Average groundwater level falls by 7 feet: Ground Water Report

Farmers in Krishna district are in for another big shock with the monthly Ground Water Report revealing that the average groundwater level has fallen by 7 feet when compared to the levels in the corresponding month last year.

With the monsoon playing truant and the water level touching rock bottom in the reservoirs on the Krishna, the farmers of Krishna Delta are a demoralised lot.

When the release of water is delayed, farmers usually begin agricultural operations using groundwater. But, the available groundwater seems to have been already used up. The monthly report has indicated that farmers may run into trouble if they have begun raising seed beds with groundwater.

Alarming drop

According to the report, the entire groundwater has been used up in the upland mandals of Musunuru and Nuzvid. The groundwater level has fallen to 185 feet below ground level (BGL) in Surepalli village of Musunuru mandal. It has fallen to 150 feet BGL in Musunuru village also in the same mandal and to 132 feet BGL in Pallerlamudi in Nuzvid mandal.

Ground Water Department Deputy Director A. Varaprasada Rao said the quantum of groundwater replenished annually was estimated by taking 2008-09 as the base year. Eighty per cent of the groundwater in G. Konduru and 70 per cent in Mylavaram had been used up. The usage of groundwater in Musunuru and Nuzvid mandals was 100 per cent, the report said.

The groundwater resources in Agiripalli, Chatri, Vissannapet, Reddigudem, A. Konduru, and Kankipadu mandals are also comparatively low. The groundwater in 13 coastal mandals is saline, and is therefore unfit for agriculture.

It was time farmers went for a different cropping pattern in the mandals where the crucial resource was being overexploited. They should also make better use of the water.

“Many farmers still believe that the yield is directly proportional to the water the crop gets. Only when water is optimised, there is maximum yield. Excess water leads to reduction in yield,” Mr. Rao said.

Farm pond

Farmers, who were the primary beneficiaries of groundwater, should also think of water conservation, he said, and suggested digging of a farm pond that was six yards long, four yards wide, and one metre deep.

It should be at the spot on the field where water flows out so that water collects in it by gravity. Each pond would have the capacity to hold 24,000 litres of water. When this percolates into the earth, the groundwater would get quickly recharged, he said.

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