Water Resources has evolved the Draft National Water Policy (2012) to meet the
present challenges in the water sector. The salient features of the Draft National Water Policy
(2012) are at Annexure.
State Governments have been actively
involved while drafting the Policy. The National Water Board comprising of
Chief Secretaries of all the States and Secretaries of related Union Ministries
considered the draft National Water Policy (2012) at its Meeting held on 7th
June, 2012. Thereafter, the National Water Resources Council with Chief
Ministers of all States as members is to consider and adopt the draft National
Water Policy (2012) arrived at as per deliberations in the National Water
This information was
given by Union Water Resources Minister Shri Harish Rawat in the Rajya
Sabha today in reply to a written question whether it is a fact that Government is
planning to come up with a New National Water Policy;
if so, the details thereof; and what would be the role of State Governments
while preparing the policy?
FEATURES OF REVISED DRAFT NATIONAL WATER POLICY (2012)
Emphasis on the need for a national
water framework law, comprehensive legislation for optimum development of
inter-State rivers and river valleys, amendment of Irrigation Acts, Indian
Easements Act, 1882, etc.
Water, after meeting the pre-emptive
needs for safe drinking water and sanitation, achieving food security,
supporting poor people dependent on agriculture for their livelihood and high
priority allocation for minimum eco-system needs, be treated as economic good
so as to promote its conservation and efficient use.
Ecological needs of the river should be
determined recognizing that river flows are characterized by low or no flows,
small floods (freshets), large floods and flow variability and should
accommodate development needs. A portion of river flows should be kept aside to
meet ecological needs ensuring that the proportional low and high flow releases
correspond in time closely to the natural flow regime.
Adaptation strategies in view of
climate change for designing and management of water resources structures and
review of acceptability criteria has been emphasized.
A system to evolve benchmarks for water
uses for different purposes, i.e., water footprints, and water auditing be developed to ensure efficient use of water. Project
financing has been suggested as a tool to incentivize efficient & economic
use of water.
Setting up of Water Regulatory
Authority has been recommended. Incentivization of
recycle and re-use has been recommended.
Water Users Associations should be
given statutory powers to collect and retain a portion of water charges, manage
the volumetric quantum of water allotted to them and maintain the distribution
system in their jurisdiction.
Removal of large disparity in
stipulations for water supply in urban areas and in rural areas has been
Water resources projects and services
should be managed with community participation. Wherever the State Governments
or local governing bodies so decide, the private sector can be encouraged to
become a service provider in public private partnership model to meet agreed
terms of service delivery, including penalties for failure.
Adequate grants to the States to update
technology, design practices, planning and management practices, preparation of
annual water balances and accounts for the site and basin, preparation of
hydrologic balances for water systems, and benchmarking and performance