Andhra's water table rises despite early summer
Drought-prone Rayalaseema has more improvement compared to coastal AP; A’pur tops with 2.96 MBGL increase
VIJAYAWADA: In spite of the early summer and heatwave conditions prevailing in the State, the groundwater levels in March were more than what they were in the same month the previous year. Compared to 8.65 metres below ground level (MBGL) in March 2021, the average groundwater level in the State in March this year was 8.03 MBGL, that is, an improvement of 0.62 MBGL.
Interestingly, the drought-prone Rayalaseema region has more improvement in groundwater levels compared to coastal Andhra districts. While year on year improvement of groundwater level in Coastal Andhra Pradesh in March was 0.39 MBGL, it was 1.16 MBGL in the Rayalaseema region.
Anantapur tops the chart of the districts with the highest increase in groundwater levels compared to last year. The district recorded 2.96 MBGL improvement. In March 2021, Anantapur recorded 11.52 MBGL and this March it was 8.56 MBGL. Interestingly, it was North Andhra district of Srikakulam which bagged the second spot with an improvement of groundwater level to the tune of 1.17 MBGL, compared to March last year. Kadapa, another district from Rayalaseema region, stood third, with an improvement of 1.11 MBGL compared to last March. Chittoor, the tail end district of the State, stood fourth with 0.98 MBGL improvement compared to last March.
Groundwater table has significantly improved in Prakasam, one of the drought-prone districts in coastal AP. Compared to March last year, the groundwater level was 0.24 MBGL more. Nellore, another coastal district, also showed an improvement in groundwater table compared to last year. It was 4.03 MBGL last March while this year it was 3.40 MBGL. The district also tops the chart of having groundwater available at the lowest depth in the State while in West Godavari one needs to go as deep as 17.41 metres below ground level to get groundwater. Two other north coastal districts — Viziangaram and Visakhapatnam — also showed marked improvement in groundwater table.
However, the groundwater table in Kurnool district, which saw a decline of 0.42 MBGL compared to last year, is a cause for concern. The groundwater was available at 6.49 MBGL last March and 6.91 MBGL this March. Lack of proper rainfall in the region compared to other parts of Rayalaseema is said to be one of the main reasons for depletion of groundwater.
As per the statistics available with the Andhra Pradesh Ground Water and Water Audit department, 38.98 per cent of area in Andhra Pradesh has groundwater levels between 3 to 8 MBGL, while 28.47 per cent has less than 3 MBGL and 24.92 per cent has groundwater levels between 8 and 20 MBGL. Around 7.63 percent of area in the State has groundwater level above 20 MBGL.