Rivers are critical for groundwater recharge -Manoj Misra
India’s groundwater recharge is not adequate even though drought conditions are making us extract more and more of the resource, and that the people are wasting too much water.
In a report released recently, the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar, the University of California, and the India Meteorological Department, Pune, said nearly 50% of the country is currently facing drought with at least 16% falling in the exceptional or extreme category. The drought will only hasten the pace of already depleting groundwater resources in the country. At present, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu are the worst affected even though India had a normal monsoon in 2018.
The scientists said that the situation is dire because of two reasons: India’s groundwater recharge is not adequate even though drought conditions are making us extract more and more of the resource; and people are wasting too much water. At 260 cubic km per year, the country is the highest user of groundwater in the world. We use 25% of all groundwater extracted globally, ahead of the US and China. This was not the case in the 1960s and 1970s but the need to grow more food (the Green Revolution) changed that. In 1947, the share of groundwater in agriculture was 35%; today it is 70%.
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