Water levels in Medchal and Malkajgiri have plunged by over seven metres below ground level
The ground water table in many parts of Ranga Reddy district has depleted to alarming levels, portending severe drought conditions if the coming monsoons are inadequate.
According to the data collated by the district's Ground Water Department through Piezometers installed in various mandals, the district's average depth to water level has increased by 4.14 metres below ground level (mbgl) when compared to last year.
From the 12.03 mbgl recorded during May, 2011, the average water levels have now plummeted to 16.17 mbgl. The parching summer months have obviously taken their toll on the groundwater, as evident from the fall of 3.04 metres during the past couple of months.
Groundwater has reached its nadir in Bantwaram and Chevella mandals where the levels have slipped to a whopping 31-plus metres. Chevella is worse off between the two, with its water table plummeting by over 20 metres between February and May this year.
Among the urban mandals, Medchal and Malkajgiri raise concerns with water levels plunging by over seven metres below ground level.
“The levels are comparable to those in 2004 and later in 2007, when the district received deficit annual rainfall. If monsoons fail us this time round, the situation will become worse,” said Dhanunjaya, the Deputy Director (Ground Water), Ranga Reddy district.
While deficit rainfall is the apparent culprit, indiscriminate use of ground water and rapid urbanisation too played their part in precipitating the crisis, he admits. Apart from agricultural bore-wells, private tankers that supplied water to various localities in city and Ranga Reddy district too share the blame.
However, given the huge variation in rock formations across the district, rapid depletion in a few mandals may not be a cause for concern, Mr. Dhanunjaya assured.
“The east division of Ranga Reddy district shows higher percentage of granite while other mandals such as Bantwaram, Vikarabad and Marpalli have more of basalt. Water is slow to evaporate and slow to be replenished in granite-rich terrain, while the basalt-rich areas are quick to lose and quick to gain their reserves,” he explains.
Keywords: water scarcity