Come June, industries must pay for using groundwater

Agriculture sector, defence units will be exempt from the water conservation fee

In a bid to promote conservation of groundwater, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has notified a water conservation fee (WCF) that industries will need to pay on groundwater extraction starting from June.

As per the notification, industries extracting groundwater including mining-dewatering units and those that use groundwater for packaged drinking water would also need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government. Individual households that draw groundwater using a delivery pipe of a greater than 1” diameter, too, would need to pay a WCF.

However, the agriculture sector — the largest consumer of groundwater in the country — will be exempt from the fees.

The guidelines would come into force with effect from June 2019 and would apply across the country.

“The entire process of grant of NOC will be done online through a web based application system of CGA,” the Water Resources ministry said in the notification.

The rates, according to a notification by the CGA on Wednesday, would be levied depending on the location of the groundwater extraction point and the amount of water being extracted. The government has a list of groundwater blocks, called assessment blocks. These are classified as ‘safe,’ ‘semi-critical,’ ‘critical’ and ‘over-exploited’ depending on the groundwater draft.

Drawing up to 20 cubic metres (a cubic metre is 1,000 litres) a day in a ‘safe’ block would cost a company ?3 per cubic metre. However, extracting 5,000 or more cubic metres a day, at an ‘over exploited’ block would invite a daily charge in excess of ?100 per cubic metre .

The WCF for residential projects ranges from ?1-2 per cubic metre. The WCF apart, all industrial as well as residential bodies would also need to apply for an NOC....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

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