Noida groundwater table continues to deplete, over a100 tube-wells left defunct
Noida has to dig deeper to access groundwater, according to the Uttar Pradesh ground water department that completed its limited pre-monsoon assessment for the year.
According to the data, which HT accessed, groundwater was deepest at the Government Degree College at 31.4 metres. Last year the same site had a depth of 30.3 metres and the year before that, it was 28.06 metres. In Sector 39, the decrease was less severe - from 30.14 metres last year to 30.82 metres.
The data is limited as the department surveyed only 24 of the 84 sites in the district from where real-time data is available. This is a normal practice, and the full assessment is expected later this year. At all 24 sites, the groundwater depth showed an increase.
But experts say that the data was consistent with practical experiences and showed that Noida was extracting far more water than what nature can replenish. Of the city’s requirement of 406 million litres per day, about 50% is now from the Ganga.
We are extracting more, and conservation or harvesting is very less. We need to control the extraction, increase water use efficiency through technology and revive hundreds of ponds in the city. We need to use recycled water, treated water should be used for industrial and construction sector,” said city-based environmentalist Vikrant Tongad.
Over the last five years, the average pre-monsoon depth increased from 9.95 metres in 2016 to 25.28 metres in 2020 - a change of 154%. For Greater Noida, the average groundwater level dropped from 6.66 metres to 12.75 metres during the same period - a change of 91.41%.
The drop is visible in the number of tube wells going defunct.
“Every year, we see a six to eight feet drop in the water levels in our tubewells. Of 430 tubewells we have, 120 are defunct. Out of 12 ranney wells in the city we have, only six are functional at present, rest have dried. Proper recharge, rainwater harvesting, and zero waste of water is the only way forward,” said RP Singh, deputy general manager (water), Noida Authority.
There was, however, some silver lining.
At Gulistanpur Primary school in Greater Noida, the groundwater level fell only by one metre to 20.5m against seven metres last year. At Greater Noida Delta-3, the level fell only by a metre against 3.59m last year.
“This year, we are building water harvesting tanks at Sector 31 over 2,000 square metres, and over 2,200 square metres at Sector 2. Also, the work on rejuvenation of ponds in ongoing, and the depletion at some areas have also slowed,” Rahul Dev, junior engineer, UP Ground Water Department, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.