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Pune tops state in ‘over-exploitation’ of groundwater

Under the real-time mapping, chemical composition and analysis of the water, the depth up to which the water seeps, along with the area-wise deviation in the groundwater will also be tracked by the geologists.

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune | December 11, 2017 12:38:06 am
Pune tops in ‘over-exploitation’ of groundwater The trend has been observed in 22 villages. Archive

PUNE has been identified as one of the seven districts in the state where the groundwater has been found to be over-exploited, with the demand for using these reserves found to be growing constantly. A total of 22 villages here have been zeroed down where this trend has been observed.

Along with Pune, the Ground-water Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) has tagged Ahme-dnagar, Satara, Jalgaon, Aurang-abad, Amravati and Buldhana districts where depletion of groundwater was found to be rapid every time it was recharged during the monsoon. “We have identified a total of 97 villages in these districts, mostly under cultivation, where discharge of groundwater reserves is rapid every season,” said I. I. Shah, additional director at GSDA, Pune.

In order to curb this depletion, the agency under the Jalswarajya-II programme has decided to undertake real-time mapping of 12 aquifers along all these villages, where the hydrologists would be studying various parameters to understand the actual cause of such depletion tendency.

“It is a challenging task, particularly because of the hard basaltic rock on which these villages are geographically located. This makes it extremely difficult to carry out drilling activities and later map aquifers,” said Shah. He added that the depth of the wells in order to trace aquifers located close by will be the key.

Under the real-time mapping, chemical composition and analysis of the water, the depth up to which the water seeps, along with the area-wise deviation in the groundwater will also be tracked by the geologists.

Incidentally, the World Bank, through its intervention programmes, has listed 12 areas where people-centric measures will be initiated, so that the discharge of groundwater can be undertaken in a planned manner. “Though aquifer mapping is the main agenda, we will seek people’s participation in finding both short-term and long-term solutions for this problem. If required, we will make use of artificial means to improve the recharge rate,” said a team member involved in the Jalswarajya-II project that is expected to go on for six years.

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