PM favours strong laws to regulate groundwater use

Discussion in 'Economy & Infrastructure' started by Son of Govinda, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Son of Govinda

    Son of Govinda Regular Member

    Apr 1, 2012
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    Business Line : Industry & Economy / Economy : PM favours strong laws to regulate groundwater use

    Terming groundwater a common resource, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday advocated strong laws to regulate its extraction. He also favoured transparent and participatory pricing to prevent water misuse.

    “Inadequate and sub-optimal pricing of power and water are promoting misuse of groundwater,” Dr Singh said, while inaugurating the three-day India Water Week, organised by the Ministry of Water Resources, here.

    Dr Singh termed the current institutional and legal structures that deal with water as “inadequate, fragmented and need urgent reform”, and said planning, development and management of water resources had to keep pace with current realities.


    India, with around 17 per cent of the world's population but only 4 per cent of usable fresh water, is facing an acute scarcity.

    Expressing concern, the Prime Minister said the draft National Water Policy proposed to establish regulatory authorities in each State.

    Since there were limits to increasing supply as water was a finite source, Dr Singh said Governments must focus on increasing efficiency of use, especially in agriculture.

    “Management of irrigation systems should move away from a narrow engineering-construction-centric approach to a more multi-disciplinary and participatory approach,” he said. Irrigation accounts for almost 60 per cent of groundwater usage in the country. Another area where the Prime Minister stressed on “participatory management” was in mapping the aquifers to obtain information on groundwater availability. “We also need to promote participatory management of aquifers to ensure sustainable and equitable use and promoting cropping patterns which are aligned with the groundwater actually available,” he added.


    The Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, too, called for a shift from canals to sprinklers in agriculture. Since the cost of this would be high, he suggested pricing and rationing of water through a regulatory mechanism.

    Critical of current farming practices, he said “around 80 per cent water used for agriculture is grossly wasteful. We should use technology to bring water to the fields.”

    Mr Ahluwalia also favoured groundwater recharge over large dams as “underground storage is more economical than surface storage.”

    On river-linking, he said it was a complex issue with huge costs involved. Any decision on Himalayan rivers involved international consensus, but “rational allocation of water from within the country's river system that does not require international assent” could be an option, he added.
    Mad Indian, sob and W.G.Ewald like this.
  3. lcatejas

    lcatejas Regular Member

    Nov 19, 2010
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    kahne se nahi karne se hota hai ...
  4. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

    Sep 28, 2011
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    North Carolina, USA

    I read a newspaper article just yesterday about a town near New York City which draws its drinking water from wells. Since the wells are close to the coast and the demand for water so high, salt-water intrusion into the aquifer was a problem. The solution was to install a desalination system to bring sodium down to 30 ppm from the 90 ppm level which exceeded EPA standards. The article did not address water conservation measures.
  5. sob

    sob Moderator Moderator

    May 4, 2009
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    New Delhi
    About 10 years back Groundwater levels were very high in my locality, about 10 to 12 feet. Today it is about 12 meters and unfortunately it is amongst the best in Delhi.
    Rainwater harvesting is the only solution for cities and has to be implemented by everybody and if necessary there should be a law for it.
    Mad Indian likes this.

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