Salient Features of Water Act 1974 – The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 was enacted in India to prevent and control water pollution. The 10 Salient Features of Water Act 1974 Act are:
Salient Features of Water Act 1974
- OBJECTIVE: The primary objective is to prevent and control water pollution and maintain or restore water purity.
- REGULATORY FRAMEWORK: The Act establishes regulatory bodies at the Central and State levels such as the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) to implement and enforce its provisions.
- Pollution Control: It controls the discharge of pollutants into water bodies by issuing permits and establishing standards to maintain water quality.
- Water Quality Standards: This Act empowers the Central Government to prescribe standards for prevention and control of water pollution. These standards set the permissible limits for various pollutants in water bodies.
- Pollution Monitoring: It mandates authorities to regularly monitor and assess water quality to ensure compliance with prescribed standards.
- Implementation: This Act provides for inspection, sampling and analysis of water pollutants. It also provides penalties and provisions for non-compliance with its rules.
- BAN ON DISCHARGE OF POLLUTANTS: It prohibits the discharge of pollutants or effluents into water bodies beyond the limits specified as per the standards set by the regulatory bodies.
- Powers of Authorities: This Act empowers the authorities to issue directions, conduct investigations and take necessary measures for prevention and control of water pollution.
- Public Participation: It promotes public participation in matters related to prevention, control and mitigation of water pollution through public awareness programmes, public hearings and consultations.
- Penalties and Offences: This Act specifies penalties, fines and punishments for offenses committed, including imprisonment in some cases, to ensure compliance with rules and standards laid down for prevention of water pollution.
Together these features aim to protect and conserve India’s water resources by regulating and controlling activities that degrade the quality of water resources.