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Central Ground Water Board Report: 56 per cent wells show decline in ground-water levels

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The shallow state of ground-water in India has been frequently highlighted by various studies. This time, The Central Ground Water Board(CGWB) has brought forward another starkling revelation: more than 55 per cent of the wells are showing decline in ground-water level in various parts of the country.

“As per the latest ground water monitoring data of CGWB for pre-monsoon 2014, compared with decadal mean of pre-monsoon (2004-2013), around 39% of the wells are showing decline in ground-water level in various parts of the Country”, said Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat.

“India receives an average rainfall of about 1170 mm which corresponds to an annual precipitation of about 4000 BCM(Billion Cubic Metre) including snowfall. However, there is considerable variation in rainfall both temporally and spatially. Nearly 75% of this i.e., 3000 BCM occurs during the monsoon season confined to 3 to 4 month (June to September) in a year,” he further added.

Jat further explained the quantum of usable water and said, “After accounting for evaporation the average annual water availability in the country has been assessed as 1869 BCM. It has been estimated that owing to topographic, hydrological and other constraints, the utilizable water is 1123 BCM which comprises of 690 BCM of surface water 433 BCM of replenishable ground-water resources. As per latest assessment made by the CWC in 2010, the live storage capacity of completed projects is 253.388 BCM.”

According to another assessment conducted by CPCB in 2015, the sewage generation capacity for Urban Population of India for the year is estimated to be 62,000 MLD against sewage treatment capacity of 23,277 MLD with 816 STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants).

“The works under ‘National Ganga River Basin Authority’ (NGRBA) Programme include laying of sewerage system, sewage treatment plants, solid waste management, common effluent treatment plant for controlling industrial pollution, river front management, crematoria etc,” Jat concluded.

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Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

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Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

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Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

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Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)