Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR,RD&GR) is the apex body for management of water resources, rivers and irrigation in the country.
Central Water Commission (CWC) is the apex technical organisation under the ministry. It collects river-basin information across the country, and based on it, gives technical advice to the ministry.
Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is the apex organisation for sustainable development and management of ground water resources in the country. It maps aquifers, and gathers data about water quality and contamination (by heavy metals), and suggests steps for quality improvement and recharge of ground water.
There is a pending proposal to create a new National Water Commission (NWC), that will subsume the CWC and CGWB, so as to view ground water and surface water in an integrated, holistic manner.
Schemes/ Initiatives/ Policies:
Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) programme
Interlinking of Rivers programme aims to enhance availability of water in drought prone and rain-fed areas by creating a network of reservoirs and canals, thereby addressing persistent floods in some areas and drought in others.
The project is managed by National Water Development Agency (NWDA), and is divided into three components –
- Himalayan Rivers Interlink component, under which 14 links have been identified
- Peninsular Rivers Interlink component, under which 16 links have been identified
- Intrastate River Interlink
Major river link projects identified to be built under the programme include: Ken-Betwa, Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada, Mahanadi-Godavari, Godavari-Cauvery (Grand Anicut), Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga.
National Mission for Clean Ganga – Namami Gange Mission
National Council for River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) is the implementing authority for this mission. The council is chaired by the Prime Minister of India, and has been constituted under provisions of Environment (Protection) Act 1986. It replaced National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) as the managing authority of the mission. The Clean Ganga Fund was created to fund the mission’s activities, but reports suggest that the fund lies unutilised due to lack of a proper plan of implementation of the scheme.
Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) envisages rehabilitation and improvement of older dams to enhance their safety and operational efficiency.
Atal Bhujal Yojana is the revamped National Groundwater Management Improvement Scheme. It focuses on recharge, and efficient use of groundwater by involving community at local level.
National Water Mission (NWM) of one of the 8 missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). Its objectives are to conserve water through improving water use efficiency, and ensure more equitable distribution of water in the country. Annual NWM Water Awards are given to organisations that exemplify greater water use efficiency, as a strategy to incentivise water conservation.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY)
PMKSY is a scheme of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoAFW) with twin aims of increasing the area under irrigation (har khet ko pani), and enhancing water use efficiency (Per Drop More Crop). Its three sub components are implemented by the MoWR,RD&GR:
- Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP)
- Command Area Development and Water Management (CADWM)
- PMKSY (Har Khet ko Pani)
Accelerated Irrigation Benefits Programme (AIBP) has been largely successful in expediting completion of unfinished major and minor canal projects. This success can be attributed to availability of funds through enhanced budgetary allocations and the LTIF setup with NABARD – which mobilised market borrowings. Way forward: improvement of canal networks, and its maintenance and operation through formation of local user associations.