The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation is the main body for formulation and administration of rules and regulations concerned to the development and regulation of the water resources in India.
The Ministry was formed in January 1985 following the distribution of the then Ministry of Irrigation and Power, when the Department of Irrigation was re-constituted as the Ministry of Water Resources.
In July 2014, the Ministry has changed the name to “Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation”, making it the National Ganga River Basin Authority for conservation, development, management, and abatement of pollution in the river Ganges and its tributaries.
The Ministry of Water Resources is undertaken for laying down policy guidelines and programmes for the development and regulation of the country’s water resources. The Ministry has been given the following functions:-
- Whole planning, policy formulation, coordination and guidance in the water resources sector.
- Technical guidance, scrutiny, clearance, and monitoring of the irrigation, flood control and multi-cause projects (major/medium).
- General infrastructural, technical and research help for development.
- Giving special Central Financial Assistance for specific projects and assistance in obtaining External Finance from World Bank and other agencies.
- Whole policy formulation, planning, and guidance in respect of Minor Irrigation and Command Area Development, administration and monitoring of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes and promotion of Participatory Irrigation Management.
- Whole planning for the development of Ground Water Resources, the establishment of utilizable resources and formulation of policies for exploitation, overseeing of and support to State-level activities in groundwater development.
- Formulation of national water development perspective and the determination of the water balance of different basins/sub-basins for consideration of possibilities of inter-basin transfers.
- Coordination, mediation, and guidance in regard to the resolution of differences or disputes relating to Inter-State Rivers and in some instances overseeing of implementation of inter-state projects.
- Management of the central network for flood forecasting and warning on inter-state rivers, provision of central assistance for some State Schemes in special cases and preparation of flood control master plans for rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra.
- Talks and negotiations with neighboring countries, with related to river waters, water resources development projects and the operation of the Indus Water Treaty.
- Ensure effective abatement of pollution and rejuvenation of the river Ganga by adopting a river basin approach to encourage inter-sectoral co-ordination for comprehensive planning and management.