North Karnataka shows the way in reviving groundwater

In 34 taluks, there has been marked improvement in groundwater availability according to Minor Irrigation Department; desilting of lakes and filling them helped

Published: 23rd March 2017 07:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2017 07:47 AM   |  A+A-

Women perform a skit on World Water Day in Bengaluru on Wednesday | NAGESH POLALI

Express News Service

BENGALURU: While many parts of the state thirst for water during the summer months due to depleting water sources, including groundwater, some taluks in North Karnataka districts have, over the last decade, managed to reverse the scenario by adopting different means.

As per data provided by Minor Irrigation Minister T B Jayachandra to JD(S) fLoor leader Basavaraj Horatti’s question during the ongoing legislature session, 34 of the 176 taluks have seen improvement in the groundwater levels. Some of these taluks are in Gadag, Ballari, Kalaburagi, Koppal and Dharwad districts. 

Of the five taluks in Gadag, groundwater levels have improved in three. For instance, Shirahatti taluk where water was available at a depth of 16.25m, it is now available at 8.08m. 

Explaining this, Ramesh Desai, Project Director (Urban Development, Gadag) said some time back, they started filling 26 lakes in Gadag district through Malaprabha canal. “A large number of people and cattle depend on these lakes. So when we filled water in these lakes, groundwater table was recharged automatically,’’ he said. 

The Bhishma lake in Gadag taluk was filled with silt. “We did desilting and the lake was filled. We have around 200 borewells in this area and we hardly used to get water from them. After rejuvenating Bhishma lake, water is available in all these borewells,’’ he pointed out. 

Asked if they conduct any awareness programmes on rain water harvesting, Desai said they hardly receive rain. “We filled the lakes from Malaprabha canal and it has become our lifeline now,’’ he pointed out.
Ballari district too has shown good results. Of the seven taluks, groundwater levels have improved in four of them. 

Sources in the Minor Irrigation Department said that since 2011-12, they have constructed 92 checkdams in Bengaluru, Belagavi, Vijayapura, Hassan, Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Mysuru, Mandya, Chikkamagaluru districts.

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