Ground Water level in Telangana

Ground Water level dips in Telangana creates an alarming situation:

The report of the Groundwater Department of Telangana Government on Friday warned that there is an urgent need to take steps to improve the groundwater conditions in stressed areas as the data collected from the network of 126 piezometer wells in the State in October showed deep water levels of more than 20 metres in 67 wells and depths ranging from 4 metres to 20 metres in the remaining 59 wells.

The average groundwater level for the State in October was 11.80 metres against 9.30 metres in the same month last year.

Deficit rainfall

The deep water level this year owed to 35 per cent deficit rainfall last year and 22 per cent deficit this year, resulting in a net fall of 2.50 metres.

The fall in average water levels was observed in the range of 0.10 metres to 7.10 metres in all districts, except Hyderabad, when compared to October last year. The highest fall was in Medak district. Maximum recharge to groundwater should take place along with rise in water levels during the monsoon but it did not happen because of poor rainfall for two consecutive years.

Abnormal distribution of rainfall pattern

In the absence of sufficient rainfall, there was stress on groundwater not only due to the deficit but abnormal distribution of rainfall pattern which failed to recharge whatever quantity of water was available below the ground.

The State as a whole received 634 mm rainfall against the normal of 814 mm this year (22 per cent deficit).

The depth to groundwater levels recorded in October ranged from 0.30 metres to 39.37 metres. The shallowest water level was recorded in the piezometer at Khammam while the deepest water level was found at Bantwara village of Ranga Reddy district, both in granite formation.

It was observed that October water levels were deeper than peak summer levels in May in some districts due to limited recharge to groundwater.

This was the case in Mahabubnagar, Medak and Nizamabad districts. Deep water levels with more than 20 metres below ground level were recorded in 19 per cent of the wells monitored in October as against 18 per cent in May for the State as a whole.

The average groundwater level for the State in October was 11.80 metres against 9.30 metres in the same month last year.

 Next summer will be a harsh one for Telangana as the groundwater levels have plummeted due to a 22 per cent deficit rainfall up to October 30, 2015. The state received 634 mm of rainfall up to October as against the normal 814 mm for the 2015-16 water year. The groundwater in the districts of Nizamabad, Medak and parts of Mahbubnagar has fallen below the levels recorded in May-2015. This means the water levels during summer were better compared to what they are at present.
As on October 30, the average groundwater level in Nizamabad district was at 17 metres below the ground while it was available at 15.38 metres in May. It is worse in Medak district with average groundwater plummeting to 21.01 meter in October compared to 20.05 meter in May. In Mahbubnagar, the groundwater level in October has been recorded at 13.94 meter while during peak summer, in May, it was at 13.58 metres.
Experts said there is a stress on groundwater not only due to deficit rainfall but also due to abnormal distribution of rainfall pattern like prolonged dry spells and less number of rainy days with more rainfall.“Another main reason for ground water level depletion is over-extraction of groundwater during the Kharif season. As there were long dry spells, the only alternative for farmers was ground water. Ground water was extracted from legitimate and illegal bore wells resulting in further depletion of levels. Of course, deficit rainfall is the main reason,” deputy director of the Ground Water Directorate, Mr K. Dhanunjaya.
“The rainfall should be spread over several days for ground water to be recharged. If it rains heavily and rainy days are few, there will be more run-off of rain water and recharge of ground water would not be up to the expected levels,” a senior official in the groundwater department said. While the water levels in three districts of Telangana is lower in October compared to peak summer i.e. May, the situation is bad in other districts too with ground water levels registering a fall of  0.10 meter to 7.10 meter in October, 2015 when compared to the same period last year.
The alarming ground water level report is being circulated to the districts and the panchayat raj, Rural Water Supply, Irrigation and Municipal Administration departments so that the government can work out an action plan to minimise the water scarcity problem during the coming summer.

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