In a first, the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is planning to map eight lakh sq km in areas where groundwater has been over-exploited in the country.
Additionally, it will also map the depth of the aquifers to understand the quantity of water available for use - an exercise that has not been attempted before, according to CGWB regional director G Sudarshan. The initiatives are part of the National Aquifers Mapping Project by the board, which has earmarked around `3,600 crore for it. In the state, the board will map aquifers in 93,000 sq kms. “We have prepared an action plan to map aquifers in around 5,000 sq kms in Chikballapur, Kolar and Bagalkot districts within this year as the groundwater is over-exploited in these areas,” Sudarshan said.
Stressing that the groundwater table is rapidly depleting in several areas, he said, “We will be using advanced technologies, including geo-physical and hydrological methods, ground domain electromagnetic and sky domain electromagnetic surveys to prevent over-exploitation of the resource”.
STOREHOUSES OF WATER
Aquifers are water-bearing porous rocks from which groundwater can be drawn by drilling wells into them. Precipitation, especially rain, percolates down to these rocks and replenishes the water table. Excess pumping of groundwater fast depletes the resource and over time, the wells dry up as the aquifers need to be recharged naturally.