Draft Water Bill suggests basin-level management:
Draft Water Bill suggests basin-level management. Amid several inter-State disputes over river water sharing, the Centre has brought final draft of the National Water Framework Bill, 2016, that stresses managing water at basin-level and “right measurement” of State’s contribution to river system to resolve conflicts.
The draft Bill pitches for establishing River Basin Authority for each inter-State basin to ensure “optimum and sustainable” development of rivers and valleys. The Bill is expected to be placed before the Union Cabinet for its approval in a month, before it is tabled in Parliament.
- It suggests States to recognise the principle that the rivers are not owned by the basin-States but are “public trustees.”
- It says all basin States have “equitable” rights over a river water “provided such use does not violate the right to water for life” of any person in the river basin.
- The draft Bill says every person has a “right to sufficient quantity of safe water for life” within easy reach of the household regardless of caste, creed, religion, age, community, class, gender, disability, economic status, land ownership and place of residence.
- It also suggests that States ensure water is conserved.