- The Jal Shakti Ministry is working on an ambitious plan to deploy a vast network of groundwater sensors.
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- It will continuously relay information on groundwater levels as well as the degree of contamination down to the taluk level.
- Currently, such data is only measured a few times each year and communicated through Central Groundwater Board publications.
67,000 recordable units in the future
- Under the new initiative, around 16,000-17,000 digital water level recorders will be connected to piezometers in the wells (Piezometers measure groundwater levels, the recorders will transmit the information digitally)
- In the next three years India will have about 67,000 digitally recordable units to monitor groundwater dynamics.
Benefits of Network
- It will provide farmers with groundwater forecasts that would be useful for sowing
- Updated advisories that could influence groundwater extraction policies by states.
- Except for information on water flow governed by international treaties, most of this information will be publicly accessible.
National Aquifer Mapping Program (NAQUIM)
- It is being implemented by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).
- It has mapped the country’s aquifers at a resolution of 1:50000
- Under the second phase of the programme – expects to improve the resolution by five times in the country. So far, an area of 25.15 lakh square km has been covered under the NAQUIM studies.
What is an Aquifer?
- An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing, permeable rock, rock fractures, or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, or silt). Groundwater from aquifers can be extracted using a water well.
About Central groundwater Water-Board
- It is a subordinate office of the Ministry of Jal Shakti and is the National Apex Agency entrusted with the responsibilities of providing scientific inputs for management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation and regulation of ground water resources of the country.
- Major activities being taken up by CGWB include macro/micro-level ground water management studies, exploratory drilling programme, monitoring of groundwater levels and water quality through a network of groundwater observation wells comprising both large diameter open wells and purpose-built bore/tube wells (piezometers).
Do you Know?
- India has about 18 percent of the world’s population, but holds just 4 per cent of the freshwater resources.
- 90% of groundwater depletion in India is due to the agriculture sector. 8-9% of Groundwater is utilized by households and is followed by the Industrial sector (2%).
- India was declared as the highest groundwater user in the world in 2018.
- Around 85% of rural water requirements and 50% of urban areas’ water requirements are fulfilled by groundwater.
For further reading on Extraction of groundwater,
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