About Water Quality
The drinking water is said to be contaminated if it is biologically contaminated or chemical contamination exceeds the permissible limits. The major physio-chemical pollutants are Arsenic, Fluoride, Iron, Salinity, Nitrate and Heavy Metal. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has set specifications in its IS–10500-2012 standards for drinking water. However, this standard is only voluntary in nature and not legally supported for enforcement. This standard has two limits:
- Desirable limits
- Maximum permissible or cause for rejection limits
If any parameter exceeds the cause for rejection limit, that water is considered as contaminated. Broadly speaking, water is defined as contaminated if it is biologically contaminated (presence of microscopic organisms such as algae, zoo-plankton, flagellates, E-coli etc) or chemical contamination exceeds permissible limits.
|S No.||Parameters||Unit||BIS (IS: 10500)|
|Desirable Limits||Max. Permissible|
|1||pH||-----||6.5 -8.5||6.5 – 8.5|
|8||Calcium (as Ca)||mg/L||75||200|
|9||Magnesium (as Mg)||mg/L||30||100|
Rural Drinking water supply is a State subject. For improving the coverage of safe drinking water to rural population, this Ministry supplements the efforts of the States by providing them with technical and financial assistance through the centrally sponsored scheme National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). The funds provided to the States under NRDWP can be utilized for providing safe drinking water to water quality affected areas on priority.
States can utilize up to 5% of funds released to them under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) for Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance (WQMS), which, inter alia, includes testing of drinking water sources, upgrading of existing water quality testing laboratories and setting up of new State / district / sub-district / mobile water quality testing laboratories, providing chemicals and consumables to laboratories, providing field test kits/refills to Gram Panchayats etc. With assistance from Government of India, 2,298 various level water quality testing laboratories have set up in the Country as on 15.01.2019.
Under National Rural Drinking Water Programme, 2% of allocation of funds is earmarked for 60 high priority Japanese Encephalitis (JE)/Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) affected district identified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. State-wise number affected districts are as follows:-
|Name of the State||Number of affected districts|
To deal with arsenic and fluoride contamination, with the recommendation of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog), Government of India had released Rs. 1,000 crore in March 2016 to affected states for commissioning of Community Water Purification Plants (CWPPs) and last mile connectivity of piped water supply schemes.
In addition, the Ministry had launched National Water Quality Sub-Mission (NWQSM) on 22.03.17 to provide safe drinking water to 27,544 arsenic / fluoride affected rural habitations in a span of 4 years, subject to availability of funds.
Water Quality Documents
|1||Office order regarding Apex Committee(NWQSM)(09.10.2019)||09/10/2019||Download (527.91 KB)|
|2||Minutes of 10th Apex Committee meeting held on 20th September, 2018 under the Chairmanship of Secretary (DWS)(28.09.2018)||01/10/2018||Download (4.42 MB)|
|3||Letter regarding Release of National Water Quality Submission funds(14.09.2018)||15/09/2018||Download (203.99 KB)|
|4||Minutes of 9th Apex Committee meeting held on 12th july, 2018 - Clarification relating to point no. (3)(v) (20.08.2018)||20/08/2018||Download (350.32 KB)|
|5||Minutes of 9th Apex Committee meeting held on 12th July, 2018 under the Chairmanship of Secretary (DWS)(10.08.2018)||10/08/2018||Download (8.76 MB)|
|6||Minutes of 8th Apex Committee Meeting held on 26th February, 2018 under the Chairmanship of Secretary(DWS)(06.03.2018)||06/03/2018||Download (482.47 KB)|
|7||Minutes of 6th Apex Committee meeting held on 7th December, 2017 under the Chairmanship of Secretary (DWS) (08.12.2017)||08/12/2017||Download (908.99 KB)|
|8||Minutes of 5th apex committee meeting held on 05th October, 2017 under the Chairmanship of Secretary (DWS) (10.10.2017)||10/10/2017||Download (698.38 KB)|
|9||Minutes of 4th apex committee meeting held on 17 August, 2017 under the Chairmanship of Secretary (DWS) (23.08.2017)||23/08/2017||Download (321.25 KB)|
|10||Minutes of 3rd apex committee meeting held on 28 June, 2017 under the Chairmanship of Secretary (DWS) (09.08.2017)||09/08/2017||Download (724.75 KB)|
Rural Drinking water supply is a State subject. For improving the coverage of safe drinking water to rural population, this Ministry supplements the efforts of the States by providing them with technical and financial assistance through the centrally sponsored scheme National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP).The funds provided to the States under NRDWP can be utilized for providing safe drinking water to water quality affected areas on priority.
Arsenic is a carcinogenic element and is associated with skin, lung, bladder, kidney, and liver cancer. Dermatological, developmental, neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular, immunological, and endocrine effects are also evident. Fluorosis, a public health problem, is caused by excess intake of fluorides through drinking water/food products/industrial pollutants, over a prolonged period. It causes severe health related disorders such as dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis and non-skeletal fluorosis besides inducing ageing.
These harmful effects, being permanent and irreversible in nature, are detrimental to the health of an individual and the community, which in turn have an impact on growth, development, economy and human resource development of the country.
To address the issue and to eliminate the problems of Arsenic and Fluoride in affected habitations, this Ministry had launched National Water Quality Sub-Mission on 22nd March, 2017 to provide safe drinking to 27,544 arsenic / fluoride affected habitations in the country in a span of 4 years, subject to availability of funds.
As reported by the States in Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the Ministry as on 18th August, 2016, there were 27,544 habitations affected by Arsenic/ Fluoride in the Country. Out of which, 13,819 habitations are affected by Arsenic with population of 1.53 Crore and 13,725 habitations are affected by Fluoride with population of 1.13 Crore. Total projected cost of NWQSM is Rs. 25,000 Crore.
Majorly state can take up following types of schemes under NWQSM.
- Surface water based piped water supply scheme.
- Safe ground water based piped water supply scheme and
- Ground water with treatment technology based scheme / Community Water Purification Plants (CWPPs).
- Cluster based Community Water Purification Plants
- Extension of Pipelines from Existing Schemes
- Canal based/Ranney Well based schemes
- Retrofitting with Community Water Purification Systems
States are advised to take up schemes which give permanent solution to affected population by providing safe and sustainable drinking water. However, States can take up short term measures to ameliorate the situation by providing other drinking water schemes which can provide early relief in situations where PWS schemes implementation is likely to take longer duration.
All the States have been instructed to take up water conservation measures in convergence with other programmes like MGNREGA, IWMP, RKVY, PMKSY and other state water conservation programmes etc in these habitations and ensure that ground water is sufficiently recharged.
Technical and Administrative Sanctions of NWQSM Proposals:
Competent authority in the State is authorized to give technical & financial sanction to the proposals. Depending up on technical sanction, administrative sanction is accorded by the State Level Scheme Sanctioning Committee (SLSSC). All proposals are appraised in the Apex Committee before release of funds.
Funding Pattern & Release of Funds:
Central assistance to any state shall be maximum of Rs. 4500 Crore.
(A) Surface Water / Safe Ground Water based piped water supply schemes:-
Funds sharing between Center and State for North-Eastern /Himalayan States shall be 90:10 and for all other States 50:50. These funds will be provided only for arsenic and fluoride affected habitations and the States have to provide, State matching share corresponding to release of Central Share for Arsenic and Fluoride affected habitations and entire share corresponding to en-route non-arsenic/ non-fluoride affected habitations, towns/city and industries.
(B) Ground water with treatment technology based scheme / Community Water Purification Plants (CWPPs):
Funds sharing between Center and State for North-Eastern / Himalayan States shall be 90:10 and for all other States 50:50.
On the basis of Apex Committee approval, grants will be released to the States. Number of instalments are be decided by Apex Committee. Second and subsequent instalments will based on the performance and submission of requisite physical and financial documents to the Ministry.
All the schemes under National Water Quality Sub-Mission are rigorously monitored through online monitoring mechanism.
Drinking Water Quality Testing Laboratories & NABL Accreditation
The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India is supporting States/UTs in setting up, upgradation and strengthening of State, district, sub-divisional/block level/mobile drinking water quality testing laboratories under National Rural Drinking Water Programme (WQMS).
As on 03/01/2019, total 2298 drinking water quality testing laboratories have been set up/strengthened by the States/UTs using NRDWP (WQMS) funds and from their own/other funding resources. Out of 2298, 28 are State labs, 746 are district labs, 1136 are sub-divisional labs, 284 are block level labs and 104 are mobile labs. States have tested about 21.94 lakh water samples during 2018-19 in these laboratories as reported on IMIS of the Ministry as on 03/01/2019.
Ministry is taking various steps to strengthen the functioning and monitoring of drinking water quality testing laboratories in terms of technical guidance and support to States/UTs.
The Ministry is also proposing to generate geographically evenly distributed roaster of sources for which sampling is to be done by the district labs every month with the objective to ensure water quality testing of all the drinking water sources in States/UTs.
The finalization of revised 2nd edition of “Uniform Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Protocol” issued by the Ministry in February, 2013 is also under progress.
The Ministry is emphasizing States/UTs for NABL accreditation as per “IS/ISO/IEC 17025:2017” in phased manner. So far 45 drinking water quality testing laboratories have been accredited with NABL.Details of Water Quality Testing Labs managed by rural water supply departments across the country
Japanese Encephalitis (JE)- Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) is a mosquito borne zoonotic viral disease. Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) is a general description of the clinical presentation of a disease characterized by high fever altered consciousness etc mostly in children below 15 years of age. Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) has a very complex etiology and JE virus is only one of the many causative agents of Encephalitis. AES is also caused by Entero-viruses which spread through unsafe drinking water sources.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has identified 60 high priority districts in the country.
State-wise number of high priority districts are as follows:-
|Name of the State||Number of high priority districts|
Names of identified high priority districts are as follows:-
|S.No.||State / District||S.No.||State / District|
Funds are allocated to states on the basis of number of drinking water sources in rural areas of these districts, as entered on Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) of the Ministry as on 01st April, 2011, and the extent of contamination as per Multi-District Assessment of Water Safety conducted by the UNICEF in these States.
Following important activities are carried out by the States in JE/AES affected districts.
- IEC Activities
- Conversion of shallow hand pump to India Mark-II or higher version
- Solid Liquid Waste Management activities
- Conducting Sanitary Survey
- Installation of energized stand post
- Raising of hand pump platform
- Construction of Soak pits etc
States may take up new PWS schemes and new hand pumps (India Mark-II and above).