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Dynamic Ground Water Resource Assessment Report

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • The ‘Dynamic Ground Water Resource Assessment Report’ represents a collaborative effort between the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and various States/Union Territories.
  • As the apex organization under the Ministry of Jal Shakti dealing with groundwater-related matters, the CGWB plays a pivotal role in understanding and managing India’s groundwater resources.

 

Key Highlights of the Report

  • Total annual groundwater recharge is 449.08 billion cubic meters (BCM), reflecting an 11.48 BCM increase from the previous year.
  • Annual groundwater extraction: 241.34 BCM.
  • The report attributes increased groundwater recharge to factors such as canal seepage, return flow of irrigation water, and recharges from water bodies, tanks, and water conservation structures.
  • Rainfall contributes nearly 60% to the total annual groundwater recharge.

 

Implications of Groundwater Extraction

  • Rapid depletion of groundwater reserves leading to increased carbon emissions.
  • Linked to irreversible land subsidence, with potential long-term consequences.
  • Associated with the climate crisis, impacting ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Groundwater extraction, at its lowest since 2004, decreased by about 6 BCM in 2022 compared to 2020. This decline has resulted in increased costs and adverse effects on food supply, affecting communities.

 

Steps for Groundwater Conservation

InitiativeObjectiveKey Focus Areas
National Aquifer Mapping and Management (NAQUIM)Delineate aquifers, characterize them, and prepare comprehensive management plans for sustainable use.Aquifer mapping and sustainable management plans.
Master Plan for Artificial Recharge to Groundwater (2020)Comprehensive plan covering both rural and urban areas, especially those facing water scarcity.Artificial recharge methods to replenish groundwater resources.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA – 2019)Launched in water-stressed blocks across 256 districts in the country.Harvesting monsoon rainfall, creating artificial recharge structures, watershed management, intensive afforestation, and awareness generation.
Atal Bhujal YojanaImplemented collaboratively with States in water-stressed areas of specific states (Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh).Demand-side management through scientific means, active involvement of local communities at the village level, leading to sustainable groundwater management.

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