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Rainwater harvesting to meet shortage

Delhi and 18 other states may face severe water shortage, prompting government, NGOs and research agencies to search for alternate ways of conserving rain water.

india Updated: Jun 16, 2003 11:01 IST

Delhi and 18 other states may face severe water shortage as the ground-water level has fallen alarmingly in the recent years, prompting government, NGOs and research agencies to search for alternate ways of conserving rain water.

"Rapid urbanisation and population growth has led to higher consumption of the ground water. There has been a steep decline in the ground water level and if it is not checked in time, the problem will become more acute," Jamia Millia Islamia's professor in civil engineering department, Gauhar Mahmood, told PTI today.

He said the problem can be solved to a great extent by collection and management of rain water. But this would require specialised techniques and professional skills have to be acquired for it.

The university has taken up the task to train officials in government, private sector utilities and NGOs in rain-water harvesting.

According to Central Ground Water Authority officials, the ground water has been sucked out in Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. In 286 districts across 18 states, the water level has fallen by over 4.0 metres in the last 20 years, they said.

The situation in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu is also worsening, they added.

Mahmood said Delhi government has made it mandatory for housing societies to have rain water harvesting facilities. But with only 20 specialists in government, it is insufficient to provide technical knowhow to thousands of societies mushrooming in the city, he said.

First Published: Jun 16, 2003 11:01 IST