Indiscriminate exploitation of ground water in Madhya Pradesh is threatening supply to the state’s rural areas and even leading to salinity in inland aquifers, a government report has said.
Groundwater provides 95% of the water used for drinking and domestic purposes in the state. A copy of the report is with HT.
The report stated that in some districts like Mandsaur, Neemuch and Ujjain, there is a threat to shallow fresh water aquifers – the layer of water-bearing rock and silt just below the surface -- due to inland salinity.
The heavy exploitation of groundwater through shallow tubewells results in upward movement of saline water present in the deep aquifers, resulting in salination of fresh-water aquifers.
"The entire demand for rural drinking water is met through ground water extraction and due to more and more demand of water for agriculture purposes; the ground water sources identified for drinking purposes are also drying...," the report stated.
The report also highlighted the factors that are contributing to the depletion or less replenishing of the groundwater in the state.
Lokendra Thakkar, state coordinator of Knowledge Management Centre on Climate Change said that the analysis of the observed rainfall data since 1960s indicates a decreasing annual trend.
"Data shows heavy rainfall (over 100 mm) in the last 50 years was increasing as compared to rainfall less than 100 mm. This means, not only lower rainfall receipt is decreasing groundwater recharge over the years, but the increase in heavy rainfall events is leading to higher run off..," Thakkar said.