National Water Framework Bill 2016 - Draft by Mihir Shah Committee

A Draft National Water Framework Bill 2016 was framed by a committee headed by Dr Mihir Shah. The Committee was formed by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The objective behind framing this bill was to conserve, manage, protect and regulate the use of water. As per the Constitution of India, water comes under the State Subject, hence the approval of states are required if the bill has to fructify as an act.

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Features of Draft National Water Framework Bill 

To address a multitude of problems the bill comprehensively covers many areas of concerns. Some of the features of this bill are shared in this article.

Below table gives the 12 Most Important Features of the Draft National Water Framework Bill

Features of Draft National Water Bill 2016                         Details
Right to Water for Life
  1. Every person has a right to a sufficient quantity of safe water.
  2. Every drinking water agency must comply with Manual of the Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation
River Rejuvenation
  1. Aviral Dhara – Maintenance of connectivity of flow in each river system.
  2. Nirmal Dhara – Making sure that the quality of rivers is not affected by human activities.
  3. Swachh Kinara – Working on making riverbanks clean and aesthetic.
  4. Rejuvenating aquifers, that are an important source of rivers.
Protecting Ecosystems dependent on water
  1. Rivers shall be protected from construction on their floodplains
  2. Rivers should be protected from sand mining
People-Centred Water Management Focus on groundwater and surface water conservation activities by people using

  1. Rainwater harvesting techniques
  2. Watershed development
  3. Participatory irrigation management
Water use and Land Use
  1. The focus will be on proper land use in appropriate areas.
  2. Sustainable agricultural practices for optimum utilisation of water usage.
Treatment and Use of Wastewater
  1. The focus would be on promoting recycling and reusing wastewater.
Integrated River Basin Development and Management
  1. This is done to prevent negative fallout of reduction in water tables, drying up of rivers.
  2. Any development activity will be undertaken only after taking into consideration the hydrological, ecological and agro-climatic conditions.
  3. The Central Government shall establish river basin authority for every interstate river and valley.
  4. The river basin authority will work on social, economic development, land use, rural, urban development.
Project Planning and Management
  1. Panchayats, Municipalities, Corporations will be involved in the planning and management of projects.
Planning for Water Security
  1. Water Security Plan should be prepared to ensure water security at all times even during times of emergencies like droughts and floods.
  2. Incentives for switching to water-intensive crops 
  3. Incentives for switching to water conservation technologies such as drip irrigation and sprinklers
  4. Work on setting up groundwater recharge structures and promote usage of energy-efficient pumps.
  5. Water Security plans will be for 5 years and it will be amended or revised after every 5 years.
Water Resource Information System
  1. The Central Government shall develop and maintain the Water Resources Information System (WRIS), satellite imageries will be used.
  2. National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) must be established to regularly collect hydrological data all over the country.
Promotion of Innovation and Knowledge Management
  1. The government shall promote research in technology to address the issues in the water sector.
Water Conflicts – Interstate Water disputes
  1. Institutional arrangements shall be established to resolve inter-state water disputes.


National Water Framework Bill- UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Multiple Choice Question

Consider the following Statements

  1. ‘National Water Mission Awards’ are conferred in recognition of excellence achieved in sustainable water management, efficient use of water, and for excellence in water conservation.
  2. The aim of the Government under Jal Jeevan Mission is to provide tap water to all households by 2024.
  3. Renovation of traditional and other water bodies, reuse of water and recharging of structures are some of the focus areas of Jal Shakti Abhiyan.
  4. There are 2 types of water scarcity – physical water scarcity and economic water scarcity.

Which of the following is correct?

A) All the above-given statements are true.

B) None of the above-given statements are true

C) Only Statements 1,2 and 3 are true.

D) Only Statement 4 is true.

Answer: A

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Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Civil Service Exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page.

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