In an indication of the summer likely to become an intense one, the Ministry of Jal Shakti has issued a public notice to all users. The notice warned that all individual domestic consumers whether existing or new, extracting groundwater for swimming pools, shall be required to seek NOC from Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) or the state counterpart.
This is mandatory for both rural and urban users based on the CGWA guidelines issued on September 24, 2020.
Officials said that the users extracting groundwater for swimming pools could include residential apartments, group housing societies, townships, villas, farmhouses, clubs, hotels, resorts, sports/swimming complexes, schools and academic institutions. No NOC will be issued for groundwater extraction for swimming pools for new users in over-exploited areas.
The entire process of granting NOC shall be online through a web-based application. The existing users extracting groundwater for pools are also required to submit the application.
According to officials, the NOC for extraction will be granted only where the local government water supply agency is unable to supply the requisite amount of water in the area.
All such users will be required to pay for the groundwater extraction/restoration charges for the quantum of groundwater proposed to be extracted as per the rates mentioned by the CGW guidelines.
Rainwater harvesting, and recharge systems should be installed in the premises as per the prevailing building byelaws in the state. They also must ensure that the water from the swimming pools is not used for groundwater recharge.
A digital water flow meter having a telemetry system is mandatory. Extraction of groundwater for swimming pools without a valid NOC or swimming pools without a valid NOC from the appropriate authority shall be considered illegal and such users are liable to pay environmental compensation.
The district collectors or district magistrates have been authorised to take enforcement measures like sealing of illegal wells, disconnection of electricity, launching prosecution measures. Periodic inspections have to be done by the technical offices of the CGW board or state authority.
Source: Times Of India
Photo courtesy: Times Of India