Cause Of Worry: Depleting Of Water

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Neighbourhood News Desk: In many parts of India the ground water levels are decreasing because of inadequate filling of aquifers in deficit areas where it has been used for irrigation, industries and drinking water needs of the growing population, which are analyzed to keep a tab on ground water level, showed decline in its level in 2013 as compared to the average of preceding 10 years (2003-12) period.

The CGWB, a government agency, came to this conclusion by analyzing 10,219 wells across the country. It found that 5,699 wells had reported decline during that period. It also concluded that agriculture sector is the biggest user of water followed by domestic and industrial sector.

Sharing the Board’s data, the ministry of water resources had last week told the Lok Sabha that the ground water was continuously being exploited due to growth in population, increased industrialization and irrigation.

Depleting ground water level may be a real worry if one looks at the future demand of water in India. It is estimated that the country would need 1,180 billion cubic meter (BCM) of water annually by 2050. India has, at present, annual potential of 1,123 BCM of ‘utilizable’ water with 690 BCM coming from surface water resources and remaining 433 BCM from ground water resources.

The CGWB has, on its part, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Remote Sensing to facilitate a collaborative study “to assess the impact of ground water abstraction” in India. The study will be first of its kind in the country and will have great significance in identification of hotspots affected by over exploitation of ground water.

Tanya Thomas

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