HYDERABAD: Telangana received normal rainfall in July and August, but this failed to have any positive impact on the state’s groundwater levels. According to a report released by the state groundwater department on Saturday, 672 of the 932 (72%) observation wells monitored in the state saw a fall in groundwater levels, while just 260 wells (28%) witnessed a rise in levels in August.
Overall, the average groundwater levels in the state fell by 1.38 m this August. They dropped from 9.77 metres below ground level (mbgl) in August, 2018, to 11.15 mbgl this August. The deepest groundwater level in Hyderabad was 21.7 mbgl at West Maredpally, a decline of 3.5 m from last year’s reading.
One of the many reasons for the fall in levels is the poor start of the monsoon in the state this year, groundwater department officials said.
Last year in June, the first month of the southwest monsoon, the state recorded 150 mm rainfall, whereas in June this year, only 87 mm was recorded, which is 33% below normal.
Another reason, officials pointed out, was the skewed pattern of the monsoon in Telangana. As per the weekly monsoon rainfall data maintained by the Telangana State Development Planning Society, in the nine weeks from the start of the monsoon till the end of August, rains were deficient in as many as six weeks.
Of the remaining three weeks, two saw excess rainfall, and one saw normal rainfall, resulting in reduced percolation and more run-off. Groundwater department officials are hopeful water levels will rise in September, as the month had more frequent rains. So far, rainfall in September has been recorded at 65% above normal.
The officials also pointed out that this year, the area under paddy cultivation in the state increased by 2.5 lakh hectares.