In order to protect the water resources, the Government of India has legislated the “Water Act, 1972 (319-A)”. Under the Water Act,1972, the groundwater is categorized into: (i) potable (water can be used for human consumption), (ii) non potable (unfit for human consumption), and (iii) other (water which does not fall under either of the above categories) water. According to the Water Act, the non-potable water is to be treated and discharged safely into the environment so as to protect the environment from such wastages. This law was amended by the “Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974” (319-B) and the “Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act, 1988 (No. 53 of 1988).
From the recent studies, Babu et al. (2012), Bimba et al. (2014) and Merchant et al. (2006) reported that there is an increasing trend of population growth in India and the number of water users is expected to increase in the future. According to the government of India report (Centre for Science and Environment, 2000) and various other studies (Kumar et al. 2002, 2003; Pandey et al. 2007; Singh & Jain 2007; Pandey & Kumar, 2012), the government has reported that the wastewater generated in India is estimated to be around 150 billion litres per year. The wastewater generated around the cities is discharged to the surrounding lakes and rivers. This discharged wastewater not only causes degradation in water quality but also results in several health problems in human (Ambrose et al. 1988; Singh & Jain 2007) and is responsible for the deterioration of esthetic values (Maruthi et al. 2011b).
As per the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (319-B), it is the responsibility of the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) to identify wastewaters generated by them and to regulate their discharge. The Department of Environment (DOE) is the central authority which is responsible for the implementation of the Act. The responsibility of SPCBs is to ensure the discharge of pollutants to the environment (Non Potable and Other) by controlling the discharge in an appropriate manner.
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The urban water crisis is increasing by the day. It is predicted that, by 2025, the cities and towns will consume a staggering 40% more water than they do today. If current trends continue unabated, by 2025, the demand for water will outstrip the supply by an astounding 10%. This means that by 2025, 20% of the world’s population, will live in areas where access to safe drinking water is severely limited.
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