Rain Water Harvesting

Ground water levels in various parts of the Country are declining because of continuous withdrawal due to reasons such as increased demand of fresh water for various uses, vagaries of rainfall, increased population, industrialization & urbanization etc.

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) carries out ground water monitoring, four times a year, on regional scale through a network of observation wells in the Country. As per the pre-monsoon water level data (2018), the deeper ground water level (more than 40 meters below ground level) has been observed in the isolated pockets in some of the States/UTs.

Water being a state subject, efforts to conserve ground water including rainwater harvesting is primarily responsibility of States.

Under Watershed Development Component (WDC) of PMKSY 8214 watershed development projects covering an area of about 39.07 million hectare have sanctioned in 28 States (except Goa) during the period 2009-10 to 2014-15 with Rs.33642.24 crore as Central share. Rs.15683.57 crore has been released (since 2009-10 to 2017-18) as Central share. A target to bring an area of 1.86 lakh ha under protective irrigation during 2018-19 has been set under WDC-PMKSY.

As per Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) provisions vide Schedule-1, section 4(3), Para 4. (1) ‘Category: A: Public works relating to National Resource Management Para: (i)’, water conservation and water harvesting structures to augment and improve ground water like underground dykes, earthen dams, stop dams, check dams with special focus on recharging ground water including drinking water sources are permissible activities.

Hon’ble Prime Minister has written a letter to all Sarpanchs on 08.06.2019 regarding the importance of water conservation and rain harvesting and exhorted them to adopt all appropriate measures to make water conservation a mass movement. Further , Government of India has launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan which is a time bound campaign with a mission mode approach intended to improve water availability including ground water conditions in the water stressed blocks. The other important initiatives taken up are available at the following URL:


This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar in Lok Sabha today