Pune: The subject of aquifers should be discussed prominently in society and more research should be done on it, said Himanshu Kulkarni, Executive Director and Honorary Secretary of Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM).
He was speaking at a national workshop on ‘Aquifers and Communities’ on Wednesday.
The workshop was attended by practitioners, support agencies, government representatives and NGOs not only from India but also from abroad. The workshop focused on aquifers and groundwater management.
Kulkarni said, “When we think of groundwater, our thinking is limited to borewells. But we have to think broadly. More research on this subject needs to be done to solve the water crisis. The groundwater management has to be seriously looked at and the government should be able to make policies related to it.”
Nitin Karmalkar, Vice Chancellor of Savitribai Phule Pune University, said, “The research papers which are written in the university are not widely spread among people, which should happen. Without understanding a particular model, nothing should be touched. Similarly, the topic of groundwater and aquifers should be studied in-depth first and then suggestions should be made.”
Deepankar Saha, Member of Central Ground Water Board, said, “We need a dedicated programme for groundwater management as it has been ignored in the past. Now we are fighting for river waters. Later, we would fight for aquifers. 60 per cent of the aquifers belong to marginal farmers. Due to urbanisation, catchments areas have
Environmental activist and water expert Himanshu Thakkar said, “Groundwater levels are at a record low. In many places, hand pumps have dried up completely. Rivers are in a much worse situation today than ever due to the ill- treatment we have meted out to them, including multiple and unjustified dams. All this makes the situation this year much worse.
“So, a programme of groundwater management should not only be carried out but also be practised for the sustainability of aquifers.
“The government is not doing enough. So, policies regarding sustainability and maintenance should be implemented.”