Regulation of water is of immense importance because water is central to every aspect of life. This includes provision of sufficient and safe basic water to every person, something that is not yet fully achieved. Water is also central to livelihoods, particularly agriculture, which remains by far the primary sector in terms of individual livelihoods. Simultaneously, it needs to be regulated in a manner that privileges its protection and preservation in both the short and long term, to ensure the sustainability of human uses. This represents an immense challenge in a context where water regulation has been largely conceived around either the predominance of the state as the actor controlling all water for ‘public purposes’, or of individual landowners having unrestrained control over groundwater found under their land, including at the cost of similar use by other landowners.
First published in 2011, Water Law in India is the only book to offer a comprehensive survey of the legal instruments concerning water in India. It presents a variety of national and state-level instruments that make up the complex and diverse field of water law and policy. This book fills a critical gap in the study of water law, providing a rich reference point for the entire gamut of legal mechanisms available in India.
This edition has been extensively revised to include new chapters on international legal instruments; new instruments on water regulation, including the draft National Water Framework Bill, 2016, and the Model Groundwater (Sustainable Management) Act, 2016; and new water-related instruments in such varied fields as criminal law, land acquisition law, and rural employment legislation. Chapters on drinking water supply, environmental dimensions of water conservation, water infrastructure for irrigation and flood control, groundwater regulation, and institutions catering to water have been thoroughly updated for a more complete coverage of water law.