Water Policy in India: Maharashtra Government charts new water allocation policy

December 19, 2012 4:42 PM |

After the Haryana, it’s now Maharashtra’s turn to sit up and take notice of the depleting water table in the state. Last year’s rain deficit had already created a panic situation among the farmers of the state. As per new water policy brought in by Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) there will be a stipulated measurement of water allocation for residential and domestic use from now on. Earlier this year, in a similar measure Punjab and Haryana court had barred Real Estate companies in Gurgaon from using unlimited ground water for building high rises in the city.

It’s an interesting phenomenon to see that the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) in its new policy stresses that not more than twenty percent of water should be allocated for non-irrigational purposes however with the increasing demand for domestic and drinking water requirements pressure on the water sources are increasing continuously. The objective for MWRRA in future days will be to encourage the domestic and other non-irrigational users to use recycled water as much as possible. New agreements with the domestic users will ensure that the suppliers reduce supply of water over the years if the water reservoir does not attain design storage.

MWRRA also intends to ask the Industrial bodies in the state to furnish data regarding the water usage pattern including the amount of water recycled and amount extracted from ground water table. Similarly municipal corporations and councils will be asked to furnish data regarding the population increase in their zone as well as the level of unaccounted water use. The authorities will also keep a strict eye on implementation of roof top rain water harvesting and arrangement of sewage treatment.

MWRRA is strict on the guidelines and wishes to implement punishment measures for associations, organizations or individuals failing to achieve the targets. Among the punitive measures suggested are penal bulk tariff rates, reduction in allocation etc. at the time of renewal.  All new agreements will have a maximum validity of five years.

This is indeed a good move from a state that receives one of the highest rainfalls in the country. It clearly shows the government intent to create a solution for water troubles as well as a serious long term view towards the future. It now is up to the other states to take example from the book of Maharashtra and make serious move to save the depleting water table in their area.

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