Centre forms committee to draft new water policy

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News: The Jal Shakti Ministry has finalised a committee to draft a new National Water Policy (NWP).

Facts:

About the Committee:

  • It will be chaired by Mihir Shah, who is a former Planning Commission member and a water expert.
  • The committee has 10 principal members, including Shashi Shekhar, a former secretary of Water Resources, and A.B. Pandya, former chairman of the Central Ground Water Board.
  • The committee is expected to produce a report within six months.

About National Water Policy 2012

  • It put emphasis on the need for a national water framework law, comprehensive legislation for optimum development of inter-State rivers and river valleys, amendment of Irrigation Acts, Indian Easements Act, 1882, etc.
  • It recommended setting up of Water Regulatory Authority.
  • It put forward the concept of an Integrated Water Resources Management approach that took the “river basin/ sub-basin” as a unit for planning, development and management of water resources.
  • It also proposed that a portion of river flows ought to be kept aside to meet ecological needs.
  • It also stressed for a minimum quantity of potable water for essential health and hygiene to all its citizens to be made available within easy reach of households.