With the monsoon continuing to elude parts of Maharashtra, particularly Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, the chances of a good recharge of the groundwater reserves here look bleak.
According to the latest report released by the Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), as many as 11,078 villages in the state have reported a dip in groundwater levels between 1 metre and 3 metres. This time last year, the number of such villages was 9,529. It was 5,156 in 2017.
“Monsoon is crucial for good recharge of groundwater reserves. Water seepage happens when there is light to moderate rainfall, which is recorded continuously rather than a heavy rainfall spell, which often leads to greater run-off of the surface water,” a GSDA official said.
So far, the monsoon has not been very impressive for the state as Vidarbha and Marathwada continue to experience rainfall deficit of 40 per cent and 32 per cent from the normal. With nearly one-and-a-half months of the monsoon season already over, the recharge of the wells here may not happen.
As per the latest report, three times more number of villages from Marathwada have been badly hit this year in comparison to 2018. Of the 1,844 villages that have shown the steepest decline (over 3 metres) in the groundwater table, as many as 948 villages are from this region.
Similar is the situation in Nashik and Pune regions, where 465 and 98 villages respectively have seen a sharp decline in the groundwater reserves.
The only positive picture this year emerges from the Konkan region where no village has reported any dip in groundwater levels. This time last year, 81 villages were affected from the coastal belt of the state.