Report No. 9 of 2021 - Union Government, Ministry of Jal Shakti Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

Date on which Report Tabled:
Tue 21 Dec, 2021
Date of sending the report to Government:
Thu 21 Oct, 2021
Government Type:
Union Department
Sector Environment and Sustainable Development,Agriculture and Rural Development,Social Infrastructure


Report No 9 of 2021 of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India contains the observations of Performance Audit of Ground Water Management and Regulation for the period 2013-18.

Ground water accounts for nearly 62 per cent of the total requirement of water in irrigation, 85 per cent in rural water supply and 45 per cent in urban water supply. Therefore, sustainable development and efficient management of ground water poses a complex challenge for governance in India.

A Central Sector Scheme on ‘Ground Water Management and Regulation’ was approved for implementation during XII Plan period (2012-17) with an estimated cost of ` 3,319 crore and an overall objective of proper assessment and management of ground water resources so as to ensure its sustainability. The scheme was continued during 2017-20 at an estimated cost of ` 992 crore.

Management of Ground Water

The percentage of utilisation of ground water with respect to recharge, known as stage of extraction of ground water in the country was 63 per cent. In 13 States/UTs, the stage of extraction was higher than the national stage of extraction. Four States/UTs (Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan) had a stage of extraction of more than 100 per cent, indicating that extraction of ground water has surpassed the recharge of ground water.

As per the data for 2015 based on 15,165 locations in 32 States tested by CGWB, ground water had levels of contaminants higher than permissible limits of Arsenic (697 locations), Fluoride (637 locations), Nitrate (2,015 locations), Iron (1,389 locations) and Salinity (587 locations).

Ground Water Regulation

During joint field visits to the industries/project sites (other than individual households) for verification of compliance with conditions laid out in NOCs, widespread non-compliance of conditions mentioned in the NOC was noticed such as illegal extraction of ground water (Andhra Pradesh), non-installation of water flow meters (Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal), improper maintenance of rainwater recharge structures (Gujarat and Haryana), absence of monitoring of water quality data (Odisha), wastage of water in a notified/over-exploited area (Karnataka) etc. 

Implementation of schemes on Ground Water Management and Regulation

Against the Budget Estimate of ` 2,349.48 crore for 2012-19, the Actual Expenditure under the Scheme was ` 1,109.73 crore.  Of the 201 reports included in the programme, Aquifer mapping reports of only 168 districts were shared with District Administration till November 2019.

Sustainable Development Goals and Ground Water

Against the target value for percentage annual ground water withdrawal against net annual availability of 70 per cent under target 6.4, the national level was at 63 per cent

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