Even as the surface water in the State is gradually drying up, the groundwater levels have started to deplete at a rapid pace in the city and its surrounding districts from the past five years due to over exploitation of the aquifers.
A study conducted by the Central groundwater Board (CGWB) and the Mines and Geology Department jointly has revealed that the groundwater levels have gone down by 50 to 80 feet in different areas of Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagaram and Chikballapur districts.
The study, which was conducted across the state, has also revealed that the groundwater is being over exploited in eight districts - Bagalkot, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore Urban, Belgaum, Chikballapur, Chitradurga, Kolar and Ramanagaram.
Kolar district is the worst affected as it is drawing 181 per cent of the average naturally replenishable groundwater. With 142 and 141 per cent over exploitation, Bangalore Urban and Chikballapur districts are also not far behind.
Bangalore alone has 3.12 lakh borewells, which are capable of exploiting 378 percent of annual recharge potential and measures have to be taken to arrest the depletion, the report said.
Many borewells have already started drying up.
In some areas of Kolar district, the exploitation of the groundwater is as high as 290 per cent of the annual recharge potential whereas in other areas, the groundwater levels have improved as the agriculturalists have abandoned their borewells after they dried up.
‘Prevent Depletion of Groundwater’
Refusing to divulge the details of the study till the report is submitted, the CGWB’s Regional Director Dr Najeeb K Mohammed said, “The lack of awareness of groundwater discharge and recharge relationship and effectiveness of water conservation has led to wasteful use of precious groundwater resource and its over exploitation.The depletion of groundwater levels is more in the peripheral areas of Bangalore city and measures have to be taken arrest the depletion.”