There are three conditions where groundwater needs to be extracted- for drinking and domestic use, for mixed purposes (i.e. domestic and industrial processes) and for irrigation in agriculture. All industries/ mining/ infrastructure dewatering projects, whether existing/ new/ under expansion and drawing/ proposing to draw groundwater through energised means, need to obtain CGWA permission for groundwater boring from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA). With around one-sixth of assessed groundwater units in the country facing over-exploitation, the Central Government issued revised guidelines in 2020 over the 2018 draft guidelines meant for regulated groundwater use. CGWA is engaged in activities related to the regulation of groundwater development to ensure its long-term sustainability and issues CGWA permission for groundwater boring and water abstraction in different circumstances. All industries/ mining/ infrastructure and dewatering projects, whether existing or new and under expansion and drawing/ proposing to draw groundwater through energised means, must obtain CGWA permission for groundwater boring. In notified areas, CGWA permission for groundwater boring and the abstraction of groundwater through any energised means will not be granted for any purpose other than drinking and domestic use. However, withdrawal of saline water can be permitted in notified areas subject to some conditions.
The application process for CGWA permission for groundwater boring will need submission of the online application with the mandated documents once the profile is formed on the official portal of the authority.
For granting CGWA permission for groundwater boring for drinking and domestic purposes, two broad categories were identified in the guidelines.
All the above users drawing or proposing to draw groundwater through non-energised means and pumps of up to 2 HP from one tubewell in their premises will be exempted from seeking CGWA permission for groundwater boring. An application for NOC for water withdrawal is only considered in cases where the water supply department cannot supply adequate water in that area. Also, government water supply agencies are required to seek CGWA permission for groundwater boring from the authorised officers for existing and new schemes based on groundwater sources available.
CGWA permission for groundwater boring to industries requiring groundwater for mixed-use, i.e. industrial process and drinking and domestic purpose, is only given in cases where adequate public water supply/ surface water source does not exist. NOC is valid for two years from the date of issuance. The applicant must apply for renewal within 90 days of the expiry date for the validity of the NOC. The following conditions, however, has to be met by the entity seeking groundwater abstraction for mixed-use.
Monitoring measures in case Permission is needed in Critical and Over-exploited areas
|Quantity of Water Extracted||Audit Required||Monitoring devices that need to be installed|
|> 500 m3 /day or > 200 m 3 /day in critical and over-exploited areas||Annual Water Audit in Annexure Vof the guidelines through CII, FICCI, NPC and certified auditors||No|
|> 50 to 500 m 3 /day or>20 to 200 m 3 /day in Critical and Over-exploited areas||–||Installation of piezometer and DWLR (without telemetry) and continuous monitoring|
|beyond 500 m 3 / day or beyond 200 m 3 / day in Critical and Over-exploited areas||–||Installation of piezometer and DWLR with telemetry for continuous monitoring|
All existing, and new mining projects, need CGWA permission for groundwater boring for mine or dewatering from Central Ground Water Authority. In this case, the certificate’s validity will be two years from the date of issuance. The applicant must apply for renewal of NOC at least 90 days prior to the expiry of validity. The conditions to be fulfilled by the mining projects include
CGWA permission for groundwater boring for mining is granted after the submission of the following documents
In India, the livelihood of farmers depends heavily on agriculture. They are therefore exempted from obtaining NOC from the Authorized Officer. In the case of large farmers, concerned State Departments will be required to undertake the following measures to ensure the sustainability of groundwater sources.
An application has to be made to the CGWA along with the following documents.
CGWA has been issuing guidelines from time to time for the evaluation of proposals and requests for groundwater abstraction to ensure the sustainability of groundwater in terms of quantity and quality. It also looks into the variations in the availability of water in different climatic regions and diverse hydro-geological conditions in various States of the country. Under the November 2015 Guidelines issued by CGWA, 162 critical/ over-exploited areas were identified to regulate groundwater development. In these notified areas, permission to abstract groundwater is not provided for any purpose other than drinking use. However, in non-notified areas, groundwater withdrawal is considered for the entities mentioned above. CGWA permission for groundwater boring is now to be issued based on the nature of the assessment units.
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