Come June, Groundwater Extraction will invite a Fee

Prelims level : Environmental conservation Mains level : GS 3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
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  • In a bid to promote conservation of groundwater, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has notified a water conservation fee (WCF) that industries will need to pay on groundwater extraction starting from June.


  • As per the notification, industries extracting groundwater including mining-dewatering units and those that use groundwater for packaged drinking water would also need to apply for a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the government.
  • NOC process could be done through online
  • Individual households that draw groundwater using a delivery pipe of a greater than 1” diameter (which indirectly implies more water withdrawal), too, would need to pay a WCF.
  • And the rates would be levied depending on the location of the groundwater extraction point and the amount of water being extracted.


  • The agriculture sector — the largest consumer of groundwater in the country — will be exempt from the fees.
  • Defence establishments and users who don’t use electricity to extract water have also been granted exemption from the requirement of obtaining NOCs and having to pay the WCF.
  • The guidelines would come into force with effect from June 2019 and would apply across the country.
  • Levies are regarded as water conservation fee, which will be used for groundwater recharge projects

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