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Biodiversity & Environment

Government Notifies E-flow for Ganga

  • 11 Oct 2018
  • 5 min read

The Central Government has notified the minimum environmental flows for River Ganga with an aim to maintain the natural pattern of the river flow (Aviral Dhara).

  • A river's e-flow is the quantity and timing of water that is essential for the river to perform its ecological functions and also important from the social and cultural standpoint.
  • As part of the Centre's Namami Gange river cleaning project, Aviral Dhara (uninterrupted flow) is one of two important components, along with Nirmal Dhara (Unpolluted flow).
  • The notification issued by the Government will ensure that the river has at least the minimum required an environmental flow of water even after the river flow gets diverted by projects and structures for purposes like irrigation, hydropower, domestic and industrial use etc.
  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga has laid down the minimum e-flow norms will apply to the upper Ganga River Basin - starting from originating glaciers and through respective confluences of its head tributaries which meet at Devaprayag up to Haridwar - and the main stem of the river Ganga up to Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The compliance of minimum environmental flow is applicable to all existing, under-construction and future projects.
  • The existing projects which currently do not meet the norms will have to ensure that the desired environmental flow norms are complied with within a period of three years.
  • The mini and micro-projects which do not alter the flow characteristics of the river or stream significantly are exempted from these environmental flows.
  • The flow conditions in these river reach will be monitored at hourly intervals from time to time.
  • The Central Water Commission is the designated authority and the custodian of the data and will be responsible for supervision, monitoring, regulation of flows and reporting of necessary information to the appropriate authority and also take emergent decisions about the water storage norms in case of an emergency.
  • The project developers or authorities will have to install automatic data acquisition and data transmission facilities at appropriate locations at project sites.
  • The Central Government through National Mission for Clean Ganga may direct release of additional water in the River Ganga to meet special demand as and when required.
  • The notification also stipulated that the concerned Central and State authorities will implement demand-side management plans to reduce water withdrawal from River Ganga by adopting good and scientific practices such as the efficient method of irrigation, reuse and recycle of water including monitoring and regulation of groundwater withdrawals for various purposes.

National Mission for Clean Ganga(NMCG)

  • NMCG is the implementation wing of National Council for Rejuvenation, Protection, and Management of River Ganga.
  • It was established in the year 2011 as a registered society.
  • The aims and objectives of NMCG are:
    • To ensure effective control of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach to promote inter-sectoral co-ordination for comprehensive planning and management
    • To maintain minimum ecological flows in the river Ganga with the aim of ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development

Central Water Commission

  • Central Water Commission is a premier technical organization of India in the field of Water Resources.
  • It is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
  • The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation, and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of flood control, irrigation, navigation, drinking water supply and water power development.
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