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Falling water table adds to woes

In the last year, the water table at South and Southwest Delhi has fallen by two to five metres. Many DJB tube wells in these areas have dried up and this is effecting the supply of water to the city.

india Updated: May 07, 2003 16:18 IST

In the last year, the water table at South and Southwest Delhi has fallen by two to five metres. Many Delhi Jal Board (DJB) tube wells in these areas have dried up and this is effecting the supply of water to the city.

The latest survey carried out by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) shows that the maximum decrease in the water table has been recorded in Lado Sarai adjoining Tughlaqabad and Saket. The water table here has gone down by 10 m and is currently at 51 m. In Aya Nagar near Gurgaon, the table has fallen to 35 m from 30 m. A steep decline has also been noted in R.K. Puram, Vasant Vihar and Vasant Kunj. In R.K. Puram, the water table has gone down to 31 m.

Delhi Jal Board officials conceded that the continuous decrease in ground water is drying up their tube wells used for augmenting municipal water supply. Of the 1,200 tube wells being operated by the DJB in South and Southwest Delhi, about 100 have had to be re-bored in the last two years to access ground water.

The decline in the water table would also mean that the households, especially in South and Central Delhi, that have their own tube wells will have to dig deeper to access the 500 to 600 litres of water per day to meet their needs. Residents in Lajpat Nagar said that the 11-metre deep tube wells have gone dry and these will now have to be re-bored to a depth of 13 m.

Though there are no exact figures available with the CGWA about the number of private tube wells, it is estimated that there are around 2 lakh illegal tube wells in the city in addition to the 1 lakh registered with the CGWA. Officials said that it is impossible to manage ground water unless people declare their tube wells and the amount of water they draw.