Groundwater

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January 17, 2021 Last year was shrouded with a myriad of disasters but all was not bad. There were many success stories and great efforts in the water sector that maintained our hopes for a better tomorrow.
All was not negative for 2020 in the water sector as many states and districts gained credit for themselves (Image Source: IWP Flickr Album)
November 8, 2020 The National Hydrology Project has created a national platform for water data and is working to enhance the technical capacities of agencies dealing with water resources management.
Breakthrough cloud computing facilities and remote sensing applications have helped showthe filling pattern of a water body (tank or reservoir) through freely available satellite imagery at an interval of five days.  (Image: Maithan dam, Wikimedia Commons)
December 18, 2019 A study from Gujarat finds that micro-irrigation combined with metered power led to a reduction in uncontrolled groundwater extraction by farmers.
Micro-irrigation and its impact on groundwater (Image Source: India Water Portal)
December 13, 2019 A study highlights the need to scale down the export of rice, maize, buffalo meat and other items to conserve groundwater in India.
A farmer uses a hosepipe to irrigate crops at her farm in Nilgiris mountains, Tamil Nadu (Image: Hamish John Appleby for IWMI, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
December 11, 2019 Policy matters this week
Polythene bags and solid waste left behind as water recedes in the Ganga river. (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
2020: Crammed in disasters, yet filled with hope
Last year was shrouded with a myriad of disasters but all was not bad. There were many success stories and great efforts in the water sector that maintained our hopes for a better tomorrow. Swati Bansal posted 1 hour 53 minutes ago

The year 2020 came with numerous disasters, not just COVID-19, a pandemic that brought the planet to a standstill, but many other natural calamities. During the year, the country suffered from cyclones, extreme rainfall, floods and locust attacks.

All was not negative for 2020 in the water sector as many states and districts gained credit for themselves (Image Source: IWP Flickr Album)
Lost to fluorosis
Fluoride contamination is leaving villagers in Barhet block of Jharkhand crippled, while authorities struggle to find solutions. Amita Bhaduri posted 3 weeks 6 days ago

“What should I do? I have been bedridden for two years now. My hands and feet do not work.

The state needs to play a key role in identifying fluorosis as well as in developing and executing an action plan to control it. (Image: Rab Nawaz Alam)
Springs that sustain millions
Springs, the greenest source of water, and the strongest bulwark against climate change in the mountains are in dire need of protection. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 months ago

For a long time, villagers of Thanakasoga in Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh knew about the depletion of their drinking water sources and the thirstier future they faced. “We depend on bawdis and natural springs, from where we fetched water. By 2012, our springs were dying and could hardly cater to the local demand.

Springshed management has brought the much-required difference in people's lives, as the discharge of the springs increased (Image: Kedarnathsmritivan; Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0))
CGWB gets stricter against misuse or wastage of groundwater
Policy matters this month Swati Bansal posted 2 months 1 week ago

Severe fine for misuse or wastage of groundwater

Misuse or wastage of groundwater to attract hefty fine (Image source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Breaking down data silos in the water sector
The National Hydrology Project has created a national platform for water data and is working to enhance the technical capacities of agencies dealing with water resources management. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 months 1 week ago

In support of the Digital India Initiative, the National Hydrology Project (NHP) is translating the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS), Government of India’s (GoI) vision to create a “one water, one data platform” for the country.

Breakthrough cloud computing facilities and remote sensing applications have helped showthe filling pattern of a water body (tank or reservoir) through freely available satellite imagery at an interval of five days.  (Image: Maithan dam, Wikimedia Commons)
Creating a repository for India’s water resources data
WRIS provides a comprehensive, authoritative and consistent data on India’s water resources in a standardised national GIS framework. Amita Bhaduri posted 2 months 2 weeks ago

Water, a scarce natural resource fundamental to life, livelihood, food security and sustainable development is required in every sector i.e. domestic, agricultural, industrial and environmental. Its source is precipitation, the usual forms being rainfall, snowfall etc. These in turn build surface and groundwater resources in the form of rivers, lakes, ponds, glaciers, groundwater etc.

Remoteness of the observation sites poses a challenge in setting up the data collection instrument (Image: Pxfuel)
Data, data everywhere, but where?
Involving the community in a data framework with the right incentives will have the second-order benefit of the community becoming decision makers with respect to water use. Amita Bhaduri posted 3 months ago

A few of us did an exercise where we closed our eyes and thought of the first four words that came to our minds when we thought of water data in India. Here is what we came up with:

The seamless flow of data from one program to another can be enabled if a few principles are kept in mind (Image: José Manuel Suárez, Wikimedia Commons)
Data-driven ‘water and agriculture’ planning: The big picture
If data was better organized and available for download in more ‘user-friendly’ formats, its utilization would improve manifold. Amita Bhaduri posted 3 months ago

India is fortunate to have a rich tradition of public data collection and compilation.

The quality of our public data is highly variable, yet if analyses and interpretation are done keeping in mind some of the limitations, the datasets can be a precious resource at the meso and macro level. (Image: Pixabay)
Groundwater recharge needs grassroots solutions: A study of two techniques in Kerala
Although groundwater is emerging as a critical issue and has managed to encourage new government schemes, a generic solution of rainwater recharge cannot be applied across different regions. Amita Bhaduri posted 3 months 1 week ago

In Kerala, around half the urban population and 80% of the rural population depend on open wells on their domestic water needs. But in the last decade, the majority of observatory wells recorded an average annual decline of half a meter.

Rainwater is captured from the rooftop of the community hall and diverted to the sump before it is pumped into the open well. (Image by Authors)
New groundwater guidelines prohibit industries and mining in over-exploited zones
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 3 months 1 week ago

Revised guidelines for groundwater use notified

Centre issues revised guidelines for groundwater use (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)