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English Release 30-January 2015
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Previous Date

Ministry of Water Resources06-May, 2010 12:54 IST
Effective Water Management

                        The National Water Resources Council adopted the National Water Policy 2002 (NWP) in April 2002 which addresses various issues related to water resources management.  NWP lays stress on sustainable development and efficient management of water resources. Salient features of NWP are annexed.  NWP recognises that its success will depend entirely on evolving and maintaining a national consensus and commitment to its underlying principles and objectives and that to achieve the desired objectives, State Water Policy backed with an operational action plan shall be formulated.  So far 13 States / Union Territories have formulated and adopted State Water Policy.  Various schemes and programmes related to water resources development and management are planned and implemented by the respective State Governments as per their own priorities.  Government of India provides technical and financial assistance to States with a view to encourage them and supplement their efforts in achieving the objectives of NWP. The overall outlay for XI Plan for major and medium irrigation, minor irrigation, flood control and command area development sectors under State Plan and Central Plan are Rs. 1, 82,050 crores and Rs. 50,261 crores respectively. Similarly, the outlay for XI   Plan for rural water supply and sanitation under State Plan and Central Plan are Rs. 48,875 crores and Rs. 47,306 crores respectively. The total outlay for urban water supply and sanitation is Rs. 75,000 crores.  

            Government of Orissa has formulated “Orissa State Water Policy-2007” which has been approved by State Water Resources Board. Orissa State Water Policy-2007 aims at laying down the principle of equitable and judicious use of water for survival of life, welfare of human beings and sustained as well as balanced growth of the State.  The total XI Plan outlay for major and medium irrigation, minor irrigation, command area development & water management and flood control in respect of Orissa is Rs. 6,518.18 crores. “Orissa Integrated Irrigated Agriculture and Water Management Investment Programme” funded by Asian Development Bank and “Orissa Community Tank Management Project” funded by World Bank are also being implemented by Government of Orissa which aim at improved water management.  


     Salient features of the National Water Policy

o              Water is a prime natural resource, a basic human need and a precious national asset. Planning, development and management of water resources need to be governed by national perspectives.

o              A well developed information system for water related data at national / state level should be established with a net-work of data banks and data bases integrating and strengthening the existing central and state level agencies.

o              Water resources available to the country should be brought within the category of utilizable resources to the maximum possible extent.

o              Non-conventional methods for utilization of water such as through inter-basin transfers, artificial recharge of ground water and desalination of brackish or sea water as well as traditional water conservation practices like rainwater harvesting, including roof-top rainwater harvesting, need to be practiced to further increase the utilizable water resources. Promotion of frontier research and development, in a focused manner, for these techniques is necessary.

o              Water resources development and management will have to be planned for a hydrological unit. Appropriate river basin organisations should be established for the planned development and management of the river basins.

o              Water should be made available to water short areas by transfer from other areas including transfer from one river basin to another, after taking into account the requirements of the areas / basins.

o              Planning of water resources development projects should, as far as possible, be for multi-purpose with an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach having regard to human and ecological aspects including those of disadvantaged sections of the society.

o              In the allocation of water, first priority should be given for drinking water, followed by irrigation, hydro-power, ecology, agro-industries and non-agricultural industries, navigation and other uses, in that order.

o              The exploitation of groundwater should be regulated with reference to recharge possibilities and consideration of social equity. The detrimental environmental consequences of over-exploitation of ground water need to be effectively prevented.

o              Careful planning is necessary to ensure that construction and rehabilitation activities proceed simultaneously and smoothly.  A skeletal national policy on resettlement & rehabilitation needs to be formulated so that project affected persons share the benefits through proper rehabilitation.

o              Adequate emphasis needs to be given to the physical and financial sustainability of existing water resources facilities. There is a need to ensure that the water charges for various uses should be fixed such as to cover at least the operation and maintenance charges initially and a part of the capital costs subsequently.

o              Management of the water resources for diverse uses should incorporate a participatory approach by involving users and other stakeholders alongwith various governmental agencies, in an effective and decisive manner.

o              Private sector participation should be encouraged in planning, development and management of water resources projects for diverse uses, wherever feasible.

o              Both surface water and ground water should be regularly monitored for quality. Effluents should be treated to acceptable levels and standards before discharging them into natural streams. Minimum flow should be ensured in the perennial streams for maintaining ecology.

o              Efficiency of utilization should be improved in all the diverse uses of water and conservation consciousness promoted through education, regulation, incentives and disincentives.

o              There should be a Master Plan for flood control and management for each flood prone basin.

o              Land erosion by sea or river should be minimized by suitable cost-effective measures.  Indiscriminate occupation of, and economic activity in coastal areas and flood plain zones should be regulated.

o              Needs of drought-prone areas should be given priority in the planning of project for development of water resources.  These areas should be made less vulnerable through various measures.

o              The water sharing / distribution amongst the states should be guided by a national perspective with due regard to water resources availability and needs within the river basin. 

o              Training and research efforts should be intensified as an integral part of water resources development.

            This information was given by the Minister of State for Water Resources, Shri Vincent H. Pala in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.





(Release ID :61520)

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