Groundwater level declined across the country over the last decade, says Govt

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 11, 2019 Published on July 11, 2019

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister for Jal Shakti   -  PTI

Water level in more than 60 per cent of wells monitored by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) registered a declining trend in the last one decade, while 38 per cent an increase in groundwater level, the Government told the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The CGWB, jointly with State governments, periodically monitors as many as 13,628 wells across the country to ascertain groundwater situation in the country, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Minister for Jal Shakti, said in reply to a question in Lok Sabha. While 80 per cent of wells in Karnataka showed a declining trend, three out of four wells in Maharashtra had reduced groundwater levels, during the period. Other major States where the water tables are going down are Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh (73 per cent wells each), Punjab (69 per cent), Bihar (68 per cent) and Haryana (66 per cent).

He said the Centre is supporting construction of water harvesting and conservation works through a number of schemes including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana. Under these schemes, 17,56,207 water conservation and recharging structures have been constructed at an expenditure of ₹23,436 crore in the last three years, Shekhawat said.

As per the latest assessment carried out in 2017, out of a total of 6,881 assessment units in the country, 1,186 units in 17 States and Union Territories are “over-exploited”.

Water being a State subject, initiatives on water management including conservation and artificial recharge to ground water in the country is primarily the responsibility of the States, the Minister said.

Published on July 11, 2019

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