Punjab Policy on Groundwater Usage

In June 2022, the Central Ground Water Board reported the groundwater (in the first 100m reach) of Punjab will be exhausted by 2029. In 2039, the groundwater (in 300m reach) will be exhausted. Following this Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority notified directions. They were called the Groundwater Extraction and Conservation Directions, 2023. According to these directions, the Punjab Government is to charge people and firms extracting groundwater. The charges do not apply to people using groundwater for domestic purposes, agriculture, military, and other government bodies.

What are the charges?

The groundwater has replenishing capabilities. However, replenishing takes time. Based on the extraction and replenishing time, Punjab has been divided into three zones. They are Green Zone, Yellow Zone, and Orange Zone.

  • Green Zone: The charges here are between Rs 4 and Rs 14. This means the groundwater replenishes a bit quickly. However, continuous extraction will hinder its replenishment and lead to dryness
  • Yellow Zone: Here the charges are between Rs 6 and Rs 18
  • Orange Zone: Charges are between Rs 8 and Rs 22

Main Objective

  • To increase the water balance and conserve groundwater
  • To prevent industries from overusing groundwater



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