- Groundwater extraction in India saw an 18-year decline according to an assessment by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).
- Such joint exercises between the CGWB and States/Union Territories were carried out earlier in 1980, 1995, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2020.
Major Highlights of the report by CGWB
- Overall decrease in the number of over-exploited units and decrease in the stage of groundwater extraction level have also been observed.
- Out of the total 7,089 assessment units in the country, 1,006 units have been categorised as over-exploited.
- Extractable groundwater resources:
- The groundwater recharge levels don’t reflect the water that can be actually extracted, called the extractable groundwater resources.
- In 2020 the extractable groundwater resources amounted to 397.62 bcm which is less than the recharge that year.
- How was the increase in ground water recharge possible?
- Increase in recharge from canal seepage.
- Return flow of irrigation water and recharges from water bodies/tanks & water conservation structures.
Initiatives for groundwater conservation
- Central Ground Water Board (CGWB): It is the apex organisation of the ministry of jal shakti in dealing with groundwater and related issues.
- Jal Shakti Abhiyan: The government launched Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) in 2019 in 256 water stressed districts in the country in collaboration with states to improve water availability, including groundwater conditions in the country.
- National Water Policy: It has been formulated which advocates rainwater harvesting and conservation of water and highlights the need for augmenting the availability of water through direct use of rainfall.
- Atal Bhujal Yojana: It is for sustainable management of groundwater resources with community participation.
- National Aquifer Mapping and Management programme (NAQUIM) is being implemented by CGWB as part of Ground Water Management and Regulation (GWM&R) scheme which is a Central Sector scheme.