HYDERABAD: The coming year does not seem to bode good news, at least when it comes to availability of groundwater for agriculture or even for residents of urban areas to fill the gap between demand and supply of water by the government.
Just a month after the end of Southwest Monsoon in early October, groundwater levels have already plummeted in November by six meters or more in many districts as compared to November last year, according to the latest report by Telangana groundwater department. Fall in groundwater levels has been recorded in Hyderabad and all the surrounding districts.
In Rangareddy, home to many upcoming commercial and residential real estate projects, a massive fall of 7.77 meters has been recorded in this year November as compared to groundwater levels last year November.
Steepest fall int the state of 7.85 meters has been recorded in Sangareddy district. Fall of 6 meters and above has been recorded in Medak, Medchal, Gadwal, Mahbubnagar, Siddipet, Vikarabad and Suryapet. Even in Hyderabad, a fall of 2.1 meters has been recorded already.
The rains this monsoon season have been deficient in many parts of the state. As per the groundwater department report the rainfall has been below normal in 25 out of the 31 districts in the state. In as many as 18 districts the rainfall was deficient, getting recorded below normal by 20 percent to as much as 45 percent.
Apart from the deficient rainfall resulting in poor recharge of groundwater, the excessive dependence on groundwater for irrigation in Telangana and free 24X7 availability of power supply for agriculture is expected to have contributed to the fall in groundwater levels.
Overall, the groundwater report for November paints a sorry scenario of groundwater in the state. Six more months are yet to pass till the normal arrival of monsoon in June next year.
On top of this, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast for months December-February released recently pointed out strong probability of development of El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean. If that occurs, even the monsoon might get affected causing more stress on groundwater.