Water Act

Water Act 1974
Indian water Act 1974

Prevention and Control of Pollution (Water Act 1974)

This water Act (No. 6 of 1974) was enacted by the Parliament on 23-3-1974. It is applicable to tie States from the dates of their adoption. It was amended in 1978 and 1988. It has 8 chapters and 64 sections. It applies to certain States and the States who adopt it. The Water Act intends to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution, maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water, Boards, its power and functions for matters corrected therewith.


Water act 1974 – Chapter-I gives the following definitions

Board – Board means the Central or State Board. Outlet includes any conduit pipe or channel, open or closed, carrying sewage or trade effluent or any other holding arrangement which causes or is likely to cause pollution.

Pollution – Pollution means such contamination of water or such alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of water or such discharge of any sewage or trade effluent or of any other liquid, gaseous or solid substance into water (directly or indirectly as may or is likely to create a nuisance or render such water harmful or injurious to public health or safety or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural or other legitimate uses, or to the life and health of animals plants or of aquatic organisms.

1974 india water Act
Water Act

Central Board, State Board, Sewage effluent a Trade effluent are also defined and distinguished. The stream includes river, watercourse, inland water, subterranean waters, and sea or tidal waters the extent notified. Sewer means any conduit pipe or channel, open or closed, carrying sewage or trade effluent.

Subjects of other chapters are as under: Water Act

Chapter I : Preliminary (S. 1, 2)

Chapter II : Central & State Boards (S. 3 to 12)

Chapter III : Joint Board (S. 13 to 15).

Chapter IV : Power & Functions of Boards (S. 16 to 18)

Chapter V : Prevention and Control of water Palliation (S. 19 to 33A)

Chapter VI : Funds, Accounts & Audit (S. 34 to 40)

Chapter VII : Penalties & Procedure (S. 41 to 50)

Chapter VIII : Miscellaneous including rulemaking powers of the Central and State Goverments (S. 51 to 64).

Functions of the State Board give u/s 17 are more important. Some provision of Chapter-V are explained below:

Water Act

A State Board can require from any industry operation, process, treatment, and disposal system to furnish information regarding construction, installation or operation of such establishment (S. 20), can take a sample of effluents in a manner prescribed for analysis at the occupier’s cost (S. 21), shall send a copy of the report of analysis to the occupier (S. 22), has power of entry and inspection of plant, record, register, document, material etc. (S. 23) and of prohibiting use of stream or well or sewer or on land for disposal of polluting matter by prescribing standards and no person shall make water pollution (R. 24) or make any new outlets or new discharges without the previous consent of the State Board, which will make an inquiry and grant consent with conditions imposed (which shall be binding to the applicant) or refuse it with reasons recorded in writing. If the consent is not given or refused within 4 months, it should be deemed to have been granted unconditionally (R. 25 & 26).

An aggrieved person has right to appeal u/s 28. Revision is possible, u/s 29. Any accident, at or event causing water pollution should be forthwith intimated to the State Board (S. 31). The State Board can take steps to remove pollution or such discharge (S. 32) or apply to courts for restraining apprehended water pollution and the court of that person (S. 33). The State Board has power to give directions to any person, officer or authority for closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation or process or the stoppage or regulation of supply of electricity, water or any other service (S. 33A).

Annual report (financial year wise) to be submitted by SPCV to state Govt. and by CPCB to Central Govt. (S. 39).

Water Rules 1975

Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules 1975

The Central Government u/s 63 of the Water Act made these rules effective form 27-2-1975. They were amended in 1976, 1978, 1986, 1987 and 1989.

They have 11 chapters, 35 rules, 4 schedules and 15 forms under schedule I. Their subject matter is as under.

Chap-1 : Preliminary (R. 1,2).

Chap-2 : Service conditions of Members (R. 3 to 6).

Chap-3 : Power & Duties of the Chairman and Member Secretary and appointments of officer and employees (R. 7 to 9).

Chap-4 : Temporary association of persons with Central Board (R. 10).

Chap-5 : Consulting Engineer (R. 11 to 16).

Chap-6 : Budget of the Central Board (R. 17 to 23).

Chap-7 : Annual Report of the Central Board (R. 24)

Chap-8 : Account of the Central Board (R. 25)

Chap-9 : Analyst of the Central Board (R. 26, 26A).

Chap-10 : Central water laboratory (R. 27, 28).

Chap-11 : Power & function of the Central Board in relation to Union territories (R. 29 to 35).

In addition to the above mentioned Central Rules, State Rules are also available as under.

The Water Act was last amended in 2003.


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