PUNE: Around 317 villages in 11 talukas of Maharashtra are facing groundwater depletion, which can result in water scarcity in summers.
This was revealed by the Groundwater Surveys Development Agency (GSDA) based on readings of the observation wells for January.
The highest number of villages (252) facing groundwater depletion are in Marathwada region, Of this, the highest concentration is in Latur and Osmanabad districts.
“As per the reading of observation wells for January, there are 88 villages where groundwater depletion is between 2-3 metre and will face scarcity from January to March. 127 villages show groundwater depletion between 1-2 metre and may face water scarcity from April onwards,” said a GSDA official.
These readings of observation wells can help the administration in making an action plan to deal with the probable scarcity of water in respective quarters.
As per GSDA officials, the extended and excess rainfall in November resulted in better groundwater level. Therefore, lesser number of villages are facing groundwater depletion. Interestingly, there are 102 villages in the 11 talukas that show more than 3 metre of groundwater depletion in the January readings. While in the October report, there were no such villages.
“In October, due to continuous rainfall, water level was good and there were no such villages where depletion was more than 3 metre. However, Rabi sowing is done from October to January. Hence, there is heavy pumping of water as the initial stage of rabi crops requires more water. The over-exploitation of groundwater for agriculture purpose has resulted in its groundwater in these villages,” added the officials.
REPORT IN NUMBERS
- 689: The number of villages spread across 14 talukas that might face water scarcity, as reported in the October 2019 GSDA report.
- 317: The number of villages, as stated by the latest readings of GSDA observation wells, and spread across 11 talukas, that are in danger of facing water scarcity.
- Decrease: The drop in the number is due to extended rainfall that the State received in the last three months of 2019.
- Marathwada areas in danger
Latur - 124 villages
Osmanabad - 125 villages