Central Ground Water Authority has been constituted under section 3 (3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to regulate and control development and management of groundwater resources in the country.
Powers & Functions of Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA):
The Authority has been conferred with the following powers:
- Exercise of powers under section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for issuing directions and taking such measures in respect of all the matters referred to in sub-section (2) of section 3 of the said Act.
- To resort to penal provisions contained in sections 15 to 21 of the said Act.
- To regulate and control, management and development of ground water in the country and to issue necessary regulatory directions for the purpose.
- Exercise of powers under section 4 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for the appointment of officers.
Regulatory Measures of Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA):
- The Central Ground Water Authority is regulating withdrawal of groundwater by industries/ projects in 802 over-exploited and 169 critical assessment units. List of these critical areas has been circulated to the State Pollution Control Boards and Ministry of Environment & Forests which refer the new industries/ projects to CGWB for obtaining permission.
- CGWA has notified 162 critical/ overexploited areas in parts of NCT Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, MP, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, UT of Puducherry and UT of Diu for control and regulation of development of groundwater resources. For enforcement of the regulatory measures in these areas, concerned Deputy Commissioners/ Distrt Magistrates have been directed under section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 to regulate groundwater development in these notified areas.
Construction of new groundwater structures is prohibited in the notified areas. Permission of drilling tube wells is being granted only to the govt. Agencies are responsible for drinking water supply.
Ground Water Legislation:
To enable the States to enact Ground Water Legislation, a Model Bill to Regulate and Control Development of Ground Water has been circulated by the Ministry of Water Resources to all the States/UTs. So far, the states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry have enacted and implemented ground water legislation.
NOC to Abstract Ground Water (NOCAP)
Central Ground Water Board gives NOC to applicants after carefully examining the documents submitted by the applicant. The online application submission process is called NOCAP (NOC to Abstract Ground Water)
Notified areas are those blocks / talukas / mandals / areas which have been notified under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 by Central Ground Water Authority for regulation of ground water development and management. In notified areas abstraction of ground water is not permissible for any purpose other than drinking and domestic use. CGWA in exercise of powers under section 4 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has appointed Officer-in Charge of revenue district (District Collector / Deputy Commissioner / District Magistrate) as Authorized Officers for notified areas falling in concerned revenue district. In notified areas, issues pertaining to granting of NOC for ground water withdrawal, checking violation and taking penal action like sealing of tube wells, initiating of prosecution against violators etc. is to be dealt by the Authorized Officer. List of Notified Areas
Non – Notified Areas
The Blocks / Talukas / Mandals / areas, other than notified by CGWA for regulation of ground water development and management are non-notified areas. In these areas CGWA issues NOC to industrial / infrastructural / mining projects for groundwater withdrawal as per the guidelines/Criteria for evaluation of proposals/requests for ground water abstraction.