Close to 33 talukas in north Gujarat are in critical zones due to over exploitation of groundwater, and there is a need to employ measures for water replenishment, said experts at a national workshop on ground water here on Tuesday.
“There are 33 talukas which are in the over-exploited zone and are ‘critical’. These are mostly located in Banaskantha, Mehsana, Patan, Gandhinagar and some parts of Kutch… If such a situation continues, then it is a cause for concern. Water management solutions have to be harnessed and people’s involvement has to happen and their mindsets need to be changed because people think that groundwater is infinite,” said R C Jain, adviser to Gujarat Water Resources Development Corporation Ltd.
According to him, around 85 per cent of groundwater withdrawal is for irrigation, the rest 15 per cent is for drinking, industries and all other uses. “Agriculture is a major source of groundwater withdrawal,” he said, adding that by changing the pattern of irrigation to micro and drip irrigation, by reducing sowing of water-intensive crops, water augmentation could be achieved.
He also said that there have been improvement in groundwater levels in Gujarat due to the Sujalam Sufalam recharge canals. The workshop was attended by more than 150 participants, including academicians, researchers, farmers and experts from Telangana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and Gujarat, and also from Singapore and Australia.