Groundwater overexploited in 16% of talukas, mandals, blocks, at 'critical' levels in 4% of wells examined

Groundwater level in 16 percent of the taluka, mandal, block level units in the country fall under the “over-exploited” category, while 4 percent falls under the “critical” category, government data show.

Groundwater level of the 6,584 block, mandal, tehsil level units assessed by the Central Groundwater Board reveal that 4,520 units fall under the “safe category”, according to the data shared by the government in Lok Sabha last week.

As many as 1,034 units have been categorised as “over-exploited”, the data state.

Nearly 681 block, mandal, taluka level units in the country, constituting 10 percent of the total figure, fall under the “semi-critical” category, while 253 fall under the “critical” category. Nearly 1 percent of the blocks, mandals and talukas had saline water.

The figure is based on the government’s 2013 assessment.

 Groundwater overexploited in 16% of talukas, mandals, blocks, at critical levels in 4% of wells examined

Groundwater overuse. Image courtesy: Groundwater Foundation

“As per the 2013 assessment, out of total 6,584 assessment units (blocks, talukas, mandals, watersheds, firkas) in the country, 1,034 units in 17 states and Union territories have been categorised as over-exploited where groundwater extraction is more than the net groundwater availability and there is significant long-term decline in water levels.

“Two hundred and fifty-three units have been categorised as critical, 681 units as semi-critical and 4,520 units as safe,” the minister of state in the jal shakti ministry said in parliament last week.

The overexploitation of the groundwater was highest in the states of Punjab (76 percent) and Rajasthan (66 percent), followed by Delhi (56 percent) and Haryana (54 percent).

There was no over-exploitation of groundwater reported in the states of West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Odisha, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa.

Groundwater levels in all the block, taluka, mandal level units from 12 states and Union territories Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli were reported to be in the safe category.

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Updated Date: Jul 02, 2019 08:52:35 IST