The state government’s decision of water rationing from Hatia dam may further deepen the ground water crisis in Ranchi during summer, hydrologists said on Monday.
Instead, the government needs to chalk out a long-term plan to deal with the annual water crisis in city, which is competing for the “Smart City” tag, some of them said.
Experts said that rationing would create pressure on exploitation of ground water, as the three-day a week supply would hardly serve the need of households.
“I am not against the rationing. It could be a short term solution,” said TVN Singh, a senior hydrologist with the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).
“But, we should not forget that surface water crisis puts pressure on ground water and situation is already alarming in Ranchi,” he said.
He further said that ground water was depleting by 90cm to 1m every year in Doranda neighbourhood of the city and other areas, according to their survey.
Parts of Ranchi, particularly neighbourhoods like Dhurwa, Doranda and Ashok Nagar, are getting potable water thrice a week from Monday following water rationing from Hatia dam by the state drinking water and sanitation department.
An official said that the water level was receding by 0.5 inch every day. “Rationing was the only option to continue the supply, as we supply 8.5 million gallon of water to households every day…,” said KK Verma, the executive engineer at Hatia dam.
The Jharkhand unit of the CGWB has already warned that ground water level in Ranchi would be exhausted in the next 10 years unless rampant deep boring is stopped, and a new water reservoir is identified and rainwater harvesting system introduced on a large scale.
“Ranchi has limited ground water reserve. If its exploitation continues, the reserve will be exhausted in next 10 years,” Singh said, adding that there is an urgent need to identify new reservoirs for water supply in Ranchi.
The city gets around 42 millions of gallons per day of water from its three major dams-Kanke, Rukka and Hatia.
Rapid urbanisation of Ranchi during the last few decades has altered the landscape of the city and disturbed the water retention capacity, said SLS Jageshwar, the former director of the state ground water directorate.
“Depleting ground water not only causes water crisis but also contaminates water,” he said.
“In a study, we had found concentration of chloride, sodium, lead, iron, nitrate, sulphate and calcium exceeding the permissible limits where the ground water table continued to deplete.”
State drinking water and sanitation minister Chandra Prakash Choudhary said the government needs to chalk out a long-term policy to lessen the water crisis. “We are exploring every possibility of new reservoir construction to protect Ranchi from facing water crisis,” he said.
“We are contemplating to bring water from Patratu Dam and other rivers surrounding Ranchi like Baski river, Kanchi river, Tajna river.”
City neighbourhoods with ground water depletion
Ashok Nagar 2.12m
(Source: State ground water directorate)