Kolar villages overuse underground water

Bangarpet, Mulbagal taluks cross 200 per cent of permitted limit for water use

Kolar villages overuse underground water

Dependence on underground water in the district has seen an in-tandem growth in the number of villages overusing the water.

Residents of all villages in the five taluks of the district have been continuously using underground water well beyond the permitted limit, shows a survey by the Mining and Geology Department.

The Department had sunk 89 study borewells in the district, which have shown the dangerous trend growing fast. The most problematic condition is in Bangarpet and Mulbagal taluks, where the village residents have been using underground water more than 200 per cent of the permitted limit.

“Such incessant use will only create serious problems in a short span of time. The trend, if continued, will also affect the quality of water, not just the level in the borewells,” said D H M Veerashekhara Swamy, senior geologist in the underground division of the Department, who spoke to Deccan Herald on Wednesday.

“The Department undertakes the survey once every five years. The current figures we have are of the 2009 survey, but the numbers do not present a safe picture. In the last four years, the rate of use of the underground water has only increased to dangerous levels,” he insisted.

“The figures of the 2011 survey are being collected, and will, in all probably show a worse condition in Kolar district,” he warned.

‘Double century’

All 355 villages in the six hoblis of Bangarpet taluk, totally, use 211 per cent of the permitted level of water. The Department had installed study borewells in 18 villages of the taluk, to study the rise and fall in the water level.

The strongest signal, ironically, is to be found in Mulbagal, where the percentage of use is 201. Traditionally a taluk that does not face as severe water problems as the rest of the district, Mulbagal has 314 villages in the five hoblis.

The Department had installed study borewells in 21 villages, where the level of use showed to be of a remarkably dangerous level.

Irrigation borewells

The number of irrigation borewells being sunk in the district too is on the rise.
There were 68,227 such borewells all over Kolar district in 2008; now, as per the 2011 figures, the number has increased to 79,257. In barely three years, an additional 11,030 borewells have been sunk. The number of people sinking borewells too is increasing.

“There has been a prohibition on sinking of borewells, except for drinking water purposes, in all five taluks of Kolar district. Sinking to get drinking water too will require a permission from the Department officials. Even installation of motor connection to the borewells will require permission from the Department,” said Swamy.

“The report on Evaluation of Underground Resources 2009 shows 35 taluks in the State are overusing underground water, and all five taluks in Kolar are included in the list. Farmers, drilling agents, and even the public need to be made aware that sinking of borewells and use of underground water should be brought under control,” he wared.

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