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  • Central Water Commission
    (Serving the nation since 1945)
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E-Flow Monitoring

Ecological needs of the river have been recognized as one of the uses of water in the National Water Policy (2012). In the Preamble of the policy, it is mentioned that ‘water is essential for sustenance of eco-system, and therefore, minimum ecological needs should be given due consideration’. Clause 3.3 specifies that “A portion of river flows should be kept aside to meet ecological needs ensuring that the low and high releases are proportional to the natural flow regime, including base flow contribution in the low flow season through regulated ground water uses”.

Environmental flows are the acceptable flow regimes that are required to maintain a river in the desired environmental state or predetermined state. The maintenance of minimum e-flow in the river would not only ensure sustenance of aquatic life but also go a long way in ensuring its Aviralta or continuous flow in the river. It will ensure that the river has at least the minimum required environmental flow of water even after the river flow gets diverted by projects and structures for purposes like irrigation, hydropower, domestic and industrial use etc.

Central Water Commission

The Government of India vide Gazette Notification dated 9th October, 2018, has notified the minimum environmental flows for River Ganga that has to be maintained at various locations on the river. The order applies to the Upper Ganga River Basin starting from originating glaciers and through respective confluences of its head tributaries finally meeting at Devprayag up to Haridwar and the main stem of River Ganga up to Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh. CWC has been entrusted the responsibility of monitoring the compliance by project authorities on maintenance of desired e-flows. Monitoring of e-flows is being carried by UGBO, CWC since 1st January, 2019.