Groundwater extraction increased from 58 percent in 2004 to 63 percent in 2017: CAG
Hyderabad, envisioned as a high tech city, is growing rapidly. The city is gradually being transformed into high rise urban buildings that boast of uninterrupted supply of basic infrastructural services such as free or subsidised water supply, to attract private investments and generate further growth.
A new book, published as a result of recent collaborations between scientists in India and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, shows why and how emerging scientific knowledge and new technologies can support the management and use of freshwater resources for all, now and for the future.
India is drying up fast with low costs and the ease of availability of groundwater technologies triggering uncontrolled extraction of groundwater. And groundwater is not only important for irrigation in India. About 90 percent of rural drinking water comes from groundwater while 50 percent of the water supplied to urban areas comes from groundwater besides 70 percent for irrigation!
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Water on earth exists in two forms, freshwater and salt water. Less than 3 percent of the water found on earth is freshwater, and the remaining 97 percent is salt water found in the oceans.
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Groundwater irrigation covers more than half of the total irrigated area in India and is responsible for 70 percent of the agricultural production, making India one of the largest users of groundwater in the world.
India, hurtling towards a groundwater crisis
Groundwater continues to be extracted at frightening proportions in India and the fear of severe depletion of groundwater resources in the coming years is real. As if this is not enough, the available groundwater is also deteriorating in quality posing a severe threat to the health of the population.
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While groundwater is an important source of drinking water worldwide, contamination of groundwater sources is on the rise. Arsenic contamination of groundwater has been found to affect as high as 300 million people worldwide exposing them to a number of health risks.
Arsenic contamination of groundwater in India
Groundwater in arid and semi arid regions continues to be a valuable and often the single most source of freshwater and conservation of this resource remains crucial for the survival of communities residing in the area. At the same time, a serious decline in the quality of groundwater is adding pressure on these water resources.