Usable groundwater ‘rapidly depleting’ in north, east India

NEW DELHI: India’s northern and eastern states saw a rapid decline in usable groundwater between 2005 and 2013, raising an impending risk of severe droughts, food crisis, and drinking water scarcity for millions of people, researchers have found.

Usable groundwater ‘rapidly depleting’ in north, east India

New Delhi, April 10

India’s northern and eastern states saw a rapid decline in usable groundwater between 2005 and 2013, raising an impending risk of severe droughts, food crisis, and drinking water scarcity for millions of people, researchers have found.

A team from IIT-Kharagpur, West Bengal and Athabasca University, Canada, compiled the first estimates of usable groundwater storage (UGWS) at the state-level across India using both in situ and satellite-based measurements.

Groundwater-level data was used from 3,907 in situ monitoring wells and estimate shows rapid depletion of UGWS in Assam, Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar and West Bengal.

In these areas, increases in agricultural food productions have resulted at the cost of non-renewable loss in groundwater volume at an alarming rate, the researchers wrote in the study published in the journal “Advances in Water Resources”. On the other hand, southern and western states like Andhra, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh show replenishing usable groundwater storage trends.

Earlier works by the government agencies have only been able to estimate the total groundwater, only a part of which is usable for human purposes, said lead researcher Abhijit Mukherjee, Associate Professor Hydrogeology, Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT-Kharagpur.

Assam, which was regarded as water-affluent, has lost two per cent of its usable groundwater resource, and is at the brink of suffering drought and famine in impending years. Haryana, which gets an annual precipitation of 689 mm, holds the highest levels of usable groundwater with 3,593 cm, while Himachal with a precipitation of 1,147 mm per year has the lowest UGWS level of 520 cm. — PTI

Top Stories

EC to announce dates of Assembly polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala this afternoon

EC to announce dates of Assembly polls in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala this afternoon

The poll panel has convened a press conference at 4.30 pm

Punjab and Haryana High Court grants bail to activist Nodeep Kaur

Punjab and Haryana High Court grants bail to activist Nodeep Kaur

Kaur was arrested in Haryana's Sonipat on January 12, had ma...

Ruckus outside Himachal Assembly as Congress MLAs manhandled by BJP ministers

Ruckus outside Himachal Assembly as Congress MLAs manhandled by BJP ministers

Drama was over Governor’s speech, which he abruptly ended, s...

Chandigarh PGI witnesses 100 per cent Covid spike in 10 days

Chandigarh PGI witnesses 100 per cent Covid spike in 10 days

There has been a surge of admitted patients from 30 to 57 ov...

Protesting farmers stop wheat-laden train in Punjab’s Moga

Protesting farmers stop wheat-laden train in Punjab’s Moga

The train was stopped at the Dagru railway station after it ...

Cities

View All