Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Rules, Regulations & Standards concerning water

Specific to India
Rules, Regulations & Standards
Rules, Regulations & Standards

This FAQ is a one-stop compilation of the Rules, Regulations & Standards related to all aspects of water. The most popular FAQs are listed below.

Click on a topic to view more detailed information.

Indian Standards (IS codes)

Which is the IS code of practice for installation of septic tanks?

What are the BIS standard specifications for permissible & desirable limits of various parameters in drinking water?

Which document specifies the various classifications of water as per use? 

Which are the IS guidelines on the usage of activated carbon?

Which are the codes on packaged water for drinking purpose?

What is the water quality tolerance for use in the processed food industry?

Is there a standard that prescribes the guidelines for assessing the quality of irrigation water ?

Rules, Acts & Bills: Prevention & control of water pollution

Which Act specifies the tax / cess to be paid to the government by an industry/ organisation for water consumed?

Which Act/ Rule deals with the prevention and control of water pollution? Who enforces these regulations? 

Policies/ Guidelines: Conservation of water bodies

Are there any guidelines for the repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies ? 

What is the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) ?

Are there any conservation programmes for wetlands?

What is the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA) ?

Model Bills: Groundwater development

Which bill provides details for the regulation & control of groundwater?  

Which states have implemented groundwater legislation?

Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI)

Are there any specific guidelines for town planning & development?

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Are there any guidelines for town planning & development?

The Urban Development Plans Formulation and Implementation (UDPFI) report aims at providing guidelines to assist administrators, municipal town planners and consultants that includes land use structure of urban lands and water resources/ supply/ sewage treatment plants.

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Which bill provides details for the regulation & control of groundwater?  

The Model Bill to regulate and control the development of groundwater is a document that provides the details of the definitions and the process of implementation of the Bill.

So far the states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry have enacted and implemented groundwater legislation.

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Which states have implemented groundwater legislation?

The following states and Union Territories have enacted and implemented groundwater legislation:

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What is the National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems (NPCA)?

To avoid overlap, promote better synergies and to ensure that conservation/ management works, National Lake Conservation Plan and National Wetlands Conservation Programme have been merged into a new scheme ‘National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems’ (NPCA).

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Are there any conservation programmes for wetlands?

For the conservation and wise use of wetlands in the country so as to prevent their further degradation, the Government of India has initiated the National Wetland Conservation Programme (NWCP).  

To avoid overlap, promote better synergies and to ensure that conservation/ management works, National Lake Conservation Plan and National Wetlands Conservation Programme have been merged into a new scheme ‘National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems’ (NPCA).

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What is the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP)?

The objective of the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) is to restore and conserve urban and semi-urban lakes of the country degraded due to wastewater discharge into the lake and other unique freshwater eco-systems, through an integrated eco-system approach.

A document, Guidelines for the National Lake Conservation Plan, 2008, by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), provides information on the National Lake Conservation Plan (NLCP) launched by the Government of India, which aims at restoring the water quality and ecology of the lakes in different parts of the country. It includes information on the scheme and highlights the points that need to be considered while applying for the scheme.

To avoid overlap, promote better synergies and to ensure that conservation/ management works, National Lake Conservation Plan and National Wetlands Conservation Programme have been merged into a new scheme ‘National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-systems’ (NPCA).

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Are there any guidelines for the repair, renovation & restoration of water bodies?

There are 2 documents, Guidelines for repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies with external assistance and domestic support, 2009, that detail the 'repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies' scheme launched by the Ministry of Water Resources.

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Which Act/Rule deals with the prevention and control of water pollution? Who enforces these regulations? 

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act,1974, aims to prevent and control water pollution and to maintain/restore the wholesomeness of water by establishing Central and State Pollution Control Boards to monitor and enforce these regulations. 

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975, is a document by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), that details the Rules underlying the Water (Prevention & control of Pollution) Act and includes information on the committee formed, its powers & functions, its role & responsibilities, budget and associated accounts.

The objective of a recent Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Bill, 2012, by the Ministry of Water Resources, is to address the pressing problem of river pollution and the increasing contribution of municipal sewage that is discharged into the rivers.

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Which Act specifies the tax / cess to be paid to the government by an industry/ organisation for water consumed? 

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977 aims to provide for the levy and collection of a cess on water consumed by persons carrying on certain industries and by local authorities.

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules, 1978, is a document by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), that presents the details of the cess rules, 1978.

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act (Amendment), 2003, document by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, is an amendment of the earlier Act in 1977 and includes: Amendment of Section 2. This includes a redefinition of what constitutes industry and includes "operation or process, or treatment and disposal system, which consumes water or gives rise to sewage effluent or trade effluent, but does not include any hydel power unit".

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Is there a standard that prescribes guidelines for assessing the quality of irrigation water?

The quality of irrigation water is evaluated in terms of degree of harmful effects on soil properties with respect to the soluble salts it contains in different concentrations, and crop yield. To evaluate the quality of irrigation water, IS 11624:1986 standard has been prepared as a guideline for advisory purposes.

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What is the water quality tolerance for use in the processed food industry?

In the processed food industry, water is used for a number of purposes such as processing, washing, flushing and general usage and also for boiler feed and cooling. The quality of water required varies for different processed food industries. 

IS 4251:1967 standard is intended to guide the food processing industry in judging the suitability of a particular supply of water for that industry and in planning the type of treatment required for available supplies of water.

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Which are the codes for packaged water for drinking purpose ?

BIS has published two Indian Standards on packaged water for drinking purpose:

  • IS 13428: For Packaged Natural Mineral Water (PNMW)
  • IS 14543: For Packaged Drinking Water (Other Than Packaged Natural Mineral Water) (PDW)

These may be purchased from the Bureau of Indian Standards.

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Which are the IS guidelines on the usage of activated carbon ?

There are 2 IS codes that prescribe certain characteristics for the classification of activated carbon based on physico-chemical characteristics. These codes deal with activated carbon:  

  • IS 2752:1995: “Indian standard: Activated carbons, Granular - specification”, Bureau of Indian Standards, Third revision (December 1995), defines the activated carbon for water treatment.
  • IS 8366:1989, “Indian standard: Activated carbons, Powdered - specification”, Bureau of Indian Standards, First revision, Reaffirmed, Second reprint (January 1997), for decolonization of pharmaceuticals.

These may be purchased from the Bureau of Indian Standards.

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Which document specifies the various classsifications of water as per use? 

In the ISI-IS: 2296-1982, the tolerance limits of parameters are specified as per the classified use of water depending on various uses of water. The following classifications have been adopted in India: 

  • Class A: Drinking water source without conventional treatment but after disinfection
  • Class B: Outdoor bathing
  • Class C: Drinking water source with conventional treatment followed by disinfection
  • Class D: Fish culture and wild life propagation
  • Class E: Irrigation, industrial cooling or controlled waste disposal

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Which is the IS code of practice for installation of septic tanks?

The IS : 2470 provides various requirements that have to be met while constructing a septic tank, and ensures that the sewage is treated in a way that maintains the health and hygiene of the community. There are two parts to the code:

  • Part I: Design criteria and construction 
  • Part II: Secondary treatment and disposal of septic tank effluent

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What are the BIS standard specifications for permissible & desirable limits of various parameters in drinking water?

The BIS drinking water specification: IS 10500:1991, gives details of the permissible and desirable limits of various parameters in drinking water. The various parameters covered include colour, odour, pH, total dissolved solids, hardness, alkalinity, elemental compounds such as iron, manganese, sulphate, nitrate, chloride, fluoride, arsenic, chromium, copper, cyanide, lead, mercury, zinc and coliform bacteria.

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References:

IWP requests users to view the same as a starting point in collating information on rules, regulations & standards concerning water, and to add more suggestions, information as responses in this thread.

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