Compared to parts of north Karnataka where water crisis is acute, Dharwad district may be in a better position. But the district is likely to be heading for a crisis too due to the falling level of groundwater.

This year, the groundwater level in the district fell by an average of 1 m. Officials in the Department of Mines and Geology, Ground Water Survey Unit, said the current groundwater level in the district was 15.19 m in the urban areas and 12.79 m in the rural areas.

The taluk-wise data of 2010 and 2011 shows that the condition is serious in Hubli and Kundagol taluks.

In Hubli, the water table dropped to 17.69 m in 2011 from 14.80 m in 2010 and in Kundagol, it was 13.28 m in 2011 against 10.84 m in 2010.

Residents of these taluks were feeling the heat of the crisis this summer with 15 villages facing acute drinking water shortage. In Dharwad, the groundwater level dropped to 12.76 m in 2011 from 11.82 m in 2010.

However, the average groundwater level witnessed an increase in Kalghatgi and Navalgund taluks. M. Virupaksh Goud, senior geologist, Department of Mines and Geology, said the over exploitation of groundwater was the reason for the fall in the water table.

Moreover, drinking water was found to be unsuitable for consumption in 71 villages of the district.

Borewells

The situation is more serious in Hubli and Dharwad city limits where it was becoming difficult to get water through borewells. According to a contractor, there was a time when water could be found at 200 feet. But these days, it had become difficult to get water even after digging 500 feet, and in some areas even 1,000 feet, he said.

Mr. Goud said there was an urgent need to restrict digging borewells — even in the rural areas.

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