Supply Scheme of the Government 
  • For use by an establishment of the Military or the Central Paramilitary Forces;
  • An urban local body, Panchayati Raj Institutions, Cantonment Board, Improvement Trust or Area of Development Authority; and
  • A unit extracting at most 300 cubic meters of Groundwater per month.

Essential Guidelines for Groundwater Extraction: Key Considerations

The Essential guidelines for groundwater extraction consist of the following factors, which are of supreme importance and are as follows- 

Step 1:- Application Process

Suppose you are a new unit and wish to seek new registration. In that case, you must apply for an Application for Permission to extract the Groundwater, which must be submitted to the Authority in a specific format, attached with required documents, including charges, application fees or security deposit. 

Step 2:- Period for Existing Units to Apply for Permission 

A user with an existing unit needs to apply to the Authority for Permission within a stipulated period, for which the period is mentioned below, starting from the date of commencement of the directions. 

S. No. Volume of Groundwater For Which Permission is Sought Period
1 >15,000 cubic meters per month Three Months
2 >1,500 to 15,000 cubic meters per month Six Months
3 >300 to 1,500 cubic meters per month Nine Months

Step 3:- The period for the new units to apply for the Permission

New units must only extract the Groundwater if they seek Permission from the Authority. Say, for example, if the new team had applied for Permission within two months from the commencement when the new directions were imposed, even though it may have begun extracting Groundwater before the application. Such is what enables the user to pay the groundwater charges from the date of the groundwater extraction. 

Step 4:- Application Processing 

Once the receipt of the application is completed in all regards concerning the extraction of the Groundwater, the authorities may step in to examine the application, with a provision to the onsite inspection, enabling them to grant Permission for the same related to the extraction of Groundwater with the restrictions or conditions it may impose. 

Step 5:- Permission by the Water Tanker 

In the next step, the application for Permission to operate the existing water tanker must be submitted to the Authority within six months from the date of commencement of these directions. 

Suppose the Authority finds the application complete in all respects, thinking they have complied with the requirements. In that case, the Authority will permit you, subject to these conditions and the restrictions these authorities impose. 

Step 6:- Permission for power-operated Drilling Rig

Soon after, the application regarding the Permission to operate the power-operated drilling needs to be submitted in a format as mentioned within six months from the date of commencement of the directions.

But, if the authorities consider the application to be completed in all respects, then the Authority will grant you the Permission, which would be deemed valid for 3 years, subject to the conditions the authorities might impose. 

Not only has this, but it even required other-related permissions for the tasks of groundwater extraction. 

Read Our: Process of grant of Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) NOC for Domestic

Recent Notice issued by Punjab Water Regulations & Development Authority

As per the latest notification issued by the Punjab Water Regulations and Development Authority, the following are the issuing guidelines- 

  • Punjab Groundwater Extraction and Conservation Directions 2023 occurred on 1 February 2023. All existing non-exempt groundwater users must pay Groundwater Extraction charges from 1 February 2023, irrespective of the date when the user applies for the Permission.
  • Secondly, for the existing users who are extracting more than 15,000 cubic meters of Groundwater per month, the last date to apply for Permission was 30 April 2023. However, the later date to apply for the same has been extended to 30th June 2023.
  • For the existing users who are extracting as much as 1,500 or more than 15,000 cubic square meters per month, the last date to apply for Permission was 30th September 2023. However, the later date to apply for the same has been extended to 30th November 2023.
  • For the existing users extracting as much as 300 or up to 1500 cubic meters per month, the last date to apply for Permission is 31st October 2023. The later date to apply for it has been extended to 31st December 2023. 
  • The authorities have also stipulated the following guidelines to apply for Permission for the water tanker, and the power-operated drilling rigs shall be on 31 December 2023.

The construction of the groundwater extraction structure after 31 March 2024. It is said that the only user who can engage in the power-operated drilling rig is the one permitted by the Authority, mainly for the exploration of the Groundwater or for establishing, modifying, augmenting and improving any groundwater extraction structure. 


We conclude that the main Authority, the Punjab Water Regulation & Development Authority, unleashes and unlocks water conservation opportunities. As it utilizes innovative technologies or employs its usage in fostering economic growth so that you can safeguard the rights of water users. With conservation measures in place, the authorities require fostering water management as well as promoting rainwater harvesting initiatives in suitable ways.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.


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Hansika Bhardwaj is a versatile writer, editor and poet.  She is a graduate of the University of Delhi with a specialisation in English Literature. As a cherry on the cake, she has worked with various companies dealing with various types o...

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