Ministry of Jal Shakti
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Depletion in Groundwater Levels

Posted On: 25 JUL 2022 5:39PM by PIB Delhi

Ground water levels in some parts of the Country are declining because of continuous withdrawal necessitated by increased demand of fresh water for various uses, vagaries of rainfall, increased population, industrialization & urbanization etc.

The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is periodically monitoring the ground water levels throughout the country on a regional scale, through a network of monitoring wells. In order to assess the long-term fluctuation in ground water level, the water level data collected by CGWB during November 2021 when compared with the decadal mean of November 2011 to Nov 2020 indicates that about 70% wells have registered rise in water level whereas, about 30% of the wells monitored have registered decline in ground water level mostly in the range of 0 – 2 m.

Water being a State subject, sustainable groundwater management including initiating suitable action for effective rainwater harvesting, increasing water use efficiency etc falls under the States’ mandate. Further, Central Government is promoting the concept of conjunctive use of surface and groundwater based on the village/gram panchayat level water security plan prepared in a scientific manner through participation of communities/stakeholders.

Department of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Department of Drinking Water & Sanitation, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Department of Water Resources, RD & GR, Department of Land Resources & Department of Rural Development have jointly advised all States/UTs vide letter dated 31 March 2022 bringing out the urgent steps needed to make the villages in the country water sufficient by engaging the communities through participatory mode.

The Government is implementing Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal), a Rs. 6000 crore Central Sector Scheme with World Bank assistance, for sustainable management of ground water resources with community participation in select areas that include 80 districts, 224 administrative blocks and 8562 water stressed Gram Panchayats (GPs) of seven States, viz. Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh from 01.04.2020 for a period of 5 years.

Guidelines for groundwater regulation dated 24 Sep 2020 were notified by the Department with an aim to promote efficient use of groundwater resources including controlling the drilling of wells by various consumers including industries, infrastructure projects and mining projects. The guidelines advise States for reviewing the free/subsidized electricity policy to farmers (wherever applicable), bringing suitable water pricing policy and working towards crop rotation/diversification/other initiatives to reduce over dependence on groundwater.

Government of India launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) in 2019 in 256 water stressed districts in the country which continued during 2021 also to improve water availability including ground water conditions in these areas. Further, the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan: Catch the Rain” (JSA:CTR) campaign for the years 2021 and 2022  have been launched by the Prime Minister and President of India respectively. The JSA-2022 shall continue till 30 Nov 2022. The JSA has given special emphasis on creation of recharge structures, rejuvenation of traditional water bodies, intensive afforestation etc.

Further, a number of States have done notable work in the field of water conservation/harvesting such as ‘Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan’ in Rajasthan, ‘Jalyukt Shibar’ in Maharashtra, ‘Sujalam Sufalam Abhiyan’ in Gujarat, ‘Mission Kakatiya’ in Telangana, Neeru Chettu’ in Andhra Pradesh, Jal Jeevan Hariyali in Bihar, ‘Jal Hi Jeevan’ in Haryana, and Kudimaramath scheme in Tamil Nadu etc.

The other important steps taken by the Central Government for the sustainable ground water management in the country are available at http://jalshakti-dowr.gov.in/sites/default/files/Steps%20taken%20by%20the%20Central%20Govt%20for%20water_depletion_july2022.pdf

This information was given by the Minister of State, Shri Bishweswar Tudu in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

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