Water Quality Assessment Authority

Government of India

Role of various organisations involved in Water Quality Assessment and Management


Water Quality Assessment Authority
The Water Quality Assessment Authority (WQAA) was constituted under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 in 2001. The tenure of the Authority, as per the latest order, is upto 31.3.2012. (click for constitution order)

Composition

The composition of the Authority is as under:
  • The composition of the Authority is as under: Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests – Chairman
  • Addl. Secretary to Government of India, Ministry of Water Resources
  • Addl. Secretary to Government of India & Project Director, National River Conservation Directorate, Ministry of Environment and Forests
  • Member (RM), Central Water Commission
  • Chairman, Central Ground Water Authority
  • Advisor, National River Conservation Directorate, Ministry of Environment and Forests
  • Joint Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture
  • Joint Secretary (UD&A), Ministry of Urban Development
  • Joint Secretary, Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development

Functions

functions of the Authority is given as under;
  1. To exercise powers under Section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act 1986 for issuing direction and for taking measures with respect to following matters:
    1. Carrying out and sponsoring investigations and research relating to problems of environmental pollution
    2. Establishment or recognition of environmental laboratories and institutes to carry out the functions entrusted to such environmental laboratories and institutes under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986
    3. Collection and dissemination of information in respect of matters relating to environmental pollution
    4. Preparation of manuals, codes or guides relating to the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution
  2. To direct the agencies (Government / local bodies / Non-governmental) for the following:
    1. To standardize method(s) for water quality monitoring and to ensure quality of data generation for utilization thereof;
    2. To standardize method(s) for water quality monitoring and to ensure quality of data generation for utilization thereof;
    3. To take measures so as to ensure proper treatment of waste water with a view to restoring the water quality of the river / water bodies to meet the designated-best-uses;
    4. To take up research and development activities in the area of water quality management;
    5. To promote recycling / re-use of treated sewage / trade effluent for irrigation in development of agriculture;
    6. To draw action plans for quality improvement in water bodies and monitor and review / assess implementation of the schemes launched / to be launched to that effect;
    7. To draw scheme(s) for imposition of restriction in water abstraction of treated sewage / trade effluent on land, rivers and other water bodies with a view to mitigating crisis of water quality;
    8. To maintain minimum discharge for sustenance of aquatic life forms in riverine system;
    9. To utilize self-assimilation capacities at the critical river stretches to minimise cost of effluent treatment;
    10. To provide information to pollution control authorities to facilitate allocation of waste load;
    11. To review the status of quality of national water resources (both surface water & ground water) (except that due to geogenic aspect) and identify "Hot Spots" for taking necessary actions for improvement in water quality;
    12. To interact with the authorities / committees constituted or to be constituted under the provisions of the said Act for matters relating to management of water resources.
    13. To constitute / set up State-level Water Quality Review Committee (WQRC) to coordinate the work to be assigned to such committees; and
    14. To deal with any environmental issue concerning surface and groundwater quality (except that due to geogenic aspect) which may be referred to it by the Central Government or the State Government relating to the respective areas, for maintenance and / or restoration of quality to sustain designated best uses

So far seven meetings of the Authority have been held. The last meeting was held on 10.11.2009 at New Delhi.

Committees / Sub-committees / Workgroup of WQAA

Various Committees / Sub-committees / Workgroup were constituted by the WQAA. The details of these Committees / Sub-committees / Workgroup are as under:

  • An Expert Group under the Chairmanship of Shri Arunoday Bhattacharjya, Retd. Chairman CPCB to review the water quality monitoring programmes of concerned central and state agencies for uniformity in monitoring systems being followed and for generation of reliable and reproducible data and to draw coordinated action plan for protecting the quality of national water resources. The group submitted its report in 2003.
  • A Task Force under the Chairmanship of Chairman, CPCB to recommend measures for optimum water quality observation network and coordinated data collection and dissemination system. The Task Force submitted its report in 2005.
  • Water Quality Monitoring Committee under the Chairmanship of Addl. Secretary (MoE&F) to assist the WQAA in performing its functions. So far 10 meeting of WQMC has been held. The last meeting was held in August 2007.
  • Working Group under the Chairmanship of Member(RM), CWC to advice WQAA on the minimum flows in the rivers to conserve the eco-system. The Working Group submitted its report in July 2007. The legal and institutional aspect of the recommendation of the Workgroup in under examination in CWC.
  • Standing Group - I under the Chairmanship of Chairman, CPCB was constituted to initiate actions on the functions "b, c, d, e, i, j and k" [as indicated in constitution] of WQAA
  • Standing Group - II under the Chairmanship of Member (RM), CWC was constituted to initiate actions on the functions "f" [To draw scheme(s) for imposition of restriction in water abstraction of treated sewage / trade effluent on land, rivers and other water bodies with a view to mitigating crisis of water quality] of WQAA
  • A Standing Group - III under the Chairmanship of Member(SML), CGWB was constituted to initiate actions on the function "h" [To promote rainwater harvesting] of WQAA.
  • Water Quality Review Committees constituted at State Level in all states except Tamil Nadu under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Water Resources Department of the respective State Government to coordinate the activities related to water quality assessment and management at State Level.