Groundwater level falling by 1 metre every year, says Lucknow mayor

Published on Jul 30, 2021 08:39 PM IST

HT Correspondent lkoreportersdesk@htlive

Children play in water from a groundwater pump on a hot summer day in a field on the outskirts of Lucknow (AP Photo)
Children play in water from a groundwater pump on a hot summer day in a field on the outskirts of Lucknow (AP Photo)

HT Correspondent

LUCKNOW Mayor Sanyukta Bhatia on Friday emphasized on promoting water recharge facilities in high-rise and upcoming buildings as the groundwater level was falling by one metre every year.

The Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) and the Jal Sansthan should give rebate to houses with water harvesting system, but charge extra from those houses, which despite having the space for it, had not made any provision for water harvesting, she said.

The mayor said civic bodies can run an awareness campaign for promoting rainwater harvesting across the city, before making it mandatory.

“LMC will have to take some measures to recharge groundwater because the groundwater level is falling by one metre every year as high-rise apartments are drawing water from the ground and 70% of the city water supply is from underground water,” she added.

As per the directions of the chief minister, rooftop rainwater harvesting is mandatory in government and semi-government buildings, said Bhatia.

“Jal Jeevan Mission section of the minor irrigation department has been entrusted with the responsibility of installing rooftop rainwater harvesting facilities on every government and semi-government building in six cities of the state,” she said.

However noted environmentalist and professor in BBU Venkatesh Dutta said, “Rainwater harvesting is a nature-based solution to the problem of depleting groundwater table, but there is a rule of harvesting, which should be followed by everyone. Like, we should not allow seepage of contaminated water. At present, we don’t have any mechanism to check the quality of rainwater going into the ground. However, the state government has formed a district level groundwater council for every district to ensure rainwater harvesting to check depletion of water table.”

He said, “In Lucknow, we have lost 70% of water bodies. If you lose big water bodies, then rainwater harvesting is always good to recharge the underground water aquifers.”

Groundwater department director VK Upadhyay said, “There are around 2.08 lakh buildings with rooftop groundwater recharge facilities in the state. In Lucknow, according to our records, there are around 20,000 buildings with rooftop rainwater harvesting facilities. But we need to have more buildings to compensate for the water lost during the last so many years.”

He added, “We are trying to encourage local bodies to create rainwater harvesting facilities in every park of the city. If done, this will ensure good recharge of groundwater table.”

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