Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

National Groundwater Management Improvement Programme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Atal Bhujal Yojana

Mains level: Groundwater recharge and conservation efforts

The Government of India and the World Bank have signed a $450 million loan agreement to support the national programme to arrest the country’s depleting groundwater levels and strengthen groundwater institutions.

About the Programme

  • The World Bank-supported programme will be implemented in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh and cover 78 districts.
  • These states span both the hard rock aquifers of peninsular India and the alluvial aquifers of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
  • They were selected based on several criteria, including degree of groundwater exploitation and degradation, established legal and regulatory instruments, institutional readiness, and experience in implementing initiatives related to groundwater management.
  • This programme will contribute to rural livelihoods and in the context of climatic shifts, build resilience of the rural economy.


The programme will, among others, enhance the recharge of aquifers and introduce water conservation practices; promote activities related to water harvesting, water management, and crop alignment; create an institutional structure for sustainable groundwater management; and equip communities and stakeholders to sustainably manage groundwater.

Particulars of the programme

  • The programme will introduce a bottom-up planning process for community-driven development of water budgets and Water Security Plans (WSPs).
  • Water budgets will assess surface and groundwater conditions (both quantity and quality) and identify current and future needs.
  • The WSP, on the other hand, will focus on improving groundwater quantity and incentivize selected states to implement the actions proposed.
  • Such community-led management measures will make users aware of consumption patterns and pave the way for economic measures that reduce groundwater consumption.
  • Crop management and diversification will be the other focus areas.

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