Government of India prepared a draft water policy for our nation in 2012.
It neglects the need of common people and protected the ideology of World
ank and multinationals .
It can not be accepted.....
As per our great vedic concept all natural commodities are the heritage wealth of all living things .
In that policy on its 7th session " Value of Water" explains Water is a economic goods and it should be maxi mam priced for a maxi mam profit....
As we accept the policy our water sources should went to the hands of multinationals....
There is no doubt ........
So check this policy for our future.....
Ministry of Water Resources
DRAFT NATIONAL WATER POLICY (2012)
1.1 Water is a natural resource, fundamental to life, livelihood, food security
and sustainable development. It is also a scarce resource. India has more than
17 percent of the world‟s population, but has only 4% of world‟s renewable water
resources with 2.6% of world‟s land area. There are further limits on utilizable
quantities of water owing to uneven distribution over time and space. In addition,
there are challenges of frequent floods and droughts in one or the other part of
the country. With a growing population and rising needs of a fast developing
nation as well as the given indications of the impact of climate change,
availability of utilizable water will be under further strains in future with the
possibility of deepening water conflicts among different user groups. Low public
consciousness about the overall scarcity and economic value of water results in
its wastage and inefficient use. In addition, there are inequitious distribution and
lack of a unified perspective in planning, management and use of water
resources. The objective of the National Water Policy is to take cognizance of
the existing situation and to propose a framework for creation of an overarching
system of laws and institutions and for a plan of action with a unified national
1.2 The present scenario of water resources and their management in India
has given rise to several concerns, important amongst them are;
(i) Large parts of India have already become water stressed. Rapid growth
in demand for water due to population growth, urbanization and changing
lifestyle pose serious challenges to water security.
(ii) There is wide temporal and spatial variation in availability of water, which
may increase substantially due to climate changes, causing more water
crisis and incidences of water related disasters, i.e., floods, increased
erosion and increased frequency of droughts, etc.
(iii) Climate change may also increase the sea levels. This may lead to
salinity intrusion in ground water aquifers / surface waters and increased
coastal inundation in coastal regions.
(iv) Access to safe drinking water still continues to be a problem in some
areas. Skewed availability of water between different regions and
different people in the same regions is inequitous and has the potential of
causing social unrest.
(v) Groundwater, though part of hydrological cycle and a community
resource, is still perceived as an individual property and is exploited
inequitably and without any consideration to its sustainability leading to
its over-exploitation in several areas.
(vi) Water resources projects, though multi-disciplinary with multiple
stakeholders, are being planned and implemented in a fragmented
manner without giving due consideration to optimum utilization,
environment sustainability and holistic benefit to the people.
(vii) Inter-State, inter-regional disputes in sharing of water hamper the
optimum utilization of water through scientific planning on basin/subbasin
(viii) The existing water resources infrastructure is not being maintained
properly resulting in under-utilization of available resources.
(ix) Natural water bodies and drainage channels are being encroached upon,
and diverted for other purposes.
(x) Growing pollution of water sources is affecting the availability of safe
water besides causing environmental and health hazards.
(xi) Low public consciousness about the overall scarcity and economic value
of water results in its wastage and inefficient use.
(xii) The lack of adequate trained personnel for scientific planning, utilizing
modern techniques and analytical capabilities incorporating information
technology constrains good water management.
(xiii) A holistic and inter-disciplinary approach at water related problems is
(xiv) The public agencies in charge of taking water related decisions tend to
take these on their own without consultation with stakeholders.
1.3 Public policies on water resources need to be governed by certain basic
principles, so that there is some commonality in approaches in dealing with
planning, development and management of water resources. These basic
(i) Planning, development and management of water resources need to be
governed by national perspectives on an integrated and environmentally
sound basis, keeping in view the human, social and economic needs.
(ii) Principle of equity and social justice must inform use and allocation of
(iii) Good governance through informed decision making is crucial to the
objectives of equity, social justice and sustainability.
(iv) Water needs to be managed as a community resource held, by the state,
under public trust doctrine to achieve food security, livelihood, and
equitable and sustainable development for all.
(v) Access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation should be
regarded as a right to life essential to the full enjoyment of life and all
other human rights. As such, water for such human needs should have a
pre-emptive priority over all other uses.
(vi) Water, over and above the pre-emptive need for safe drinking water and
sanitation, should be treated as an economic good so as to promote its
conservation and efficient use.
(vii) Water is essential for sustenance of eco-system, and therefore,
ecological needs should be given due consideration.
(viii) All the elements of the water cycle, i.e., evapo-transpiration, precipitation,
runoff, river, lakes, soil moisture, and ground water, sea, etc., are
interdependent and the basic hydrological unit is the river basin, which
should be considered as the basic unit for planning.
(ix) Water quality and quantity are interlinked and need to be managed in an
integrated manner, consistent with broader environmental management
approaches inter-alia including the use of economic incentives and
penalties to reduce pollution and wastage.
(x) The impact of climate change on water resources availability must be
factored into water management related decisions.
2. WATER FRAMEWORK LAW
2.1 Even while it is recognized that States have the right to frame suitable
policies, laws and regulations on water; there is a felt need to evolve a broad
over-arching national legal framework of general principles on water to lead the
way for essential legislation on water governance in every State of the Union and
devolution of necessary authority to the lower tiers of government to deal with
the local water situation.
2.2 Such a framework law must recognize water not only as a scarce
resource but also as a sustainer of life and ecology. Therefore, water needs to
be managed as a community resource held, by the state, under public trust
doctrine to achieve food security, livelihood, and equitable and sustainable
development for all. The Indian Easements Act, 1882 may have to be modified
accordingly in as much as it appears to give proprietary rights to a land owner on
groundwater under his/her land.
2.3 There is a need for comprehensive legislation for optimum development
of inter-State rivers and river valleys to facilitate inter-State coordination ensuring
scientific planning of land and water resources taking basin/sub-basin as unit
with unified perspectives of water in all its forms (including precipitation, soil
moisture, ground and surface water) and ensuring holistic and balanced
development of both the catchment and the command areas. Such legislation
needs, inter alia, to deal with and enable establishment of basin authorities with
appropriate powers to plan, manage and regulate utilization of water resource in
3. USES OF WATER
3.1 The Centre, the States and the local bodies (governance institutions)
must ensure access to a minimum quantity of potable water for essential health
and hygiene to all its citizens, available within easy reach of the household.
3.2 Ecological needs of the river should be determined recognizing that the
natural river flows are characterized by low or no flows, small floods (freshets),
large floods, etc., and should accommodate developmental needs. A portion of
river flows should be kept aside to meet ecological needs ensuring that the low
and high flow releases are proportional to the natural flow regime, including base
flow contribution in the low flow season through regulated ground water use.
3.3 After meeting the minimum quantity of water required for survival of
human beings and ecosystem, water must be used as an economic good with
higher priority towards basic livelihood support to the poor and ensuring national
3.4 In the water rich eastern and north eastern regions of India, the water use
infrastructure is weak and needs to be strengthened in the interest of food
3.5 Community should be sensitized and encouraged to adapt to utilization of
water as per local availability of waters. Community based water management
should be institutionalized and strengthened.
4. ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
4.1 Climate change is likely to increase the variability of water resources
affecting human health and livelihoods. Therefore, special impetus should be
given towards mitigation at micro level by enhancing the capabilities of
community to adopt climate resilient technological options.
4.2 The adaptation strategies could, inter alia, include increasing water
storage in its various forms, namely, soil moisture, ponds, ground water, small
and large reservoirs, and their combination, which provides a mechanism for
dealing with increased variability because of climate change.
4.3 Stakeholder participation in land-soil-water management with scientific
inputs from local research and academic institutions for evolving different
agricultural strategies, reducing soil erosion and improving soil fertility should be
promoted. Cost sharing system between upstream and downstream regions
should be evolved since these measures in upstream region may reduce the
sediment load in the streams increasing life of and benefits from downstream
4.4 In view of likely impact of the climate change, there is a need to adopt
compatible agricultural strategies, and cropping patterns. This may be achieved
by involving the water users, sensitizing them appropriately and building their
4.5 Planning and management of water resources structures, such as, dams,
flood embankments, tidal embankments, etc., should incorporate coping
strategies for possible climate changes. The acceptability criteria in regard to
new water resources projects need to be re-worked in view of the likely climate
5. ENHANCING WATER AVAILABLE FOR USE
5.1 The availability of water resources in the country need to be assessed
scientifically and reviewed at periodic intervals, say, every five years. The trends
in water availability due to various factors including climate change must be
assessed and accounted for during water resources planning.
5.2 As per present estimate, India receives on average annual precipitation
of about 4000 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM), which is its basic water resource. Out
of this, after considering the natural evaporation- transpiration, only about 1869
Billion Cubic Meter (BCM) is average annual natural flow through rivers and
aquifers. Of this, only about 1123 BCM is utilizable through the present
strategies, if large inter-basin transfers are not considered. Thus, the availability
of water is limited but the demand of water is increasing rapidly due to growing
population,rapid urbanization, rapid industrialization and economic development.
Therefore, availability of water for utilization needs to be augmented to meet
increasing demands of water. Direct use of rainfall and avoidance of inadvertent
evapo-transpiration are the new additional strategies for augmenting utilizable
5.3 There is a need to map the aquifers to know the quantum and quality of
ground water resources (replenishable as well as non-replenishable) in the
country. This may be periodically updated.
5.4 Declining ground water levels in over-exploited areas need to be arrested
by introducing improved technologies of water use, incentivizing efficient water
use and encouraging community based management of aquifers. In addition,
where necessary, artificial recharging projects should be undertaken so that
extraction is less than the recharge. This would allow the aquifers to provide
base flows to the surface system, and maintain ecology.
5.5 Inter-basin transfers are not merely for increasing production but also for
meeting basic human need and achieving equity and social justice. Inter-basin
transfers of flood waters to recharge depleting ground waters in water stressed
areas should be encouraged. If the transfer is from an open basin to a closed
basin, increased water use is achieved. Such transfers need to be encouraged.
5.6 Watershed development activities need to be taken in a comprehensive
manner to increase soil moisture, reduce sediment yield and increase overall
land and water productivity. To the extent possible, existing programs like
MGNREGA may be used by farmers to harvest rain water using farm ponds and
other soil and water conservation measures.
6. DEMAND MANAGEMENT AND WATER USE EFFICIENCY
6.1 Given the limits on enhancing the availability of utilizable water resources
and increased variability in supplies due to climate change, meeting the future
needs will depend more on demand management, and hence, this needs to be
given priority, especially through (a) evolving an agricultural system which
economizes on water use and maximizes value from water, and (b) bringing in
maximum efficiency in use of water and avoiding wastages.
6.2 A system to evolve benchmarks for water uses for different purposes,
i.e., water footprints, and water auditing should be developed to promote and
incentivize efficient use of water. The “project” and the “basin” water use
efficiencies need to be improved through continuous water balance and water
accounting studies. An institutional arrangement for promotion, regulation and
controlling efficient use of water will be established for this purpose at the
6.3 Recycle and reuse of water, including return flows, should be encouraged
to the extent possible.
6.4 Project financing should be structured to incentivize efficient & economic
use of water and facilitate early completion of ongoing projects.
6.5 Water saving in irrigation use is of paramount importance. Methods like
micro irrigation (drip, sprinkler, etc.), automated irrigation operation, evaporationtranspiration
reduction, etc., should be encouraged and incentivized. At many
places, seepage from irrigation canals in monsoon results in recharging
underground storage enabling higher conjunctive ground water use in the low
flow season and the advantages of such re-cycling may also be considered.
6.6 Use of very small local level irrigation through small bunds, field ponds,
agricultural and engineering methods and practices for watershed development,
etc, need to be encouraged. However, their externalities, both positive and
negative, like reduction of sediments and reduction of water availability,
downstream, may be kept in view.
6.7 There should be concurrent mechanism involving users for monitoring if
the water use pattern is causing problems like unacceptable depletion or building
up of ground waters, salinity, alkalinity or similar quality problems, etc., with a
view to planning appropriate interventions.
7. WATER PRICING
7.1 Over and above the pre-emptive uses for sustaining life and eco-system,
water needs to be treated as an economic good and therefore, may be priced to
promote efficient use and maximizing value from water. While the practice of
administered prices may have to be continued, economic principles need to
increasingly guide the administered prices.
7.2 There should be a mechanism in every State to establish a water tariff
system and fix the criteria for water charges, preferably on volumetric basis, at
sub-basin, river basin and State level after ascertaining the views of the
beneficiary public, based on the principle that the water charges shall reflect the
full recovery of the cost of administration, operation and maintenance of water
resources projects taking into account the cross subsidy, if any.
7.3 Recycle and reuse of water, after treatment to specified standards,
should be encouraged through a properly planned tariff system, in which there is
a cost for the quantity withdrawn, a refund for properly treated water returned for
reuse, and heavy fines for returning polluted waters.
7.4 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.
7.5 Heavy under-pricing of electricity leads to wasteful use of both electricity
and water. This needs to be reversed.
8 PRESERVATION OF RIVER CORRIDORS, WATER
BODIES AND INFRASTRUCTURE
8.1 Preservation of river corridors, water bodies and infrastructure should be
undertaken in a planned manner through community participation. The storage
capacities of water bodies and water courses and/or associated wetlands, the
flood plains, ecological buffer and areas required for specific aesthetic
recreational and/or social needs may be managed to the extent possible in an
integrated manner to balance the flooding, environment and social issues.
8.2 Encroachments and diversion of water bodies (like rivers, lakes, tanks,
ponds, etc.) and drainage channels (irrigated area as well as urban area
drainage) must not be allowed, and wherever it has taken place, it should be
restored to the extent feasible.
8.3 Environmental needs of aquatic eco-system, wet lands and embanked
flood plains need to be recognized and taken into consideration while planning.
8.4 Sources of water and water bodies should not be allowed to get polluted.
System of third party periodic inspection should be evolved and heavy penalty
should be imposed on the basis of polluter pays principle. The money recovered
from penalty may be put in a fund for facilitating water treatment.
8.5 Quality conservation and improvements are even more important for
ground waters, since cleaning up is very difficult. It needs to be ensured that
industrial effluents, local cess pools, residues of fertilizers and chemicals, etc.,
do not reach the ground water.
8.6 The water resources infrastructure shall be maintained properly to
continue to get the intended benefits. A suitable percentage of the costs of
infrastructure development may be set aside along with collected water charges,
for repair and maintenance. Contract for construction of projects should have
inbuilt provision for longer periods of proper maintenance and handing over back
the infrastructure in good condition.
8.7 Legally empowered dam safety services need to be ensured in the States
as well as in Centre. Appropriate safety measures should be undertaken on top
9 PROJECT PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTATION
9.1 Being inter-disciplinary in nature, water resources projects should be
planned considering social and environmental aspects also in addition to technoeconomic
considerations in consultation with project affected and beneficiary
families. The integrated water resources management with emphasis on finding
reasonable and generally acceptable solutions for most of the stakeholders
should be followed for planning and management of water resources projects.
9.2 Concurrent monitoring at project, State and Centre levels should be
undertaken for timely interventions to avoid time and cost over-runs.
9.3 All components of water resources projects should be planned and
executed in a pari-passu manner so that intended benefits start accruing
immediately after completion of the component and there is no gap between
potential created and potential utilized.
9.4 Local governing bodies like Panchayats, Municipalities, Corporations,
etc., and Water Users Associations shall be involved in planning and
implementation of the projects.
9.5 All water resources projects, including hydro power projects, should be
planned to the extent feasible as multi-purpose projects with provision of storage
to derive maximum benefit from available topology and water resources.
10 RESETTLEMENT & REHABILITATION
10.1 The identification, resettlement & rehabilitation of project affected families
shall be given due consideration right at the beginning of the project formulation.
In addition to compensation for loss of land, house and sustenance livelihood,
the project affected families should be made partners in progress and given a
share in the benefits comparable to project benefited families.
10.2 The cost of rehabilitation and compensation to the project affected
families should partly be borne by project benefited families through adequate
pricing of water.
10.3 The resettlement & rehabilitation policy for water resources project
should conform to the national act / guidelines in this regard.
11 PREPAREDNESS FOR FLOOD & DROUGHT
11.1 While every effort should be made to avert water related disasters like
floods and droughts, through structural and non-structural measures, emphasis
should be on preparedness for flood / drought with coping mechanisms as an
11.2 Land, soil, energy and water management with scientific inputs from
local, research and scientific institutions should be used to evolve different
agricultural strategies and improve soil and water productivity to manage
droughts. Integrated farming systems and non-agricultural developments may
also be considered for livelihood support and poverty alleviation.
11.3 In order to prevent loss of land eroded by the river, which causes
permanent loss, revetments, spurs, embankments, etc., should be planned,
executed, monitored and maintained on the basis of morphological studies. This
will become increasingly more important, since climate change is likely to
increase the rainfall intensity, and hence, soil erosion.
11.4 Flood forecasting is very important for flood preparedness and should be
expanded extensively all across the country and modernized using real time data
acquisition system and medium range weather forecasting to enhance lead time.
11.5 Working tables for reservoirs should be evolved and implemented in such
a manner to have flood cushion and to reduce trapping of sediment during flood
11.6 Protecting all areas prone to floods may not be practicable; hence,
methods for coping with floods have to be encouraged. Frequency based flood
inundation maps should be prepared to evolve coping strategies.
11.7 To increase preparedness for sudden and unexpected flood related
disasters, dam/embankment break studies, as also preparation and periodic
updating of emergency action plans / disaster management plans should be
ensured. In hilly reaches, glacial lake outburst flood and landslide dam break
floods studies with periodic monitoring along with instrumentation, etc., should
be carried out.
12 WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION
12.1 There is a need to remove the large disparity between stipulations for
water supply in urban areas and in rural areas. Efforts should be made to
provide improved water supply in rural areas with proper sewerage facilities.
12.2 Rural areas with endemic ground water quality problems (such as
fluoride or arsenic) may be supplied piped surface water. If ground water
treatment is done through local systems, the problem of disposing the
concentrates should be tackled adequately with due regards to environmental
hazards. Another alternative is to improve the quality of ground water through
dilution with good quality surface water, wherever feasible.
12.3 Urban domestic water supplies should preferably be from surface water.
Where alternate supplies are available, a source with better reliability and quality
needs to be assigned to domestic water supply. Exchange of sources between
uses, giving preference to domestic water supply should be possible. Also, reuse
of urban water effluents from kitchens and bathrooms, after primary treatment, in
flush toilets should be encouraged.
12.4 Urban domestic water systems need to collect and publish water
accounts and water audit reports indicating leakages and pilferages, which
should be reduced taking into due consideration social issues.
12.5 In urban and industrial areas, de-salinization, wherever technoeconomically
feasible, should be encouraged to increase availability of utilizable
12.6 Urban water supply and sewage treatment schemes should be integrated
and executed simultaneously. Water supply bills should include sewerage
12.7 Industries in water short regions may be allowed to either withdraw only
the make up water or should have an obligation to return treated effluent to a
specified standard back to the hydrologic system. Tendencies to unnecessarily
use more water within the plant to avoid treatment or to pollute ground water
need to be prevented.
12.8 Subsidies and incentives should be implemented to encourage recovery
of industrial pollutants and recycling / reuse, which are otherwise capital
13 INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS
13.1 A Water Regulatory Authority should be established in each State. The
Authority, inter-alia, will fix and regulate the water tariff system and charges, in
general, according to the principles stated in this Policy in an autonomous
manner. The Authority may also have functions other than tariff systems, such
as regulating allocations, monitoring operations, reviewing performance and
suggesting policy changes, etc. Water Regulatory Authority in a State may also
assist in resolving intra-State water-related disputes.
13.2 There should be a forum at the national level to deliberate upon issues
relating to water and evolve consensus, co-operation and reconciliation amongst
party States. A similar mechanism should be established within each State to
amicably resolve differences in competing demands for water amongst different
users of water, as also between different parts of the State.
13.3 A permanent Water Disputes Tribunal at the Centre should be
established to resolve the disputes expeditiously in an equitable manner. Apart
from using the „good offices‟ of the Union or the State Governments, as the case
may be, the paths of Arbitration and Mediation may also to be tried in dispute
13.4 The “Service Provider” role of the state has to be gradually shifted to that
of a regulator of services and facilitator for strengthening the institutions
responsible for planning, implementation and management of water resources.
The water related services should be transferred to community and / or private
sector with appropriate “Public Private Partnership” model.
13.5 Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) taking river basin /
sub-basin as a unit, should be the main principle for planning, development and
management of water resources. The departments / organizations at Centre /
State Governments levels should be restructured and made multi-disciplinary
13.6 Appropriate institutional arrangements for each river basin should be
developed to collect and collate all data on regular basis with regard to rainfall,
river flows, area irrigated by crops and by source, utilizations for various uses by
both surface and ground water and to publish water accounts on ten daily basis
every year for each river basin with appropriate water budgets and water
accounts based on the hydrologic balances.
13.7 Appropriate institutional arrangements for each river basin should also be
developed for monitoring water quality in both surface and ground waters.
13.8 States should be encouraged and incentivized to undertake reforms and
progressive measures for innovations, conservation and efficient utilization of
14 INTERNATIONAL RIVERS
14.1 Even while accepting the principle of basin as a unit of development, on
the basis of practicability and easy implementability, efforts should be made to
enter into international agreements with neighbouring countries on bilateral basis
for exchange of hydrological data of international rivers on near real time basis.
14.2 Negotiations about sharing and management of water of international
rivers should be done on bilateral basis in consultative association with riparian
States keeping paramount the national interests. Adequate institutional
arrangements at the Center should be set up to implement international
15 DATABASE & INFORMATION SYSTEM
15.1 All hydrological data, other than those classified as secret on national
security consideration, should be in public domain. A National Water Informatics
Center should be established to collect and collate hydrologic data (other than
data classified as secret on national security consideration) regularly from all
over the country, conduct the preliminary processing, and maintain in open and
transparent manner on a GIS platform. Periodic reviews of the need for the
secrecy with regard to data may be carried out. In view of the likely climate
change, much larger data about snow and glaciers, evaporation, tidal hydrology
and hydraulics, river geometry changes, etc. needs to be collected. A
programme of such data collection needs to be developed and implemented.
15.2 All water related data, like rainfall, snowfall, geo-morphological, climatic,
geological, surface water, ground water, ecological, water extraction and use,
irrigated area, glaciers, etc., should be integrated with well defined procedures
and formats to ensure online updation and transfer of data to facilitate
development of database for informed decision making in the management of
16 RESEARCH & TRAINING NEEDS
16.1 Continuing research and advancement in technology shall be promoted
to address the issues in water sector in a scientific manner. Innovations in water
resources sector should be encouraged, recognized and awarded.
16.2 It is necessary to give 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
16.3 It needs to be recognized that the field practices in water sector in
advanced countries have been revolutionized by advances in information
technology and analytical capabilities. A re-training and quality improvement
programme for water planners and managers at all levels in India, both in private
and public sectors, needs to be undertaken.
16.4 An autonomous center for research in water policy should also be
established to evaluate impacts of policy decisions and to evolve policy
directives for changing scenario of water resources.
16.5 To meet the need of the skilled manpower in the water sector, regular
training and academic courses in water management should be promoted.
These training and academic institutions be regularly updated by developing
infrastructure and promoting applied research, which would help to improve the
current procedures of analysis and informed decision making in the line
departments and by the community.