Why in news?
National Green Tribunal (NGT) has stayed the implementation of the revised guidelines notified in December, 2019 by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
- It introduced the concept of Water Conservation Fee (WCF). It is designed to progressively increase from safe to over-exploited areas and from low to high water consuming industries as well as with increasing quantum of ground water extraction.
- Encouraging use of recycled and treated sewage water by industries.
- Provision of action against polluting industries.
- Mandatory requirement of digital flow meters, piezometers and digital water level recorders.
- Mandatory water audit by industries abstracting groundwater 500 m3/day or more in safe and semi-critical and 200 m3/day or more in critical and over-exploited assessment units.
- Mandatory roof top rain water harvesting except for specified industries.
- Measures to be adopted to ensure prevention of groundwater contamination in premises of polluting industries/ projects.
Exemption from requirement of NOC has been given to –
- Agricultural users,
- Users employing non-energized means to extract water,
- Individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe),
- Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment or during mobilization in forward locations,
- Strategic and operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces,
- Defense and Paramilitary Forces Establishments,
- Government water supply agencies
- Ground water extraction in India primarily for irrigation in agricultural activities, accounts for 90% of the annual groundwater extraction and remaining 10% of extraction is for drinking & domestic as well as industrial uses. India is the largest user of groundwater in the world.
- Out of the total of 6584 assessment units, 1034 have been categorized as ‘Over-exploited’ 253 as ‘Critical’, 681 as ‘Semi-Critical’ and 4520 as ‘Safe’ . The remaining 96 assessment units have been classified as ‘Saline’ due to non-availability of fresh groundwater due to salinity problem.