Water pollution

Water pollution


The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, amended 1988

This was enacted to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution, and for the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water in the country. The Central and State Pollution Control Boards have been constituted under section 3 and 4 of the Act respectively. The Act was amended in 1978 and 1988 to clarify certain ambiguities and to vest more powers in Pollution Control Board. Salient items and obligations on the part of industries and local bodies are:

  • To obtain prior consent to establish industry for new discharge U/S 25 of the Act. This is mandatory for every industry/local body discharging any domestic sewage or trade effluent into water, stream, well, sewer or on land. For this purpose consent application has to be filed with State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) in form XIII complete in all respects along with prescribed consent fee.
  • Once after obtaining the consent to establish and installing all facilities as communicated by the industry, the industry shall apply for consent to operate U/S 25 of the Act for which same form XIII has to be used.
  • Similar provisions of application and grant of consent exists for industries discharging the trade/effluent waste prior to enactment of the Act [U/S 26 of the Act].


The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977, amended 1992 and 2003

This was enacted to provide for the levy and collection of a cess on water consumed by persons operating and carrying on certain types of industrial activities. This cess is collected with a view to augment the resources of the Central Board and the State Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution constituted under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. The Act was last amended in 2003.


  1. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules, 1975
  2. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules, 1978
  3. Central Board for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution (Procedure for Transaction of Business) Rules, 1975 amended 1976
  4. G.O. Ms. No. 48/88/F6, [5/4/1988] – Constitution of Appellate Authorities under the Water Act, 1974 for Pondicherry
  5. No.1/2(71)/87.Plg., [7/4/1988] – Standards to prevent & control water pollution for Small-scale Industries located in the Union Territories
  6. S.O.247(E), [8/3/1988] – Delhi Zonal Laboratory of NEERI, Nagpur as a Central Water Laboratory 
  7. S.O.787(E), [19/11/1991] – Central Pollution Control Board, New Delhi as Central Water Laboratory

Full text of all the acts, rules and notifications can be found at http://moef.nic.in/division/water-pollution