The Maharashtra groundwater (regulation for drinking water purposes) act, 1993, take protection measures for public drinking water sources such as prohibition of construction of wells within certain limits.
The specific provisions of the act include –
- In the interests of the general public to have the supply of requisite quantity of water for drinking water purposes from the public drinking water source. No person shall sink any well for any purpose in the vicinity of public drinking water source within a distance of 500 metres of such source, if both are in the area of the same watershed.
- This provision shall not apply to the sinking of a well on behalf of the State Government or local authority for being used as a public drinking water source.
- If a person desires to sink a well for irrigation or drinking water purposes within a distance of 500 metres of a public drinking water source, he shall do so only with the permission of the Appropriate Authority.
- The authority may declare a public drinking water source in any area of the district as water scarcity area, at any time during the course of monsoon or thereafter having regard to the quantum and pattern of rainfall and any other relevant factor.
- The Authority may during this period regulate the extraction of water from wells in water scarcity areas.
- The Appropriate Authority may, on the advice of the Technical Officer, declare a watershed as over-exploited watershed.
- If the Authority feels that any existing well in the area of an overexploited watershed is found to be adversely affecting any public drinking water source and if such source cannot be adequately protected, it may after giving its owner reasonable opportunity of being heard, by order, require him to stop the extraction of water.