Depletion in Groundwater Level
The National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), Hyderabad carried out the study in respect of an area of about 27 lakh sq. km including the mountainous regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, Indus basin (Pakistan & India), Ganga basin (India & Nepal) and Ganga-Brahmaputra basin (India, Nepal & Bangladesh). The study aimed at estimation of ground water depletion in this area.
The Government has taken the following steps for conservation of ground water in the country:
* Central Ground Water Authority(CGWA), constituted under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has notified 43 areas for regulation of ground water development.
* Directions have been issued by the CGWA to Chief Secretaries of States having Over-exploited blocks to take all necessary measures to promote/ adopt artificial recharge to ground water/ rain water harvesting.
* CGWA has issued directions to Heads of Central Road Research Institute, National Highway Authority of India, Central Public Works Department, Railway Board, Sports Authority, Airports Authority of India, Civil Aviation, Youth Affairs & Sports to implement the Scheme of Ground Water Recharge along all National/State Highways and other roads, railway tracks and other establishments of Railways, all stadia and airports.
* States have been advised for making rainwater harvesting mandatory. In pursuance thereof, 18 States and 4 UTs have made rain water harvesting mandatory under building bye-laws.
* Ministry of Water Resources has circulated 'Model Bill' to enable States/Union Territories to enact suitable legislation for regulation and control of ground water development. States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and UTs of Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Lakshadweep and Puducherry have enacted ground water legislation.
* Implementation of Demonstrative Projects on Rain Water Harvesting and Artificial Recharge to Ground Water with an outlay of Rs. 100 Cr. during 11th Plan in the country.
* Government has constituted Advisory Council on Artificial Recharge to Ground Water for popularizing concept of artificial recharge among stakeholders as well as water managers.
* Government has instituted Bhoomijal Samvardhan Puraskars & National Water Award to encourage adoption of innovative practices of ground water augmentation and artificial recharge through people's participation.
* Implementation of Farmers’ Participatory Action Research Programmes (FPARP) under which technologies which mainly promote water saving viz. Micro Irrigation (Drip and sprinkler), Rain Water harvesting structures (water storage tanks), Soil moisture conservation (Mulching, dry farming technology, improved irrigation and water management etc.), System of Rice intensification (SRI), Broadbed & Furrow irrigation, Deficit irrigation, Land leveling / configuration, Precision farming irrigated crops / dry crops, Zero tillage/ Zero till drill, multiple use of water, application of treadle pump technology for irrigation in shallow water table areas have been demonstrated to the farmers.
The Minister of State in the Ministry Of Water Resources and Minority Affairs Shri Vincent H. Pala gave this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.