Karnataka

Karnataka yet to fix deadline for registration of groundwater extraction; sees rise in water levels

According to the report ‘Dynamic Groundwater resources of Karnataka – March 2020’, at isolated patches in Bengaluru Urban, Chamarajanagar, Dharwad, Mysuru, Raichur, and Shivamogga districts, a fall of more than four metres was observed in the groundwater levels.

According to the report ‘Dynamic Groundwater resources of Karnataka – March 2020’, at isolated patches in Bengaluru Urban, Chamarajanagar, Dharwad, Mysuru, Raichur, and Shivamogga districts, a fall of more than four metres was observed in the groundwater levels. | Photo Credit: For representation only

The Central Groundwater Authority’s deadline to register groundwater extraction ended on Thursday. The State was exempt from this as it has its own groundwater authority. Despite an increasing level of overexploitation of groundwater, the state government still has not taken a call on a deadline for registration of groundwater extraction. Instead, the minor irrigation department says it has planned to take many steps which will mostly pertain to industries to cut down on exploitation. 

According to the report ‘Dynamic Groundwater resources of Karnataka – March 2020’, the groundwater level in the State has significantly increased over the last decade as, as of 2019, major parts of the State showed a rise in water level when compared to the decadal mean water levels. However, at isolated patches in Bengaluru Urban, Chamarajanagar, Dharwad, Mysuru, Raichur, and Shivamogga districts, a fall of more than four metres was observed in the water levels. Apart from this, in some more isolated patches, less than two metre and two to four metre falls were also observed. 

The ‘Dynamic Ground Water Resources Assessment of India – 2020’ report shows that Karnataka is among the States which have a greater number of over exploited and critical administrative (groundwater extraction) units in the country. The stage of groundwater extraction in the State is at 64.85% with 10.64 billion cubic metres (bcm) of annual groundwater extraction. This is a decrease from the last assessment in 2017 when it was 70%. Further, the report shows that 29.91% of assessment units (taluks) have been included in the overexploited category and 4.41% under critical category. 

Officials of the Minor Irrigation Department admit that there is overexploitation. “We are thinking about more ways to recharge the water to go in accordance with the overexploitation. As water is a resource which belongs to everyone, the restrictions should be reasonable. While we are planning to take immediate actions against industries and other places where there is over exploitation, we do not want to trouble farmers,” said C. Mrutyunjaya Swamy, secretary of the department. He added that there are plans to ask industries to register soon, install metres, and pay restoration charges.

Mr. Swamy further added that out of the 16 to 20 tmcft secondary sewage water generated from Bengaluru, currently only 8 to 9 tmcft water is being pumped into lakes for recharging, annually. From this year, action plans have been approved to recharge 3 to 4 more tmcft of water. Coming to the deadline for registration, he said that the matter has been placed before the Cabinet and discussion is going on in between departments.   

Rain in Bengaluru was cool till it became dangerous
Rain in Bengaluru was cool till it became dangerous | Video Credit: The Hindu Bureau


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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 4:37:17 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/no-deadline-for-groundwater-extraction-registration-in-state-yet/article65586809.ece