“The purpose of ‘The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974’ is not only to prevent and control water pollution but also to maintain and restore the wholesomeness of water”. Discuss
Water pollution is one of the major global problems which require ongoing evaluation and revision of water resource policy at all levels. It has been recommended that it is the leading worldwide cause of deaths and diseases. It accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 people daily. An estimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet or restroom, and 1,000 Indian children die of diarrheal sickness every day. Some 90% of China’s cities go through from some extent of water pollution, and almost 500 million people lack access to safe drinking water. In calculation to the acute problems of water pollution in developing countries, developed countries continue to fight with pollution problems as well. In the most recent national report on water quality in the United States, 45 percent of assessed watercourse miles, 47 percent of assessed lake acres, and 32 percent of assessed bays and estuarine four-sided figure miles were classified as polluted.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Actwas enacted in 1974 to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution, and for the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water in the country. The Act was amended in 1988.
The Act is to present for the prevention and control of water pollution and the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water, for the establishment, and with a view to carrying out the purposes aforesaid, of Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution, for conferring on and also assigning to such Boards powers and functions connecting thereto and for matters connected therewith.
2.0 Establishment of the
After the Stockholm discussion on Human Environment on June, 1972, it was measured suitable toward have identical law all over country for broad Environment troubles endangering the health and safety of our people as well as of our plant life and fauna. The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974is the first enactment by the Parliament in this direction. This is also the first exact and complete legislation institutionalizing simultaneously the authoritarian agencies for controlling water pollution and it is expedient to afford for the prevention and control of water pollution and the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water, for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the purposes aforesaid, of Boards for the prevention or control of water pollution and for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions connecting thereto.
3.0 Requirements of the 1974’s water act:
The water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 requires,-
· “Board” that means the Central Board or a State Board.
· “Central Board” means the Central Pollution Control Board Constituted under section 3.
· “Member” which means a member of a Board and includes the chairman.
· “Occupier” means the person who has control over the affairs of the factory. “Outlet” means conduit pipe or channel carrying trade waste matter which causes pollution.
· “Pollution” which means such infectivity of water.
· “Prescribed” which means arranged by rules made under this Act.
· “Sewage effluent” and “sewer” means any channel pipe or channel, open or closed, carrying sewage or trade effluent.
· “State Board” that means a State Pollution Control Board constituted under section 4.
· “State Government” means the Administrator appointed under article 239 of the Constitution.
· “Stream” includes- river, water course, inland water, sub-terranean waters, sea or tidal waters to such amount, by announcement in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf.
· “Trade effluent” which includes any liquid, gaseous or solid substance which is discharged from any location used for carrying on any industry, operation or process, or treatment system, other than domestic sewage.
· 4.0 Functions and constitution of boards:
i. Constitution of Central Board:
(1) The Central Government shall effect from such date as it may, by announcement in the Official Gazette constitute a Central Board to be called the Central Pollution Control Board to exercise the powers conferred on the functions assigned to that Board under this Act.
(2) The Central Board shall consist of the subsequent members, namely:-
§ a full-time chairman, form a person having special knowledge or practical experience in respect of matters relating to environmental protection.
§ Number of officials, not exceeding five to be chosen by the Central Government to symbolize that Government.
§ Number of persons, not exceeding five to be chosen by the Central Government, from amongst the members of the State Boards, of whom no more than two shall be from those referred to in clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 4.
§ Such number of non-officials, only three, to be chosen by the Central Government, to stand for the interests of agriculture, fishery or industry which, in the estimation of the Central Government, ought to be represented.
§ A full-time member-secretary, possessing knowledge and skill of scientific, engineering or management aspects of pollution control, to be selected by the Central Government.
ii. Functions of Central Board:
(1) Focus to the necessities of this Act, the main function of the Central Board shall be to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States.
(2) Also the Central Board may perform all of the following functions, namely:–
· To advises the Central Government on any matter concerning the prevention and control of water pollution.
· To co-ordinate activities of the State Boards and resolve disputes among them.
· To provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards.
· To plan and organize the training of persons engaged in programmers for the prevention, control or abatement of water pollution.
· To organize during mass media a broad programmer regarding the prevention and control of water pollution. Perform such of the functions of any State Board as may be in an order made in sub-section (2) of section 18.
· To collect and publish technical and statistical data relating to water pollution.
· To plans and causes to be executed a nation-wide programmer for the anticipation, control or abatement of water pollution.
· To perform such other functions as may be prescribed
iii. Constitution of State Board:
(1) The State Government shall effect from such date as it may, by announcement in the Official Gazette, constitute a State Pollution Control Board, in such name as may be specified in the notice, to work out the powers conferred on and perform the functions assigned to that Board under this Act.
(2) A State Board shall consist of the following members, namely:-
· A chairman, being a person having realistic knowledge in respect of matters connecting to environmental protection, to be nominated by the State Government: Provided that the chairman may be also whole-time or part-time as the State Government may feel fit.
· Number of officials, not exceeding five, to signify that Government.
· Number of persons, not more than five, from the members of the local authorities functioning inside the State.
· Number of non-officials, not more than three to represent the interest of agriculture, fishery or industry, ought to be represented.
· A full-time member-secretary, possessing qualifications, knowledge and skill of scientific, engineering or organization aspects of pollution control.
(3) Despite anything contained in this section, no State Board shall be constituted for a Union province; the Central Board shall use the powers and perform the functions of a State Board for that Union territory.
iv. Functions of State Board:
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the functions of a State Board shall be —
· Plan a comprehensive program for the prevention and control.
· Advise the State Government on any matter about the prevention, control or abatement of water pollution.
· Collect and distribute information relating to water pollution and the prevention.
· Encourage and participate in investigations.
· Collaborate with the Central Board programs relating to prevention, control or abatement of water pollution.
· Inspect sewage, works and plants for the handling of sewage and trade effluents and to review plans, but other data relating to plants set up for the treatment of water, works for the cleansing thereof.
· Evolve economical and consistent methods of treatment of sewage and trade effluents, having regard to the odd conditions of soils.
· Evolve methods of utilization of sewage and suitable deal effluents in agriculture.
· Evolve efficient methods of disposal of sewage and trade effluents on land.
· Lay down standards of treatment of sewage and trade effluents.
· To make, vary or revoke any order —
(I) For the prevention, control or abatement of release of waste into streams or wells.
(ii) Requiring any person troubled to construct new systems for the disposal of sewage and trade effluents.
· Advice the State Government with respect to the location of any industry the carrying on of which is likely to pollute a stream or well.
· Perform such other functions as may be agreed or as may, from time to time be entrusted to it by the Central Board or the State Government.
(2) The Board may recognize laboratories to enable the Board to perform its functions under this section efficiently, as well as the analysis of samples of water from any stream or well or of samples of any sewage or trade effluents.
From the constitution of different boards of act we can see that boards makes different positions to control the and prevention of water pollution, and these are not only for the prevention and control of water pollution but also to maintain and restore the wholesomeness of water. Even the functions of different boards show us the same results as well.
i. Pollute water:
In one sense, water pollution is “the adding odd any substance to water or changing of water’s physical and chemical characteristics in any way which interferes with its use for legitimate purposes”. The various non-living and organic compounds that cause pollution include fertilizers, pesticides, biocides, detergents, phenolic substances, and carboxylic acids. When these compounds inadvertently are thrown into the water resources, are contaminated resulting into danger to water animal and human life. Excess of chemical nutrients also stimulates the luxuriant growth of algae and other plant life. All the 14 major rivers of India, including Cooum, Ganga, Gomti, Cauvery, Damodar and Mini Mahi have become polluted. The waters of Ganga, which were once considered sacred, are no longer so because of the release of sewage and industrial effluents. The industrial effluents are considered more unsafe than the household wastes.
Usually water is never pure in a chemical sense. It contains impurities of various kinds-both dissolved and suspended. These comprise, dissolved gases e.g. H 2S, CO 2, NH 3, N 2, dissolved minerals e.g. salts of calcium, magnesium, sodium, suspended impurities e.g. clay, silt, sand and mud and microscopic organisms. These are the natural impurities resulting from the atmosphere, catchments area and the soil but are in such a low attentiveness that they do not pollute the water usually; rather their presence is sometimes essential for maintaining the drinkable and other useful properties of water. Impure waters are turbid, not enjoyable for drinking, sometimes smell bad, and are not suitable for bathing, washing or other human activities. They are generally harmful and diseases like typhoid, dysentery, and cholera spread through polluted water.
ii. Sources of water pollution and environmental health:
The following are the sources of water pollution:
- Sewage and other oxygen demanding wastes, which contain decomposing natural matter and pathogenic agents.
- Industrial waste, which contains toxic agents ranging from metal salts to complex synthetic organic chemicals.
- Agricultural waste, which comprises fertilizers, pesticides and biocides.
- Physical pollutions, viz., warmth, thermal pollutants and radioactive substances.
The water-borne diseases in man and causative organisms are as follows: Table
|1||Viruses||Viral hepatitis, Poliomyelitis|
|2||Bacteria||Cholera, Typhoid, Paratyphoid, Dysentery, Diarrhea|
|4||Helminthes||Round worm, Hook worm, Thread worm|
i. Prevention and Control of Water Pollution:
Control of water bodies and of organisms serving the purpose of water defense should be reinforced and approved out by all available means including legal enforcement under the provisions laid down in Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and the Environment (Protection) Act. 1986. Some ways or techniques recommended for prevention and control of water pollution are as follows:
ii. Stabilization of Ecosystem:
This is the most consistent way to control water pollution. This world involves reduction in waste input, harvesting and exclusion of biomass, trapping of nutrients, fish management and aeration. Different physical and biological methods can be adopted to restore species diversification and eco-balance in the water body to prevent pollution. And some species of algae, such as Chlorella, Scenedesmus and Spirulina are outstanding biological oxidants and are commonly found in polluted waters and stabilization pond effluents in India these can be used to reduce pollution load in a water body.
iii. Reutilization and Recycling of Waste:
Different kinds of wastes such as paper pulp, municipal and manufacturing effluents, sewage and thermal pollutants can be used to advantage. For example urban waste could be recycled to generate cheaper fuel gas and electricity. Scientists at the NEERI, Nagpur, have evolved cheap know how for management of radioactive wastes and the chemical effluents of atomic power plants reclaimed waste water and have complete cheaper piped gas and generated electricity by recycling town waste. There is a new technology of waste recycling and removal has been introduced by a distillery in Gujarat. That technology would not only help the distillery to treat 450,000 liters of waste every day before letting the effluent into streams but also produce energy the same to that given by 10 tons of coal every day.
iv. Removal of Pollutants:
The various physio-chemical techniques devised for removal of chemical biological or radiobiological pollutants engage adsorption, electro dialysis, ion replace and reverse-osmosis. Of the various techniques, reverse-osmosis deserves special mention. This technique is based on the exclusion of salts and other substances from water by forcing the later through a semi permeable membrane under a force that exceeds the osmotic pressure so that flows is in the reverse way to the normal osmotic flow. Reverse-osmosis is usually used to desalinate brackish water and has been found suitable, effective and economical way for the purification of water polluted by sewage effluents.
So based on the 1974’s act we find some ways or techniques suggested for prevention and control of water pollution, but the suggestions are not only to prevent and control water pollution but also to maintain and restore the wholesomeness of water. These talk about thestabilization of ecosystem, reutilization and recycling of waste, and removal of pollutants. These are also focuses on the restore the wholesomeness of water.
“The purpose of ‘The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974’ is not only to prevent and control water pollution but also to maintain and restore the wholesomeness of water”. But recently some sections under chapter V are not working properly. That is why water prevention and control act does not working properly. So my personal opinion is government should look after the following sections properly.
· Empowers the State Board to make survey of any area and to obtain information required for control and prevention of the water pollution.
· Empowers the State Board to take samples of water from any steam or well or any sewage of trade effluents.
· The Analyst shall send the reports to the Central or State Board, as the case may be and the Board shall send the copy of the report to the Occupier, which is not working properly.
· Any person official by the State Board can enter any premises for performing any of the functions of the Board. This is not strictly following.
· No person shall knowingly cause or permit any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter into any stream or well. In under development country which is a very common matter.
· Appeal to the Appellate power within thirty days of any order passed under sections 25, 26 or 27 of the Act. In developing and under developed country which is not strictly following.
· The State Board to take urgent situation measures in case of pollution of stream or well.
· The Board is empowered to make application to courts for restraining apprehended pollution of water of streams or wells.
These sections are not working properly in developing and under developed country. So the water problems are arising day by day. The water act 1974 is not only for prevention and control of water but also to maintain and restore the water. So every section under the act should strictly follow by the board and government.
In recent years the American public has in general assumed that their drinking water was healthy and safe. As one critic noted, bravery or apathy seems to pervade the public’s attitude with respect to drinking water. Common daily facts plus a current myth about the future, falsely implies that the quality, safety, and sufficiency of our municipal water supply systems are above reproach. Perhaps the myth can be stated as follows: everyone knows we have launched a huge water pollution control effort and that waterborne disease outbreaks are a thing of the past. However, by 1974 act of water prevention and control of pollution helped the worlds every nation, to have control over the water pollution, water related diseases, and maintain and restore water. So finally by the functions of the board, different techniques, and other observation we can say that that the “The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act was enacted in 1974 to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution, and for the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water in the country.”
Books/ Reports/ Articles:
ii. Brian Mathew, IRC (2005). Ensuring Sustained Beneficial Outcomes for Water and Sanitation Programmes in the Developing World.
iii. C. Michael Hogan (2010). “Water pollution.”. Encyclopedia of Earth. Topic ed. Mark McGinley; ed. in Chief C. Cleveland. National Council on Science and the Environment, Washington, DC.
iv. Contributed articles; with reference to India.
vi. EPA. “National Management Measures to Control Nonpoint Source Pollution from Agriculture.” July 2003. Document No. EPA-841-B-03-004.
vii. Federal water pollution control act. Public law 84-660.
viii. G.P. Kruseman, N.A. de Ridder, ILRI (1994)
ix. H.P. Ritzema, ILRI (1994). Drainage Principles and Applications
x. IDsW, IDsW, NHV (2010). Aquo-lex waterwoordenboek.
xi. Jo Smet, Christine van Wijk, IRC (2002). Small Community Water Supplies: Water quality and quantity (chapter 4)
xii. Jeffrey G. Miller, Ann Powers, Nancy Long Elder. Introduction to Environmental Law: Cases and Materials on Water Pollution.
xiii. Pink, Daniel H. (April 19, 2006). “Investing in Tomorrow’s Liquid Gold”
xiv. Ralph C. Heath, USGS (1987).Basic Ground-Water Hydrology
xv. Richard Holden, Tania Swanepoel, DWAF (2004). Introductory Guide to Appropriate Solutions for Water and Sanitation.
xvi. Thomas J. Douglas, Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 – History and Critique, 5 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.501 (1976),http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/ealr/vol5/iss3/5
xvii. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (1999). Groundwater Hydrology.
xviii. West, Larry (March 26, 2006). “World Water Day: A Billion People Worldwide Lack Safe Drinking Water”.
xix. WHO, WHO (2006). Guidelines for drinking-water quality .
i. A special report on India: Creaking, groaning: Infrastructure is India’s biggest handicap”. The Economist. December 11, 2008
ii. “As China Roars, Pollution Reaches Deadly Extremes“. The New York Times. August 26, 2007
iii. China says water pollution so severe that cities could lack safe supplies“. Chinadaily.com.cn. June 7, 2005.
iv. Dr. JASPAL SINGH, Senior lecturer. Department of Laws, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. SOURCES, ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH AND CONTROL OF WATER POLLUTION.
xii. Michael Hogan (2010). “Water pollution.”. Encyclopedia of Earth. Topic ed. Mark McGinley; ed. in Chief C. Cleveland. National Council on Science and the Environment, Washington, DC.
xvi. NO. 6 OF 1974. [23rd March, 1974.].THE WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1974.
xviii. The Water Pollution Control (Amendment) Act, 1974
xix. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Washington, DC. “The National Water Quality Inventory: Report to Congress for the 2002 Reporting Cycle – A Profile.” October 2007. Fact Sheet No. EPA 841-F-07-003
xx. West, Larry (March 26, 2006). “World Water Day: A Billion People Worldwide Lack Safe Drinking Water”.
 The word “full-time” omitted by Act 44 of 1978, s. 4.
 SENATE COMM. ON COMMERCE, SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT OF 1973, S. REP. No. 231, 93d Cong., 1st Sess. 2 (1973). Testimony of Jay Lehr of the National Water Wells Association. Expressing a similar but more direct explanation for the public’s attitude, Ralph Nader stated that: “[T]he basic psychological attitude of the public toward drinking water seems to be that if it doesn’t pinch, it doesn’t hurt.” Hearings on S. 1735 Before the Subcomm. On Environment of the Senate Comm. on Commerce, 93d Cong., 1st Sess. 89 (1973).