HYDERABAD: Groundwater levels are falling fast in Telangana. Within just a month, a massive 3,000 square kilometres (sq km) of the state’s land witnessed groundwater levels drop to deeper than 20 metres below ground level (mbgl).
This was revealed in the March, 2019 report of the state groundwater department, that compared water levels to those recorded in February.
According to the report, regions with moderately-deep (15-20 mbgl) and deep (more than 20 mbgl) groundwater levels occupy as much as 19.2 per cent and 15.6 per cent of the state’s geographical area respectively.
Groundwater extraction, aided by free 24-hour power supply, combined with poor rainfall, have taken a toll on the state’s groundwater resources.This water year (June 2018-May 2019), Telangana has received only 724 mm of rainfall so far, against a normal of 865 mm - around 16 per cent below normal.
Of the state’s 33 districts, 16 received deficient rainfall, ranging from 24 per cent below normal at Suryapet, to 46 per cent below normal at Sangareddy, according to the groundwater department report. In comparison to March 2018, average groundwater levels in Telangana dropped in March 2019, from 11.88 mbgl to 13.40 mbgl, a fall of 1.52m.
Groundwater levels went down in 21 of the 33 districts in the state, and the remaining 12 saw their levels go up from those recorded in March last year. The steepest fall of 7.55 m was recorded in Sangareddy district.
However, compared to February this year, 32 of the 33 districts have registered a fall in groundwater levels.