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All about water use in industry (Download pdf)

Too many cooks

Spoil the water management broth

Ministry of water resource (MoWR): It is the principle agency responsible for water in India but water pollution does not fall under its purview, nor does the industrial use of water.

Ministry of Industry (MoI): It is concerned with the planning and development of water resources for industrial use. It has no mandate to control or regulate the water use by industries.

Central Ground Water Board/Authority (CGWB/A): Meant to regulate the groundwater quality and quantity in the country. Though they have mandate to do what they can with groundwater, they have so far only mapped the groundwater status. They have no mandate to charge industrial groundwater use.

Ministry of Power (MoP): Entrusted with development of hydroelectricity, but has no mandate to look after either water consumption or water pollution by the thermal power plants. And this despite the fact that they consume as much as three-fourths of the total industrial water in the country.

Water Quality Assessment Authority (WQAA): Frustrated with the multiplicity of agencies MoEF & MoWR decided to set up this apex body to compile information on water quality and monitor the function of the agencies. But since its constitution, WQAA has only met twice and no progress has been made on its agenda.

Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF): It is concerned with the quality of surface and ground water. But it has no mandate to control use of water as raw material. But it has no mandate to handle water scarcity, nor any power to resolve water conflicts.

Central and State Pollution Control Board (CPCB) & (SPCBs): These regulate industrial water pollution and charge water cess based on the amount of wastewater discharged by the companies. But they have no mandate to control sourcing of water from various sources.

Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD): Its responsibilities are: watershed development, the Million Wells Scheme, the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission and developing the source of drinking water in rural areas. But ensuring availability of water and testing for water contamination is not its responsibility.

Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD): It is responsible for drinking water in urban areas but doesn't have the mandate to monitor, regulate or charge water used by industries in urban areas.


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