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Groundwater levels on the rise in Telangana

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Hyderabad: There has been a considerable increase in groundwater levels of the State, says a report released by Environment and Forest Minister Jogu Ramanna.

The report published by Environmental Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) — State of Environment Report Telangana State-2015 — notes that there is a conspicuous decrease in the number of over-exploited mandals in terms of groundwater.

Groundwater is used for irrigating close to 21,10,959 Ha (70.4 per cent) as against 8,09,111 Ha (27 per cent) being irrigated through surface water. The government promoted large scale water conservation structures under different programmes in various departments, which contributed towards replenishing groundwater resources.

According to officials of the State Groundwater Department, irrigation projects taken up by the government and those being completed aided in increasing the groundwater levels. Speaking to Telangana Today, Groundwater Department Director K Laxma said: “Mission Kakatiya and the revival of minor irrigation tanks aided in increasing the aquifer levels in the State.” He also said the irrigation project helped in filling up irrigation canals, because of which there was enough water to recharge the aquifers.

Even the report from EPTRI notes that this component had a positive impact on the total groundwater recharge, and possibly there is a decrease in the over-exploited mandals.

Meanwhile, the hydrograph of the State shows a rise in water level trends at a rate of 6 cm per year in the last decade. But, the water levels trends from 2004 to 2011 show a rise of 48 cm a year as the State received good rainfall after 2004. The stage of groundwater utilisation also came down from 2004-05.

“As per the March 2016 groundwater level data recorded through the Piezometer well network, the State indicates deep water levels of more than 20 m being registered in 127 mandals and in mandals with water levels between 15 m and 20 m. Fall is observed in 55 mandals. In areas where there is a falling trend, there is an urgent need to take steps to improve the groundwater conditions. This can be done by giving priority to water conservation, augmentation and management measures,” says the report.

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