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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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NASA’s Probe Discovers Signs Of Water on Asteroid Bennu

OSIRIS-REx will pass later this month just 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Bennu, entering the asteroid's gravitational pull and analyzing its terrain.

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This Nov. 16, 2018, image provide by NASA shows the asteroid Bennu. NASA

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has discovered ingredients for water on a relatively nearby skyscraper-sized asteroid, a rocky acorn-shaped object that may hold clues to the origins of life on Earth, scientists said on Monday.

OSIRIS-REx, which flew last week within a scant 12 miles (19 km) of the asteroid Bennu some 1.4 million miles (2.25 million km) from Earth, found traces of hydrogen and oxygen molecules — part of the recipe for water and thus the potential for life — embedded in the asteroid’s rocky surface.

The probe, on a mission to return samples from the asteroid to Earth for study, was launched in 2016. Bennu, roughly a third of a mile wide (500 meters), orbits the sun at roughly the same distance as Earth. There is concern among scientists about the possibility of Bennu impacting Earth late in the 22nd century.

 

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx. Flickr

 

“We have found the water-rich minerals from the early solar system, which is exactly the kind of sample we were going out there to find and ultimately bring back to Earth,” University of Arizona planetary scientist Dante Lauretta, the OSIRIS-REx mission’s principal investigator, said in a telephone interview.

Asteroids are among the leftover debris from the solar system’s formation some 4.5 billion years ago. Scientists believe asteroids and comets crashing into early Earth may have delivered organic compounds and water that seeded the planet for life, and atomic-level analysis of samples from Bennu could provide key evidence to support that hypothesis.

“When samples of this material are returned by the mission to Earth in 2023, scientists will receive a treasure trove of new information about the history and evolution of our solar system,” Amy Simon, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, said in a statement.

OSIRIS-REx, NASA, Asteroid
This illustration provided by NASA depicts the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at the asteroid Bennu. The rocky remnant from the dawn of the solar system may hold clues to the origins of life. VOA

“We’re really trying to understand the role that these carbon-rich asteroids played in delivering water to the early Earth and making it habitable,” Lauretta added.

OSIRIS-REx will pass later this month just 1.2 miles (1.9 km) from Bennu, entering the asteroid’s gravitational pull and analyzing its terrain. From there, the spacecraft will begin to gradually tighten its orbit around the asteroid, spiraling to within just 6 feet (2 meters) of its surface so its robot arm can snatch a sample of Bennu by July 2020.

Also Read: Wintertime Ice Growth in Arctic Sea Slows Long-Term Decline: NASA

The spacecraft will later fly back to Earth, jettisoning a capsule bearing the asteroid specimen for a parachute descent in the Utah desert in September 2023. (VOA)