CHANDIGARH’S GROUNDWATER is fast depleting, a new report by the Central Ground Water Board, North western region, has found. The findings, submitted to the Chandigarh Administration and Municipal Corporation on Monday, detail that in some locations in the city, the groundwater level decreased by as much as four metres in just one year.
The board carries out the study every quarter and aggregates the findings annually. Groundwater levels are measured with the help of a device called piezometer. The board installs this measuring device at various locations in the city for the purpose of its studies.
As per the latest report, which covers 2017, the groundwater level in Sector 31 went down to 19.02 mbgl (metres below ground level) compared to 15.52 mbgl in 2016. At another observation point of Sector 31, the groundwater level which was 9.15 mbgl in 2016 dropped to 11.48 mbgll in 2017. Similarly, in Sector 46, the depth of the water level recorded as 5.52 metres in 2016 is down to a mere 7.18 metres now.
In Sector 10, the water level had gone down to 17.20 metres (below the ground level), which was 14.88 metres in 2016. Continuous groundwater extraction from tubewells in the city is said to be the prime reason behind the groundwater level going down in the city.
There are 225 tubewells in the city which provide over 28 million gallons daily water to the city and the remaining 58 mgd comes from Kajauli waterworks. Demand in summers reaches up to 120 MGD here. One tubewell has to work 22 hours daily.
A senior official from the board said, “It has become important for the city to have an alternative source of water. For the additional demand of water which goes upto 120 mgd in summers, the city depends on tubewells and at one point of time, they will go dry because groundwater level is going down.”
Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation, Manoj Bansal said that the additional water supply of 29 MGD from Kajauli is likely to reduce the pressure on the tubewells which will improve the groundwater level. “We are hopeful that the load on the tubewells will reduce after the water from Phase V and phase VI comes,” Bansal said.
The CGWB also stated that by 2020, the projected demand for water is likely to reach up to 157 MGD in the city which means that additional 29 mgd from phase V and phase VI would not suffice.
Two years ago, the Central Ground Water Board had even recommended to the MC not to have any new tubewell in the city. However, the civic body inaugurated a new tubewell in Sector 34 on Tuesday evening. The tubewell, pipeline laying has cost the MC Rs 35 lakh.
An executive engineer of the public health wing told Chandigarh Newsline that the motors in the tubewells, which would be installed at 110 feet, now have to be installed at 250 feet as the water table has gone down. He added that to get the water from tubewells, boring is being done at a level of 1,100 feet now.