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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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Researchers: India’s Groundwater Widely Contaminated With Uranium

According to the researchers, several studies have linked exposure of uranium in drinking water may lead to chronic kidney disease

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Researchers: India's Groundwater Widely Contaminated With Uranium
Researchers: India's Groundwater Widely Contaminated With Uranium. (IANS)

Researchers have found widespread uranium contamination in groundwater from aquifers in 16 Indian states.

The findings suggested that the main source of the uranium contamination is natural, but human factors such as groundwater-table decline, over-exploitation of groundwater for agricultural irrigation and nitrate pollution may be aggravating the problem.

According to the researchers, several studies have linked exposure of uranium in drinking water may lead to chronic kidney disease.

“Nearly a third of all water wells we tested in one state, Rajasthan, contained uranium levels that exceed the World Health Organization (WHO) and US Environmental Protection Agency’s safe drinking water standards,” said co-author Avner Vengosh from the Duke University in US.

Representational image.
Representational image.

“By analyzing previous water quality studies, we also identified aquifers contaminated with similarly high levels of uranium in 26 other districts in northwestern India and nine districts in southern or southeastern India,” Vengosh added.For the study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, the researchers sampled water from 324 wells in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat to analyze the water chemistry.

In a subset of samples, they measured the uranium isotope ratios. They also analyzed similar data from 68 previous studies of groundwater geochemistry in Rajasthan, Gujarat and 14 other Indian states.

Also Read: Can Water Be Harmful For You?

“The results of this study strongly suggest there is a need to revise current water-quality monitoring programmes in India and re-evaluate human health risks in areas of high uranium prevalence,” Vengosh said.

“Developing effective remediation technologies and preventive management practices should also be a priority,” Vengosh noted. (IANS)

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