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.
features of the National Water Policy
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.
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.
Water resources available to the country should
be brought within the category of utilizable resources to the maximum possible
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Private sector participation should be
encouraged in planning, development and management of water resources projects
for diverse uses, wherever feasible.
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.
Efficiency of utilization should be improved in
all the diverse uses of water and conservation consciousness promoted through
education, regulation, incentives and disincentives.
There should be a Master Plan for flood control
and management for each flood prone basin.
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.
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.
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.
Training and research efforts should be
intensified as an integral part of water resources development.
information was given by the Minister of State for Water Resources, Shri
Vincent H. Pala in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.