'Reckless groundwater tapping will leave no water for irrigation'

'Reckless groundwater tapping  will leave no water for irrigation'

India uses the highest amount of groundwater next only to the USA. According to NASA, in India the groundwater is depleting at the rate of four centimetres every year, said Dr Steven Running of University of Montana.

Delivering the fifth Jeremy Grantham Lecture at the Centre for Climate Change, IISc, in the City on Wednesday, the professor highlighted a number of alarming trends in world climate. Taking note of rampant tapping of groundwater, he ruled out large-scale irrigation.

“If this reckless trend continues across the world there will be no water left for irrigation,” he said.

Though he acknowledged that there has been manifold increase in food production in the country because of Green Revolution, he noted that it had led to what he called ‘dead zones.’

“In all countries the rate of nitrogen loading or use of fertilisers is 30-40 kilograms per hectare, resulting in dead zones. If this continues, use of large quantities of fertilisers will fail to yield good harvest,” he said.

On rise in sea levels, the professor noted that sea level is rising at the rate of one metre per year causing severe disruption in climatic conditions. The havoc caused by hurricane Sandy is just a starting point.

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