Groundwater depleting at an alarming rate north west India | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2019

Groundwater depleting at an alarming rate north west India

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According to a draft report of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Ground water may fall below 100 meters in the north-west India and may be exhausted within the next 10 years because of the over exploitation in the region.

The submitted reports draws on data recorded between 1994 and May 2018 which shows the withdrawal of groundwater has been more than recharge against an annual gross groundwater withdrawal of 35.78 billion cubic meters (BMC),and the annual recharge has only been 21.58 BMC. As per the report, groundwater level has been falling at an alarming rate of 51cm every year and at present it is at a depth of 10-65 metres in the region.

An increase in the frequency of drought-like situations over the past decade is also the cause of the increase in withdrawal of ground water.
The India Meteorological Department reports (2012-2017)on rainfall patterns show that Himachal and Uttarakhand has received 25%-40% rainfall while Punjab, Haryana and parts of Rajasthan have received 15%-20% rainfall.
Its strong affect is clearly visible in the groundwater data released by the CGWB for these states.

The districts of Haryana and Punjab are in the red for over exploitation of ground water which will soon end in the next ten years.In certain parts of Haryana the groundwater situation is worse than that Of Punjab.
Groundwater levels have quickly depleted and are in a critical stage in the entire agricultural belt of northern and western Rajasthan except for the tribal belt of Southern Rajasthan and parts of eastern Rajasthan, the entire state has a groundwater emergency, as per the latest data on the
CGWB website.

Himanshu Thakkar, an IIT alumnus, who runs a non-government organization South Asia Network of People, Rivers and Dams, said farmers’ over-dependence on groundwater was the prime reason for depletion. “Even though India receives good rainfall every year, in many regions water is now available more than 100 metres below the ground. In some places, it is even more than 200 metres.
The situation of depleting groundwater at an alarming rate clearly shows that there is mismanagement, not proper use of rain water and gross misuse of groundwater, which is India’s water lifeline,” he said.

According to the CGWB ,at the current rate of extraction, all available groundwater resources till a depth of 300 metres in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan will be exhausted in the next 20-25 years. The extraction of ground water in the region has increased from 149% in 2013 to 165% in 2018, the report said.

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