Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), a subordinate office of the Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, is the National Apex Agency entrusted with the responsibilities of providing scientific inputs for management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation and regulation of ground water resources of the country. Central Ground Water Board was established in 1970 by renaming the Exploratory Tube wells Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. It was merged with the Ground Water Wing of the Geological Survey of India during 1972.
Central Ground Water Board is a multi-disciplinary scientific organization consisting of Hydrogeologists, Geophysicists, Chemists, Hydrologists, Hydrometeorologists and Engineers and has its headquarters at BHUJAL BHAWAN, NH 4, Faridabad, Haryana. It is headed by the Chairman and has four main wings, namely (i) Sustainable Management & Liaison (SML), (ii) Survey, Assessment & Monitoring (SAM), (iii) Exploratory Drilling & Materials Management (ED&MM) and (iv) Water Quality & Training and Technology Transfer (WQ&TT). Each wing is headed by a Member. The administrative & financial matters of the Board are being dealt with by the Director (Administration) and Finance & Accounts Officer (FAO) respectively. The Board has 18 Regional offices, each headed by a Regional Director, supported by 17 Engineering Divisions and 11 State Unit Offices for undertaking various field activities. The Rajiv Gandhi National Ground Water Training & Research Institute (RGNGT&RI), which coordinates the capacity building activities of the Board functions from the CGWB, Raipur. Various activities related to regulation of ground water development in the country are being looked after by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), constituted under the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986.
Major activities being taken up by Central Ground Water Board include macro/micro-level ground water management studies, exploratory drilling programme, monitoring of ground water levels and water quality through a network of ground water observation wells comprising both large diameter open wells and purpose-built bore/tube wells (piezometers), implementation of demonstrative schemes for artificial recharge and rainwater harvesting for recharge augmentation. Periodic assessment of replenishable ground water resources of the country is carried out by the Board jointly with the concerned State Government agencies. Geophysical studies, remote sensing & GIS studies and ground water modeling studies are taken up to supplement these activities. The Board also takes up special studies on various aspects of ground water sector such as ground water depletion, sea water ingress, ground water contamination, conjunctive use of surface & ground water, water balance etc. It also organizes various capacity building activities for personnel of its own as well as Central/State Government organizations engaged in various activities in ground water sector as well as mass awareness campaigns on the importance of water conservation and judicious ground water management. The data generated from various studies taken up by CGWB provide a scientific base for water resource planning by stakeholders. Besides advising states and other user agencies on planning and management of ground water resources, Central Ground Water Board also provides technical know-how for scientific ground water exploration, development and management to various stakeholders.
The Board regularly publishes scientific reports based on the data generated through various investigations for dissemination to the stakeholders. These include State and District hydrogeological reports, ground water year books and Atlases, ground water user maps and guides/manuals/pamphlets on various aspects of ground water management.
Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) was constituted under sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for the purposes of regulation and control of ground water development and management in the country. The Authority is engaged in various activities related to regulation of ground water development to ensure its long-term sustainability.