VIJAYAWADA: Extended summer, weak monsoon and drawal of groundwater for irrigation purpose notwithstanding, the latest data on water table compiled by the District Ground Water Department, reveals that the water is not depleting at an alarming rate, as claimed by many.
According to the department’s latest survey, the ground water level in the district has depleted by 0.72 m.
“We have 111 piezometer stations across the district to monitor the levels of ground water. We undertake fortnightly tours to collect data and monitor the rate of depletion of the water table,” said U Rajasekhar, hydrologist at the Ground Water Department, Vijayawada.
The district average of ground water level in June, 2014 stood at 9.42 m and it fell by 0.72 m from 8.7 m last year, Rajasekhar said.
The ground water level in the water year 2011-12 fell by 2.23 m, while the 2012-13 water table showed that the average water level drop was 2.02 m.
However, the Ground Water Department said that there is no need to press the panic button.
“Compared to the last two years, the water depletion this year is low. Various factors such as abundant rainfall last year, non-dependence of farmers on the ground water could be the reasons for this,” observed Rajasekhar.
It could also be observed that unscheduled power cuts in the villages also contributed to the lower ground water depletion this year, as the farmers were unable to use borewells.
The highest ground water depletion in the district is in Surepalli village in Musunuru mandal where water level stood at 53.3 m from the surface of the earth. The water level fell by 2 m in this village in the previous water year.
“The deceleration of ground water level happens due to several reasons such as lack of abundant rainfall, over-usage of ground water, silting of water beds and low recharge capacity of the region,” said the deputy director of Ground Water Department.
He said that there was about 70 per cent of deficit in rainfall across the district for the month of June this year, compared to the year 2013 and hence the recharge of water levels in the district would take time. “Ground water contribution will come to a naught if the rainfall is irregular,” he said.
Rajasekhar said that most of the water beds in the district were silted and steps should be taken for their desiltation. “Almost 50 per cent of water bodies in our district are silted, reducing the capacity of water beds to 50 per cent. Desiltation is a simple and most effective solution to this problem. The recharge orientation of the ground water levels will be increased if the silted water tanks in the district are brought to their full capacity,” he explained and said construction of recharge lakes as in Gujarat would prove effective.