Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)



A. General


Q 1: Which is the apex organisation of the Ministry of Water Resources dealing with the ground related issues?
Ans: Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is the apex organization of the Ministry of Water Resources dealing with ground water and related issues.


Q 2: What is the mandate of Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)?
Ans: The Central Ground Water Board has mandate to “Develop and disseminate technologies, and monitor and implement national policies for the scientific and sustainable development and management of India’s ground water resources, including their exploration, assessment, conservation, augmentation, protection from pollution and distribution, based on principles of economic and ecological efficiency and equity”.


Q 3: What is the Vision of Central Ground Water Board ?
Ans: Sustainable Development and Management of Ground Water Resources of the Country.


Q4. What is Mission of CGWB


  • To develop ground water policies, programmes and practices to monitor and enable effective use of the country’s ground water resources in a sustainable manner with active involvement of all stakeholders.
  • To put into place scientific system and practices, which would result in sustained increase in ground water use efficiency.
  • To disseminate information, skills and knowledge, which would help in capacity building and mass awareness in ground water sector.


Q 5: What are the main activities of CGWB?
Ans: The main activities of CGWB are :

  • National Aquifer Mapping and Preparation of Ground Water Management Plans.
  • Ground Water Exploration Aided by Drilling.
  • Monitoring of Ground Water Observation Wells.
  • Short Term Water Supply Investigations.
  • Periodic Assessment of Ground Water Resources.
  • Hydrochemical Studies.
  • Geophysical studies.
  • Hydrological and Hydrometeorological studies.
  • Remote Sensing & GIS
  • Technical Documentation and Publication of Hydrogeological Atlases, Maps & Reports.
  • Publication of Quarterly Journal, `Bhujal-News':
  • Construction of Deposit Wells.
  • Organizing awareness Programmes, Exhibitions, Seminars, Work Shops etc.
  • Conjunctive Use of Surface and Ground Water
  • Mathematical Modeling studies.
  • Data Storage and Retrieval.
  • Artificial Recharge studies.
  • Spring Studies.
  • Organizing Training of officers and staff of Central/State Government organizations, institutes, NGO’S, VO’S etc
  • Monitoring of Ground Water Development.
  • R & D Studies
  • Special studies / Basic Research in Hydrogeology


Q 6: How many Regional, Divisional & State Unit Offices of CGWB?
Ans: CGWB has 18 Regional Offices each headed by a Regional Director, 17 Divisional Offices each headed by an Executive Engineer and 11 State Unit Offices for undertaking various activities in the country. The Central Headquarter is situated at Faridabad


B. Ground Water Resource Estimation (2022)

Q 7: What is the ground water resources scenario of the country?

In the Ground Water Resource Assessment-2022, the total annual groundwater recharge in the country has been assessed as 437.60 bcm. The annual extractable ground water resource has been assessed as 398.08 bcm. The annual groundwater extraction is 239.16 bcm. The average stage of groundwater extraction for the country as a whole works out to be about 60.08 %.

Q 8: What is Stage of Ground Water Extraction?
Ans:  The ‘Stage of Ground Water Extraction’ is expressed as the ratio of ‘Annual Ground Water Extraction’ with respect to ‘Annual Extractable Ground Water Resource’ and is usually expressed in percentage.

Q 9: What are over-exploited, critical and semi critical blocks?

Ans:-Based on the Stage of Ground Water extraction, the assessment units are categorized as

Stage of Ground Water Extraction


≤ 70%


> 70% and ≤90%


> 90% and ≤100%


> 100%

Over Exploited



Q10:   How many assessment units are over-exploited, critical and semi critical in the country?

Ans: As per Ground Water Resource Assessment-2022 (latest)  carried out jointly by Central Ground Water Board and State Nodal/Ground Water Department in 7089 ground water assessment units (i.e. blocks, mandals, talukas etc), the number of over-exploited, critical and semi critical assessment units are given below :-
Over-exploited - 1006 , Critical - 260, Semi-critical – 885

C. Ground Water Level Monitoring
Q 11: Whether CGWB monitors ground water levels in the country? How many ground water observation wells are being monitored?
·  Yes. CGWB monitors ~23209 ground water observation wells in the country. The water levels are monitored 4 times in a year in the months of January, April/ May, August & November. Water samples are collected once in the year in the month of April/May for ground water quality monitoring. In addition, CGWB is in the process of creating a network of 9000 piezometers to be fitted with Automatic Water Level Recorders with Telemetry System for high frequency water level monitoring.
·  State Governments also have large number of stations and monitors as per  their schedule.

D. Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA)

Q 12: Is there any law to prevent indiscriminate boring to abstract ground water?
Ans: Water being a State subject, the legislation for regulation and development of ground water is to be enacted by the State Governments/UTs. However, the Union Government has circulated a Model Bill to the States and Union Territories to enable them to enact suitable legislation for regulation and control of ground water development. The Bill was initially circulated in 1970 which has been re-circulated in 1992, 1996 and 2005 for enactment.

Q 13: How many states have enacted legislation on ground water?
Ans: So far 19 States/UTs have enacted Legislations on the lines of the Model Bill circulated by the MOJS. 17 other States/UTs are in the process of enactment of the Legislation.


Q 14: Whether Government has constituted any Authority to regulate and control the development and management of ground water?
Ans: The Union Government has constituted the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) on 14th January 1997 under Section 3(3) of Environment (Protection) Act, 1996 with objective to regulate and control development and management of ground water with jurisdiction in whole of the country.


Q 15: What regulatory actions have been taken by CGWA so far?
Ans: As a regulatory measure, the CGWA has taken following action:
On the directions of Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 10th December, 1996 passed in Civil writ Petition No 4677 of 1985, MC Mehta Vs Union of India, the Central Government had constituted the Central Ground Water Board as Authority vide notification number S.O. 38 (E), dated the 14th January, 1997 to exercise powers under sub section (3) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) act, 1986 (29 of 1986) for the purposes of regulation and control of Ground Water Management and Development and to exercise certain powers and perform certain functions as per the said Act. The Authority has been regulating ground water development and management by way of issuing ‘No Objection Certificates’ for ground water extraction to industries or infrastructure projects or Mining Projects etc., and framed guidelines in this connection from time to time applicable in all States and Union territories, except where ground water development is not being regulated by the State Government and Union territory administration concerned.
To have sustainable management of water resources in the country groundwater abstraction guidelines have been prepared to regulate groundwater extraction and conserve the scarce groundwater resources in the country. These guidelines have pan India applicability. Ground water abstraction in States/ UTs (which are not regulating ground water abstraction) shall continue to be regulated by Central Ground Water Authority.


Q 16: Who is required to seek NOC and for what purpose?
Ans: As per the new guidelines issued vide Gazette Notification dated 24/09/2020, all new/existing industries, industries seeking expansion, infrastructure projects and mining projects abstracting ground water, unless specifically exempted as below, will be required to seek No Objection Certificate from Central Ground Water Authority or, the concerned State/ UT Ground Water Authority as the case may be.
Following categories of consumers shall be exempted from seeking No Objection Certificate for
ground water extraction:

 i. Individual domestic consumers in both rural and urban areas for drinking water and domestic uses.

ii. Rural drinking water supply schemes.

iii.Armed Forces Establishments and Central Armed Police Forces establishments in both rural and urban areas.

iv. Agricultural activities.

v. Micro and small Enterprises drawing ground water less than 10 cum/day.

Q 17: How to apply for NOC. IF there is any online training material regarding NOC application process?
Ans: The project proponent can apply online using user friendly portal as per link https://cgwa-noc.gov.in/LandingPage/index.htm

Q 18: Whom to contact in case of issues related to NOC application?

Ans: The project proponent can contact the respective Regional Director of the CGWA regulated State or contact the Head of Office, CGWA, New Delhi or they may send the email at cgwa@nic.in

Q 19: What steps have been taken by the Govt. to make rain water harvesting mandatory in the States?
·     The Ministry of Water Resources has advised the States/ UTs to make provision for construction of roof top rain water harvesting structures in all the Government buildings in their Plan schemes. 
·     Central Ground Water Authority, has directed under Section 5 of the EPA, the States having OE and Critical blocks to take all necessary measures to promote/ adopt artificial recharge to ground water/ rain water harvesting, ensure inclusion of Roof top Rain Water Harvesting in building bye laws and promote conservation of ground water in these areas through mass awareness, water management training or by issuing necessary orders etc.
·     In urban areas roof top rainwater harvesting (RTRWH) shall be made mandatory. It is suggested that building plan for construction of new buildings in urban areas must have the provision of RTRWH system. Various existing methods like Recharge Trench, Recharge shaft, Recharge pit may be used. The guidelines laid by the CGWB for design and other technical parameters should be strictly follow to for optimal recharging of ground water as well as to avoid aquifer contamination.
·     The CGWAs new Guidelines dated 24-09-2020 has provisions of rainwater harvesting only by the project proponent. However, Authority in exercise of its powers and functions conferred under section 5 of Environment (protection)Act, 1986, issues directions from time to time vide public Notice 3/2001; 5/2001; 8/2004; 15/2001, to all Residential societies / institutes / Schools / Hostels / Industrial Establishments / located in South and south-West districts of NCT, Delhi Municipal corporation of Faridabad and Ballabhgarh, Faridabad district, Haryana; Municipal Corporation of Ghaziabad, UP; Gurgaon town and adjoining industrial area  of Gurgaon who are exploiting ground water; societies located in Yamuna Flood Plain area or where the ground water levels are within 8m below ground level were advise to adopt the roof top rain water harvesting systems in their premises.
·     Also, vide notification No. 32-1/CGWA/2005-219 dated 08/08/2006 all the Chief Secretaries of the respective States and the Administrators of the UTs were advised to adopt RTRWH in Critical and Over-exploited blocks, basins, talukas, watershed. They were asked to ensure the inclusion of RTRWH in the building bye-laws.
·     In addition to above vide notification No. 28-7/CGWA/20011-1302 dated 06/09/2011 all the Chief Secretaries of the respective States and the Administrators of the UTs were advised to adopt RTRWH on all the Government buildings under their jurisdiction.
·     As a follow-up all the Chief Secretaries of the respective States and the Administrators of the UTs were advised to submit the annual reports of the action taken in these regards. Also, the general public were encouraged to take technical guidance from CGWA for adopting RTRWH by contacting the office.

While as per CGWAs new Guidelines dated 24-09-2020 only the industrial, infrastructure and mining projects come within the purview of CGWA and ask to adopt RTRWH structures. The rebate of 50% is given in annual ground water abstraction charges for encouraging the project proponents.


Q 20: What is the status of action initiated by various States/ UTs for rainwater harvesting mandatory?
Ans: States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Ranchi Regional Development Authority, Bombay Municipal Corporation and Pimpri – Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana, Improvement Trust, Jalandhar, Jaipur Municipal Corporation, Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority, and Union Territories of Delhi, Daman & Diu and Puducherry have made necessary provision in their building bye-laws to make installation of rain water harvesting system mandatory. Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep and Karnataka have initiated action for the purpose. Formulation of a comprehensive Water Law is under active consideration of the Govt. of Orissa. Necessary measures for making roof top rain water harvesting mandatory will be taken in accordance with the Law, as and when required.



Q 21 : What is the postal addresses, telephone fax nos. etc and website of CGWB and CGWA?
Ans: The details are as under
केंद्रीय भूजल प्राधिकरण Central Ground Water Authority
जल शक्ति मंत्रालय, भारत सरकार Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt. of India
18/11, जामनगर हाउस, मानसिंह रोड, नई दिल्ली-110011 
18/11, Jamnagar House, Mansingh Road, New Delhi-110011 
Ph- (011) 23383561, 23383824; Fax- (011) 23382051;
e-mail: cgwa@nic.in, mcgwa-cgwb@nic.in, rdcgwa-cgwb@nic.in
NOCAP website :https://cgwa-noc.gov.in/LandingPage/index.htm


E. Artificial Recharge Cell

Q 22: What steps have been taken by the government for  conservation of groundwater?
Ans: https://jalshakti-dowr.gov.in/sites/default/files/MeasuresForGW-Depletion_0.pdf


Q 23: What is need for rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge of groundwater?
Ans: The need for adopting rainwater harvesting is –

    • -To overcome the inadequacy of surface water to meet our demands.

    • -To arrest decline in groundwater levels.

    • -To enhance availability of groundwater at specific place and time and utilize rainwater for sustainable development.

    • -To increase infiltration of rainwater in the subsoil which has decreased drastically in urban areas due to paving of open area.

    • -To improve groundwater quality by dilution.

    • -To increase agriculture production.

    • -To improve the ecology of the area by increase in vegetation cover etc.

    Q 24: Rainwater harvesting initiatives?
    Ans: Efforts made in the direction of facilitating:
    Storage of rainwater on surface for future use.
    Recharge to groundwater.

    In Urban Areas
    Roof top rainwater/storm runoff harvesting through

    • Recharge Pit

    • Recharge Trench

    • Tubewell

    • Recharge Well

    In Rural Areas
    Rainwater harvesting through

    Gully Plug

    • Contour Bund

    • Contour Trench

    • Gabion Structure

    • Percolation tank

    • Check Dam/Cement Plug/Nala Bund

    • Recharge Shaft

    • Dugwell Recharge

    • Groundwater Dams/subsurface Dyke

    • Anicut

    • Bridge cum Bandara


    Q 25: Whether any plan has been prepared by the Government on artificial recharge to groundwater?
    Ans: A conceptual report on “Master plan for artificial recharge to ground water in India -2020” has been jointly prepared by CGWB along with respective State counterparts under the guidance of the interministerial committee constituted by DoWR, RD & GR. The master plan is a macro plan, formulated to work out the feasibility of various structures for the different terrain conditions of the country and respective estimated cost, providing a broad outline of the project and expected investments. The master plan also includes artificial recharge in both rural and urban areas. Total 141.75 Lakh structures are proposed in the plan at an estimated cost of Rs 1.34 lakh Cr.
    The masterplan has been shared with the State Government and also hosted in CGWB website for wider dissemination (http://cgwb.gov.in/Whatisnew/2021-06-30-Final-Approved%20Master%20Plan%202020-00002.pdf). It will provide inputs for formulating the water conservation/water augmentation activities in the districts by the District Administration.

    Q 26 : Whether Government has instituted awards for encouraging water conservation, artificial recharge, rainwater harvesting by NGOs/ Gram Panchayats/ Urban Local Bodies?
    Ans: https://www.mygov.in/campaigns/national-water-awards/

    E. R & D studies INCGW
    Q 27:  Who can submit new proposal?
    Ans: The research proposals (Invited as well as Sponsored) for Grants-in-Aid can be submitted by (PIs) dully recommended by their Head of the Institute/Organisation at any time during the year. After examination, INCs would consider the proposals in its meetings and recommend for approval of MoWR through SMD. On the approval of competent authority, the administrative approval/sanction orders would be issued by the SMD i.e. R&D Division.

    Q 28:  Who issues final sanction order ?
    Ans:    R&D Division of Ministry of Water Resources issues final sanction orders and releases the money.

    Q 29: What items can be funded ?
    Ans:    The following items may be considered for funding:

    • Remuneration / Emoluments for research personnel in the grades of Junior Research Fellow (JRF)/ Senior Research Fellow (SRF)/Research Assistant (RA) as per eligibility.

    • Cost of conducting the experiment including cost of consumables, books, journals reference manuals/codes.

    • Travel in connection with the research.

    • Purchase of equipment and development of infrastructure necessary for the research as approved

    • Overhead charge limited to 15% if he host institute is providing any facilities like infrastructure, staff, water, electricity communication etc.as per DST guidelines.

    Q 30: Can PI claim Salary or honorarium under the scheme?
    Ans.  No, PI cannot claim Salary or honorarium.   Salary is paid only to research staff recruited by the PI. The reward for the investigators (PI and Co-PIs) is indirect by way of opportunity for pursuit of academic excellence and its attendant benefits; travel
    grants; opportunities to participate in seminars/workshops; grants for purchase
    of books and journals.

    Q 31: How many research staff can be recruited ?
    A limited number of research personnel, called Research Staff, may be engaged to assist the investigators in conducting research. There are only three categories for the research personnel allowed in the research scheme:

    • Junior Research Fellow (JRF)

    • Senior Research Fellow (SRF)

    • Research Associate (RA)

     Q 32: What is the eligibility criteria for recruitment of research staff and emoluments for them ?
    Ans:    Research staff is to be recruited as per the DST guidelines and emoluments will also be paid to them as per the current DST guidelines.
    Q 33: Which documents are to be annexed with the application?
    Ans: Proforma Invoices of the items proposed for procurement under head Infrastructure. List of equipment/facilities available at the institute.
    Q 34: Under which head the salary of field assistant or lab assistant etc. who are employees of the institute can be claimed ?
    Ans:    No salary of the lab or field assistant who are employees of the institute can be claimed.   However, provision for nominal honorarium to the field or lab assistant etc, can be claimed under Experimental head.  

    Q 35: Can salary of personnel who is not employee of the institute be claimed?

    Ans:    Yes, Salary of personnel not engaged directly in research may be claimed under Experimental head provided that such staff is specifically recruited for the research and will be working full time only for the said research.

    Q 36:  What are the Over-head charges ?
    Ans:    When the host institution to which the PI belongs provides any facilities for conducting the research such as infrastructure or staff, then the Overheads upto 20% of the total cost can be charged as Overheads.  However, there is an upper limit of Rs.5 lakh for educational institutions and Rs.3 lakh for laboratories and institutes under S&T agencies or departments. Overhead charge is provided to the host Institute for providing its facilities like infrastructure, staff, water, electricity, communication etc. for conducting research during operation of the scheme. Overheads to Private Institutions/ Universities would not be provided. For proposals costing upto Rs. 1.00 crore overhead charge and contingency (taken together) would be restricted to 10% of the total cost subjected to a maximum of Rs. 3.0 lakh for public funded institutes. For the proposals costing beyond Rs. 1.00 crore, a maximum of Rs. 5.0 lakh as overhead charge and contingencies would be admissible.

    Q 37:  When are the Overheads payable to the Institutes?
    Ans:   Overhead Charges are payable to the host institution only after the completion of  the study and acceptance of the final report by the Ministry.

    Q 38: What is Contingency ?
    Ans:   Contingency is not a separate head of expenditure.  There are only four sub heads for expenditure, namely Salary, Travel, Experimental Charges, Infrastructure.  A provision of 5% of the total cost of these can be made under contingency.  However, contingency is only budget provision for unforeseen situations; for possible errors in estimation of four main sub heads.  No expenditure can be incurred under this head.

    Q 39: What is the responsibility of the PI?
    Ans:    The work is to be completed at the earliest and within the sanctioned duration. There should be no deviation from the stated objectives. There should be no deviations in the expenditure under each sub head. Submission of various periodic returns to INC in time. Ensuring compliance with the “Conditions of Grant”.

    Q 40: Can deviations from the stated objectives be allowed ?
    Ans:    No, objectives cannot be changed once the scheme is sanctioned. 

    Q 41: Can transfer of funds or deviations from the sanctioned amount allowed?
    Ans:   Expenditure under each sub head should not exceed the sanctioned amount    for each sub head.  No transfer of funds from one head to another head is allowed.    Expenditure should be booked under each head as per the actuals.

    Q 42: What is the starting date of the scheme ?
    Ans:    The starting date for the scheme shall be taken as the date on which the first activity of study is initiated which however shall not be later than three months from the receipt of the Bank Draft by the institute.  This date shall be intimated by the PI to the INC.

    Q 43: When the progress report is to be submitted to INC ?
    Ans:    Progress report is to be submitted in the months of August and December.  Annual Progress report is to be submitted in the month of April along with the audited Utilization Certificate for the respective year.  Information is to be provided as per the prescribed format only.

    Q 44: What is to be done with the unspent balance of a financial year?
    Ans:    Effort should be made by the PI to utilize the funds released for the financial year with in that year itself.   Any unspent balance will be carried over to the next financial year but cannot be utilized by the PI until it is revalidated by the Ministry.  Application for revalidation of funds should be submitted to the INC by 30th April of the next financial year.

    Q 45: What is the schedule of release of funds ?
    The release of first installment of the funds would be processed by SMD only after receipt of the acceptance of the ‘Terms and Conditions of Grant’ by the PI duly endorsed by the Head of the institution of PI. First installment may include 30% amount of Remuneration/Expenditure for Manpower, Travel Expenditure & Experimental Charges and 100% of the admissible amount for Infrastructure/ Equipment to be utilized during the financial year. Further funds would be released in installments commensurate with the progress of work and actual requirements of the Infrastructure/ Equipment to be utilized during that financial year.

    Q 46: What is to be done after completion of the work?
    Ans:   PI should submit the draft report to the INC along with the audited Consolidated UC’s and subhead wise Expenditure statement.

    Q 47: What is to be done if there is any unspent balance in the scheme after the completion of the study?
    Ans:    Any unspent balance / unused fund along with interest accrued/payable if any, after the completion of the scheme should be refunded by a Crossed Demand Draft in favor of the PAO, MoJS. The DD should however be sent to the INC and not to the PAO, MoJS directly.