The water crisis is increasing in the subcontinent of India, in the 21st century this crisis is becoming increasingly deep. At present, 413 districts out of total 707 districts of the country are facing increasing water crisis, this availability and requirement are continuously decreasing. The level of ground water is constantly going down, in many areas, the level of ground water has gone down so much that the area has come under the over exploited category. Handpumps and tube wells have stopped giving water, the flow of water in the rivers is continuously decreasing. The water of the dams constructed for irrigation is being preserved for drinking and not for irrigation. In the coming years, only the availability of water will be ensured for the supply of drinking water from the dark banks of India. The water crisis is becoming even more acute due to increasing consumption and increasing urbanization in India. As a result of increasing urbanization, underground water is also being exploited in many cities of the world and also promoting deforestation that is also enhancing water crisis as Forest plays an important role in the conservation and purification of the water resources, it prevents the polluting elements from reaching rivers, prevents floods.
The level of consumption of water in any country is an important indicator of the level of economic development there. People from developing countries spend less per person water with respect to developed countries. In addition, most of the use of water resources in developing countries is spent in agriculture, and in almost all the developed countries, there is almost uniform use in agriculture and industries. The main reason for water pollution in urban areas is the polluted water of drains and chemicals emissions of industries which flow into the rivers, which made almost all the rivers in India polluted. If the monsoon comes late, the condition of the shortage of rainfall is created, then the situation of dispute for the use of river water generated. According to statistical analysis, in the year 2030, there is a possibility of an increase in water scarcity. More than 50 percent of the drinking water requirement in India could not be fulfilled, which will lead to a greater difference in demand and supply, due to which the poor and weak sections of the country will be in deep crisis. There will be more serious crisis related to water distribution, as well as the situation of conflict that will generate law and order issue. The situation in those areas where there is water crisis is causing a bad situation of law and order.
It is necessary that the Water Security Act be prepared on the lines of the Food Security Act in India. For the creation of this law, the water man of India Rajendra Singh launched a campaign to work on water and environment throughout the country. For three consecutive years, he has drafted the Water Security Act – 2017 for the purpose of preparing this format more than 1000 people have been consulted with this topic. Seminars and workshops for the construction of water security law have been organized at 46 places across the country. This format bill has been made public for consultation many times. The Water Security Act 2017 is being published in simple language for an understanding of the people. The water security act is necessary for the wellbeing of the people and to ensure the uninterrupted development of the Nation.
The draft of the Water Security Act 2017 is being published in the public interest by the Jal Biradari & Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan
The Water Security Act 2017
An Act to providefor settingout the practical regime of the conservation of rivers and ensuring water security for all life forms to secure water security and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
WHEREAS the Constitution of India has established democratic Republic;
AND WHEREAS democracy requires a citizenry to be able to perform their Constitutional duty to protect the environment which is vital to life;
AND WHEREAS the constitution requires the Local Bodies to protect the environment and rivers;
AND WHEREAS conservation of rivers is likely to conflict with other public interests including development projects of the Governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information;
AND WHEREAS it is necessary to harmonise these conflicting interests while preserving the paramountcy of the constitutional rights and democratic ideal;
NOW, THEREFORE, it is expedient to provide for empowering citizens and local bodies who desire to conserve their waterbodies and ensure water security.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:
1. This is an Act to provide a River Conservation;
(1) This Act may be called the River Conservation Act, 2015.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the states of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) Save as otherwise provided, it shall be deemed to have come into force on ,2015.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,
(1) “aggression” shall mean any act that destroys or threatens to destroy the hydrological, biological or ecological integrity of any water body through any means including but not restricted to encroachments, pollution or exploitation;
(2) “aquifer” means a geological structure or formation, or an artificial landfill, that is permeated with water or is capable of being permeated with water;
(3) “aquifer interference activity” means an activity involving the penetration of an aquifer, or the interference with water in an aquifer, or the obstruction of the flow of water in an aquifer, or the taking of water from an aquifer in the course of carrying out construction, mining, or reclaiming, or the disposal of water taken from an aquifer in the course of reclaiming, mining or construction, or the contamination of water in the aquifer with pollutants;
(4) “area sabha” or panchayat shall be a formal or informal body of local residents;
(5) “biological integrity” exists if the ability to support and maintain a balanced, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity and functional organization comparable to that of natural habitats of the region is maintained;
(6) “conservation of water bodies” means all acts that ensure the ecological, biological and hydrological integrity is preserved;
(7) “destruction of water bodies” means all acts that ensure the ecological, biological and hydrological integrity is disturbed or destroyed;
(8) “drainage basin” or “catchment area”is an extent or area of land where surface water from rain or melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another water body, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean. The drainage basin includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surfaces including the mountains and hills from which water drains into those channels;
(9) “ecological integrity”is maintained if, when subjected to disturbance, the water body sustains an organizing, self-correcting capability to recover toward an end-state that is ‘normal’ or ‘good’ for that system;
(10) “encroachment” shall mean undertaking, within the river conservation zone, any activities that are prohibited by this Act;
(11) “exploitation” shall mean water use made by a person exceeding the WHO norms per person;
(12) “habitat” means any census village or census town;
(13) “hydrologic integrity” exists if balanced hydrologic, hydraulic conditions on a temporal and spatial scale that are comparable to the natural characteristics of the region are maintained;
(14) “monsoon” means seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea.It includes both the south-west monsoon arriving in June as well as the north-east monsoon arriving in September.
Short title and commencement