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Gurgaon’s water table shrinking by 1-3 metres every year, says CSE

Experts said the administration should do more to encourage use of treated sewage water and boost canal water supply

gurgaon Updated: Jun 25, 2017 23:49 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindsutan Times
Gurgaon,Gurgaon news,Gurgaon water table
Used of unauthorised tube wells has led to a depletion in the level of water in a pond in Gurgaon’s Sukhrali village.(Parveen Kumar/HT PHOTO)

The city’s water table is shrinking by two metres or more every year, say water experts.

Presently, the city’s groundwater extraction is at 308%, far out-stripping neighbouring Faridabad at 75%, Palwal at 80% and Mewat at 85%.

“Because of the rapid urbanisation and concretisation, the city is extracting three times more the groundwater than it is recharging,” Vijender Singh Lamba, district hydrologist Gurgaon, said.

Even though the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) declared the area as “Dark Zone” in 2008 and advocated urgent steps to boost the city’s water table, there has been little or no effort on the ground towards that end.

Over the last six years, the city’s water table has shrunk by seven metres post monsoon, says data issued by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

Though 22 teams have been formed by the district administration to crack down on illegal extraction of groundwater, the practice continues unabated. Since residents in 40% areas of Gurgaon are still unable to source potable water from civic agencies, they are largely depended on groundwater to meet their day-to-day requirements.

In more alarming data released by the CGWB, as many as 2,300 tube wells in the city have been sealed till 2016 for illegal extraction of groundwater. However, despite regular checks, the city’s water table continues to be in a free fall.

“We get four-five complaints of groundwater extraction from illegal borewells every month. We have been taking measures to deal with this problem,” Lamba said.

Gauhar Mehmood of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, who conducted a groundwater survey in the city, said, “For the city to survive, urgent effort needs to be taken to conserve rainwater and treat waste water as well.”

He said over-exploitation of groundwater has caused its depletion at an alarming rate. He said that if the water table keeps shrinking at this rate, Gurgaon, which is believed to be positioned on Seismic Zone 4, making it vulnerable to earthquakes, could soon have voda-zones (shallow areas) under its surface.

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According to a study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the city has lost around 137 water bodies, which is also one of the prime contributors to the alarming depletion of groundwater.“Unchecked extraction of groundwater in the city has resulted in the water table falling at a rate of 1-3 meters a year,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, CSE.

First Published: Jun 25, 2017 23:48 IST