Implementation Of Ground Water Law In States And Union Territories

Implementation Of Ground Water Law In States And Union Territories

On July 20, 2023, the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti announced a significant milestone, revealing that 21 states and union territories in India have successfully implemented the Ground Water Act. This legislation includes a crucial provision for rainwater harvesting, aimed at promoting sustainable water management across the nation. In response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Bishweshwar Tudu, shared that the ministry has prepared a model bill to aid all states and union territories in enacting suitable groundwater laws, further encouraging water conservation efforts.

States adopting the Rainwater Harvesting Model

States across India have wholeheartedly embraced the Rainwater Harvesting Model, with 21 states and union territories having already implemented groundwater laws based on the Model Bill. These include Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Odisha, Punjab, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.

Advancement in providing water accessibility to rural households

Another remarkable achievement lies in the progress made in water accessibility for rural Scheduled Caste (SC) households. As part of the Ground Water Act’s implementation, tap water connections have been provided to 60 percent of rural households in areas predominantly inhabited by SC communities. Out of a total of 2,18,06,280 rural households in SC-concentrated areas, 1,32,64,760 households now have access to tap water connections, uplifting the lives of these communities.

Groundwater remains the primary source of irrigation in India, playing a critical role in sustaining agricultural practices. Approximately 70% of the country’s food production relies on tube wells and other groundwater sources. However, this extensive use of groundwater in agriculture has led to a growing groundwater crisis, highlighting the urgency to implement comprehensive water conservation measures.

India’s Water Consumption Status

India’s global water consumption status has also garnered attention, with the ‘World Water Development Report’ published by UNESCO in 2018 identifying India as the world’s largest groundwater user. This emphasizes the need to prioritize effective water conservation and sustainable management practices in the country.

Overall, the successful implementation of the Ground Water Act in 21 states and union territories and the efforts to improve water accessibility for rural SC households are significant steps towards promoting sustainable water management and conservation in India. The challenges posed by heavy reliance on groundwater in agriculture call for concerted efforts and a robust action plan to safeguard this invaluable resource for future generations.