NEW DELHI: Water level in many parts of the country is going down at an alarming rate with as many as about 61 per cent of wells showing decline in level of groundwater.
Of the total 6,881 assessment units (block/taluks/mandals) in India, 1,186 units were categorized as ‘over-exploited’.
From the average annual per capita water availability of 1,816 cubic metres and 1,545 cubic metres in 2001 and 2011, it may fall to 1,486 cubic metres, 1,367 cubic metres, 1282 cubic metres and 1228 cubic metres in 2021, 2031, 2041 and 2051, respectively.
Despite the government spending over Rs 23,435 crore in last three years for conservation, groundwater levels are declining because of continuous withdrawal due to reasons such as increased demand of fresh water, vagaries of rainfall, increased population, industrialisation and urbanisation.
An analysis of pre-monsoon water level data collected by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) during pre-monsoon 2019 and the decadal average (2009-2018) disclosed that about 61% of the total 13,628 wells saw decline in water levels.
On Thursday, the government informed the Lok Sabha that the dynamic groundwater resources were being periodically assessed jointly by CGWB and states.
The government has launched the Jal Shakti Abhiyan to improve water availability including groundwater conditions in water-stressed blocks.
Under various yojanas such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana - Watershed Development Component, over 17.56 lakh water conservation and recharging structures were constructed at a cost of Rs 23,435.67 crore in last three years.