Usage of ground water by beverage companies, especially cola giants, bottled water industries and food processing entities and its devastating repercussions on the ground water conditions in the country have been under tremendous scrutiny for many years.

The issue has come into focus recently, with new ground water norms by Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) coming into vogue, and experts viewing it as the much-needed regulatory clamp to keep a check on an industry that is apprehensive of such restrictions.

Interestingly, while a parliamentary standing committee report on ground water usage states that only 6-8% water is extracted by the beverage industry, people working for communities and non-governmental organisations feel that the impact on local availability of ground water is of grave concern. In fact, due to opposition from these quarters, many of the beverage companies’ operations were closed in Kerala, Uttarakhand, UP and Rajasthan and other parts of the country. Read more