In this video Dr.Himanshu Kulkarni, a groundwater expert, CEO, ACWADAM, Pune and advisor of the planning commission on groundwater has discussed the groundwater situation in India, how to mitigate groundwater crises in the country and what can be way ahead to manage groundwater.
Situation of groundwater in India
Today, India is the largest user of the groundwater in the world with almost 90% being used for drinking water and almost 60-70% for irrigation. Current statistics also show that nearly 50% of urban water supply comes from groundwater. India is on the threshold of a very serious groundwater crisis, which needs mitigation both in the fields and at the policy corridors of the country.
The groundwater crisis is embedded at two different levels:
1. groundwater exploitation of aquifers (where groundwater is stored) in different parts of the India and
2. groundwater contamination that find origins, both in geogenic source such as Arsenic and Fluoride along with anthropogenic sources of contamination primarily due to poor disposal of waste and wastewater
Common perceptions about groundwater
All these years, the focus of the government and individuals was on constructing groundwater sources like wells, bore wells, tube wells and springs rather than looking at the resource, which are the aquifers. Only a shift from a source-based approach to a resource-based approach will bring about a change in how the government or common man perceives groundwater.
How can the groundwater crisis be mitigated?
It requires a two fold approach:
- large scale community participation
- better groundwater governance by implementing smart regulations and legislations
The implementation of a programme called the Aquifer Management Programme by the Government of India is a good initiative to help understand groundwater through aquifers. Other successful community-based groundwater management experiences from different states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan must also be studied. Collaboration, combination of ideas and community partnerships hold the key to the success of groundwater management in India.
More info: http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/key-successfully-managing-groundwater-india
Produced by: IndiaWaterPortal