Know your Ministry - No. 34 - Jal Shakti Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation

Ministry of Jalshakthi established a Mission for optimal sustainable development, maintenance of quality and efficient use of water resources to match with the growing demands on this precious natural resource of the country. The Ministry of Water Resources is responsible for laying down policy guidelines and programmes for the development and regulation of country's water resources. The Ministry has been allocated the following functions:-

  • Overall planning, policy formulation, coordination and guidance in the water resources sector.
  • Technical guidance, scrutiny, clearance and monitoring of the irrigation, flood control and multi-purpose projects (major/medium).
  • General infrastructural, technical and research support for development.
  • Providing special Central Financial Assistance for specific projects and assistance in obtaining External Finance from World Bank and other agencies.
  • Overall policy formulation, planning and guidance in respect of Minor Irrigation and Command Area Development, administration and monitoring of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes and promotion of Participatory Irrigation Management.
  • Overall planning for the development of Ground Water Resources, establishment of utilizable resources and formulation of policies for exploitation, overseeing of and support to State level activities in ground water development.
  • Formulation of national water development perspective and the determination of the water balance of different basins/sub-basins for consideration of possibilities of inter-basin transfers.
  • Coordination, mediation and facilitation in regard to the resolution of differences or disputes relating to Inter-State Rivers and in some instances overseeing of implementation of inter-state projects.
  • Operation of the central network for flood forecasting and warning on inter-state rivers, provision of central assistance for some State Schemes in special cases and preparation of flood control master plans for rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra.
  • Talks and negotiations with neighbouring countries, with regard to river waters, water resources development projects and the operation of the Indus Water Treaty.
  • Ensure effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach to promote inter-sectoral co-ordination for comprehensive planning and management.

Attached Offices: Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Soil & Materials Research Station (CSMRS).

Subordinate Offices: Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Central Water & Power Research Station (CWPRS), Bansagar Control Board (BCB), Sardar Sarovar Construction Advisory Committee (SSCAC), Ganga Flood Control Commission (GFCC), Farakka Barrage Project (FBP), Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB) and National Water Information Centre (NWIC)

Statutory Bodies: Tungabhadra Board (TB), Betwa River Board (BRB), Brahmaputra Board (BB), Godavari River Management Board (GRMB), and Krishna River Management Board (KRMB),

Corporate Bodies: Narmada Control Authority (NCA) and Cauvery Water Management Authority

Registered Societies/ Autonomous Bodies: National Water Development Agency (NWDA) and National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), North Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management (NERIWALM), National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Polavaram Project Authority (PPA)

Public Sector Undertakings: National Projects Construction Corporation Limited (NPCC Ltd.) and Water & Power Consultancy Services Limited (WAPCOS Ltd.)

A. TASKS OF THE MINISTRY

a) Development, conservation and management of water as a national resource; overall national perspective of water planning and coordination in relation to diverse uses of water and interlinking of rivers;

b) National Water Resources Council;

c) General Policy, technical assistance, research and development training and all matters relating to irrigation, including multi-purpose, major, medium, minor and emergency irrigation works; hydraulic structures for navigation and hydro-power; tube wells and groundwater exploration and exploitation; protection and preservation of ground water resources; conjunctive use of surface and ground water, irrigation for agricultural purposes, water management, command area development; management of reservoirs and reservoir sedimentation; flood (control) management, drainage, drought proofing, water logging and sea erosion problems; dam safety;

d) Regulation and development of Inter-State rivers and river valleys. Implementation of Awards of Tribunals through Schemes, River Boards;

e) Water laws, legislation;

f) Water quality assessment; and

g) Cadre control and management of the Central Water Engineering Services (Group A).

B. INTERNATIONAL ASPECTS

h) International organizations, commissions and conferences relating to water resources development and management, drainage and flood control;
i) International Water Law;
j) Matters relating to rivers common to India and neighboring countries; the Joint Rivers Commission with Bangladesh, the Indus Waters Treaty 1960; the Permanent Indus Commission;
k) Bilateral and external assistance and cooperation programmes in the field of water resources development.

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

The R & D activities undertaken in the Scheme are essential for the management and development of water resources of the country. These activities are playing key role for creation and implementation of research and knowledgebase for the State Governments/Union Territories, Institutions and other stakeholders working in the water sector. The activities undertaken under this Scheme are:

(a) R&D activities through Apex Research Organizations at National level: Central Water and Power Research Station(CWPRS), Pune, Central Soil and Material Research Station(CSMRS), National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee and Central Water Commission (CWC).

(b) Sponsoring and coordinating research in water sector through Educational Institutes, Indian Institution, NGOs and Indian Private Institutes in collaboration with Government Institutes

(c) Dissemination of research findings and technology transfer and International Collaborations

(d) Evaluation of R&D Activities and Consultancies

The Government of India launched National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) which inter-alia envisages the approach to be adopted to meet the challenges of impact of climate change through eight National Missions including National Water Mission (NWM). Ministry of Water Resources has set up National Water Mission with the main objective of “conservation of water, minimizing wastage and ensuring its more equitable distribution both across and within States through integrated water resources development and management”. A “Comprehensive Mission Document” of the NWM was approved with following five goals:-

a) Comprehensive Water Data Base in Public Domain and Assessment of Impact of Climate Change on Water Resources.
b) Promotion of Citizen and State Action for Water Conservation, Augmentation and Preservation.
c) Focused Attention to Vulnerable Areas including Over-exploited Areas.
d) Increasing Water Use Efficiency by 20%.
e) Promotion of Basin Level and Integrated Water Resources Management.

ADDITIONAL WORK ASSIGNED TO THE MINISTRY

a) National Ganga River Basin Authority including the Mission Directorate, National Mission for Clean Ganga and other related matters of Ganga Rejuvenation.
b) Conservation, development, management and abatement of pollution in river Ganga and its tributaries.

Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation- Rural water supply (Jal Jeevan Mission)

Jal Jeevan Mission, is envisioned to provide safe and adequate drinking water through individual household tap connections by 2024 to all households in rural India. The programme will also implement source sustainability measures as mandatory elements, such as recharge and reuse through grey water management, water conservation, rain water harvesting. The Jal Jeevan Mission will be based on a community approach to water and will include extensive Information, Education and communication as a key component of the mission. JJM looks to create a Jan Andolan for water, thereby making it everyone’s priority.

Rural Sanitation: To accelerate the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage and to put focus on sanitation, the Prime Minister of India had launched the Swachh Bharat Mission on 2nd October 2014. The mission was implemented as nation-wide campaign/Janandolan which aimed at eliminating open defecation in rural areas during the period 2014 to 2019 through mass scale behavior change, construction of household-owned and community-owned toilets and establishing mechanisms for monitoring toilet construction and usage.

URGENT TASKS AHEAD FOR JALSHAKTHI MINISTRY

  1. Lack of concrete policy initiatives to maintain quality and scientific utilisation of water resources in the country.
  2. Access to Clean Drinking Water to all for life and livelihood at Zero Cost.
  3. Supply of Water for Sanitation to all citizens to maintain good health and hygiene.
  4. Water for Irrigation to all Farmers engaged in cultivation of essential food commodities to envisage development and effective management to augment agriculture production.
  5. To remove and manage all constraints involved in establishing integrated water management and play an effective role to envisage poverty reduction, environmental sustenance and sustainable economic development.
  6. Introduce two broad categories of water consumption viz Residential and Commercial (Including Industries and Business Establishments) for distribution and supply of water resources.
  7. Ground water and River/Rain Water resources should be exclusively utilized.
  8. Failure to ensure effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach for promotion of inter-sectoral co-ordination.
  9. To judiciously allocate funds for optimum implementation of schemes committed to Swachh and Swasth Bharath instead of using them as election publicity /campaign materials.
  10. To constitute a transparent infrastructure and regulated framework to achieve the designated targets of building toilets, sanitation, drinking water supply, etc for a safe livelihood of citizens.
  11. Take up national level initiatives to identify all physical encroachments on water bodies through a statutory framework and relocation to alternative avenues to protect water resources and environment.
  12. Curtail all legal impediments in settling all water related disputes between through a common code for inter-state water sharing and construction of water dams, to ensure no state is denied or deprived of its water requirement both for cultivation and livelihood.
  13. Explore alternate avenues for generation of water resources for coastal states through cost effective Desalination projects and use them exclusively for Business, Industrial and Commercial establishments. In other words, A New Law needs to be enacted to ensure Ground water, Rain/River water should be used/supplied exclusively for domestic consumption for non-commercial residences and livelihood and desalinated sea water should be used/supplied for all Business and Industrial purposes.
  14. Ministry of Water Resources, Sanitation, Drinking Water, Irrigation and related domains under Jal Shakthi should be headed by the Prime Minister since they are essential for life and livelihood of citizens.

 

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