Groundwater extraction in India

Groundwater extraction in India

Groundwater extraction

Details on the topic “Groundwater extraction in India”

Relevance for Prelims: Groundwater levels in India, Green Revolution

Relevance for Mains: India a water-stress country, Water scarcity in India

Context: According to an assessment by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Groundwater extraction in India saw an 18-year decline which indicates improvement in Groundwater levels in India.

Status of Groundwater-extraction in India: 

  • The total annual groundwater recharge for the entire country is 437.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) and annual groundwater extraction for the entire country is 239.16 bcm, according to the 2022 assessment report. Further, out of the total 7,089 assessment units in the country, 1,006 units have been categorized as “over-exploited”
  • By comparison, an assessment in 2020 found that the annual groundwater recharge was 436 bcm and extraction 245 bcm. In 2017, recharge was 432 bcm and extraction 249 bcm. The 2022 assessment suggests that groundwater extraction is the lowest since 2004 when it was 231 bcm.
  • 89% of groundwater depletion in India is attributed to the agriculture sector. 8-9% of Groundwater is utilized by households and is followed by the Industrial sector (2%). 
  • In 2018, India was declared as the highest groundwater user in the world. 
  • Around 50% of urban areas’ water requirements and 85% of rural water requirements are fulfilled by groundwater.  

Causes of Groundwater extraction in India: 

  1. Green revolution:  It enabled water-guzzler crops o be grown in drought-prone/water-deficit regions, leading to the over-extraction of groundwater. 
  2. Lax Regulation: Vacuum in laws and regulations encourages the exhaustion o groundwater in India with impunity. 
  3. Industries: The release of hazardous chemicals, the release of sludge in rivers and lakes, and the dumping of sewage lead to the contamination of groundwater resources. 
  4. Over-population: The increase in population has put pressure on water resources. Thus, leading to higher extraction of groundwater. 

Groundwater extraction

                                                                                  Pic: Groundwater extraction

About Central groundwater Water-Board: 

  • It is an office under the Ministry of Jal Shakti and is a National Apex agency entrusted with the responsibility of providing scientific outputs for the management, expiration, assessment, and augmentation of water resources. 
  • It is headquartered in Faridabad, Haryana. 

Initiatives are taken by the government to conserve Groundwater: 

  1. Jal Shakti Abhiyaan was launched in 2019  in 256 water-stressed districts to improve water availability including groundwater conditions. 
  2. Aquifer Mapping and Management Program: It was taken Central Ground Water board to delineate aquifer disposition and their characterization for area-specific groundwater plans. 
  3. Atal Bhujal Yojana is a 6000 crore scheme with assistance from the World Bank for the sustainable management of groundwater resources. 
  4. AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation) focuses on the development of basic urban infrastructures such as water supply, water sewage, stormwater drainage, green spaces, and non-motorized urban transport. 

UPSC Prelims (2020)

Consider the following statements :
1. 36% of India’s districts are classified as “overexploited” or “critical” by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).
2. CGWA was’ formed under the Environment (Protection) Act.
3. India has the largest area under groundwater irrigation in the world.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 2 only
(d) 1 and 3 only

UPSC Main Questions: 

Q.1 What are the salient features of the Jal Shakti Abhiyan launched by the Government of India for water conservation and water security? (2020)

Q.2 Suggest measures to improve water storage and irrigation system to make its judicious use under the depleting scenario. (2020)

Current Affairs for UPSC

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Reference: The Hindu


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