Union minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Thursday informed the Lok Sabha that the groundwater levels in various parts of the country are declining because of continuous withdrawal and 1,186 blocks have been categorized as ‘over- exploited’.
“Groundwater levels in various parts of the country are declining because of continuous withdrawal due to reasons such as increased demand of fresh water for various uses, vagaries of rainfall, increased population, industrialization, and urbanization, etc,” he said during Question Hour.
The Union Minister also informed that the Central Ground Water Board is periodically monitoring groundwater levels throughout the country on a regional scale, through a network of monitoring wells.
“As per the 2017 assessment, out of the total 6,881 assessment units (Block/ Taluks/ Mandals/ watersheds/ Firkas) in the Country, 1,186 units in 17 states and union territories have been categorized as ‘over-exploited’ where current annual groundwater extraction is more than annual extractable groundwater resource,” he said.
Shekhawat said as announced in the Union Budget, it has been envisaged to ensure Har Ghar Nal Se Jal (piped water supply) to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission.
This programme, under the department of drinking water and sanitation, will focus on integrated demand and supply-side management of water at the local level, including the creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture.