Mihir Shah Committee

  • Set up by the Ministry of Water Resources
  • It has recommended setting up a National Water Commission
  • Proposed NWC:
    • The commission report recommended that NWC be headed by a chief national water commissioner and should have full time commissioners representing hydrology, hydrogeology, hydrometeorology, river ecology, ecological economics, agronomy (with focus on soil and water) and participatory resource planning and management.
    • It will be an autonomous body & will have a countrywide base and mandate, and greater human-power.
    • It will subsume Central Water Commission & the Central Ground Water Board.
    • The commission aims at reducing inter-state water disputes, bring greater efficiency, better planning and increased emphasis on conservation of water.
    • It also ensures that all water resources in the country are managed in a holistic manner and not separately as surface water, groundwater or river water
  • Other recommendations made by the committee:
    • Urgent overhaul of the current water management systems.
    • Change in both surface and groundwater management policies to face new national challenges.
    • Restructuring of Central Water Commission and Central Ground Water Board.

Why restructuring of CWC is necessary?

  • To optimally develop water resources in India so that all river basins and resources can be managed keeping in mind the increasing unpredictability of the monsoon and other climate factors.
  • Decreasing per capita availability of water and the huge projected demand of this natural resources by 2050 are also triggers for such a move.
  • The mandate of CWC belongs to an old era when dam construction and tube well drilling was the prime need of the hour. The CWC now lacks expertise in water utilisation, environmental and socio-economic issues and in efficient irrigation management to deal with present-day challenges of droughts, floods, climate change and food and water security.
  • Also, at present, the CWC, which develops surface water projects, and the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), which monitors ground water use and contamination, carry out functions independent of each other. For integrated water management, development, planning, water-use efficiency and for budgeting the adoption of a river basin approach, restructuring is necessary.



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