Call Us Now

+91 9606900005 / 04

For Enquiry

Groundwater Governance in Nigeria


  • With nearly 18% of the world’s population, India occupies 2.4% of the planet’s land area and uses 4% of its water resources.
  • The country’s groundwater resources are under stress due to a rapidly expanding economy and population, so groundwater resource governance has become a crucial issue for the nation.


GS Paper-2: Government Policies, Governance and related issues.

GS Paper -3: Water Resources and its conservation.

Mains Question

What steps is the Indian government taking to improve groundwater governance? Include some recommendations for additional improvement. (250 Words).

Key Points:

 According to a World Bank report, India uses more groundwater than any other country in the world. There is no federal law governing the use of groundwater, and each State has its own laws governing its extraction that are applied haphazardly.

Significance of Ground Water

  • Groundwater is crucial to India’s agriculture and drinking water security in both rural and urban areas, providing nearly 80% of the nation’s drinking water needs and 2/3 of its irrigation requirements.
    • India, one of the economies that is expanding the fastest, will require sufficient groundwater resources to handle anthropogenic pressures.
  • In order to fulfil the Jal Jeevan Mission’s goal of providing clean drinking water to every rural household by 2024, it is crucial to ensure source sustainability.
  • Indian water security depends heavily on groundwater.

Dynamic Ground Water Resource Assessment, 2022

  • A report titled “National Compilation on Dynamic Groundwater Resources of India” that provides an overview of the groundwater situation in India was recently made public by the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
    • The results of the groundwater assessment point to a favourable tendency toward groundwater management.
      • Key Results
    • The number of “overexploited” groundwater units has decreased by 3%, and the number of “safe” category units has increased by 4%, according to the most recent assessment.
    • The annual extraction of groundwater is 239.16 BCM, while the total annual groundwater recharge is 437.60 BCM.
    • In 909 units, the state of the groundwater improved.
    • The assessment also revealed a decrease in annual extraction (of about 9.53 billion cubic metres); the figures for irrigation, industry, and domestic use are 208.49 BCM, 3.64 BCM, and 27.05 BCM, respectively.
  • According to the assessment for 2022, groundwater extraction is at its lowest level since 2004 (231 bcm).

Initiatives for Better Groundwater Governance:

  • The federal government is working with the states and union territories to manage groundwater sustainably.
    • During this process, a number of significant initiatives have been noted, including A reduction in groundwater extraction to below 70%.
  • Extending the groundwater observation well network.
  • Setting up digital water level recorders for ongoing observation.
  • routine groundwater quality inspections.
  • Data dissemination and aquifer mapping.
  • Improving industry regulation of groundwater extraction.
  • Supporting routine groundwater resource assessments and participatory groundwater management.
    • Establishment of the Jal Shakti Ministry (by combining the former Ministries of Drinking Water and Sanitation, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation), which will help to advance the management of water resources with a focus on demand and supply.
    • After recognising the value of community involvement, the Jal Shakti Abhiyan was started to turn Jan Shakti into Jal Shakti through the creation of assets, rainwater harvesting (the “Catch the Rain” campaign), and a broad awareness campaign.
    • Other initiatives, such as the National Project on Aquifer Management and the Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY), have been taken to effectively manage and regulate groundwater (NAQUIM).
      • In order to achieve “participatory groundwater management,” ABY seeks to foster the kind of behavioural modification made possible by incentives.
  • Aquifers that contain water are to be mapped as part of NAQUIM in order to collect accurate information and allow for well-informed decision-making.
  • Out of the nearly 25 lakh square kilometres that can be mapped, about 24 lakh square kilometres of the country have been mapped. By March 2023, the remaining area should be mapped.
  • Rapid and precise aquifer mapping has been achieved by combining traditional exploratory techniques with a heliborne-based survey (state-of-the-art technology).
    • Boosting the Number of Monitoring Stations
      • There are currently 7,885 automated monitoring stations in India, which makes up about 65,025 total monitoring stations. o This number is expected to rise to over 84,000, with over 35,000 automated stations being added, with a particular focus on identifying groundwater-stressed areas and industrial and urban clusters that extract a lot of groundwater. o Dynamic groundwater assessments will now be performed annually, and a committee has been formed to review the assessment methodology.
  • Additionally, a programme called the “India-Groundwater Resource Estimation System (IN-GRES)” has been created.

Need Of The Hour

  • Communities will need assistance from numerous governmental and non-governmental organisations to better manage their groundwater resources.
    • In the context of climate change, efforts must be made to find solutions that are crucial for sustainable development as uncertainties in relation to groundwater resources will grow.
    • According to a draught national water policy, recycling should take precedence over using freshwater for industrial purposes and water-intensive crops should be abandoned.
    • Water shouldn’t be viewed as a free, private resource; instead, its costs should be calculated and shared fairly.
    • Despite the fact that water is still a divisive political issue in India, the global warming crisis should inspire agreement on the need to discourage wasteful consumption of this limited resource.
    • The initiatives taken by various governments have started to show results, which is why the groundwater resource assessment report for 2022 predicts a better future for groundwater conditions in the nation.
      • This is a fresh start, and action must be taken to make India a water-surplus country, achieving one of the main Sustainable Development Goals of the UN: providing access to clean water for all.


The government’s efforts to improve the general groundwater situation in India show a commitment to cooperative federalism in the management of this priceless resource.

July 2024