Over-exploitation pushed down water table in 143 taluks: govt

Over-exploitation pushed down water table in 143 taluks: govt

Over-exploitation pushed down water table in 143 taluks: govt

On World Water Day on Wednesday, the government presented a grim picture of the water situation. Groundwater levels in 143 of the total 176 taluks in the state have depleted during the last 10 years due to over-exploitation.

Static groundwater levels were measured from 1,774 borewells maintained by the Groundwater Directorate across the state. No water is drawn from these borewells and they are maintained only for study purpose.

A comparison of water levels between 2007 and 2016 revealed depletion in groundwater levels in 143 taluks. The groundwater depletion in Kolar taluk, Kolar district, is the worst with a fall by 54.81 metres during the last 10 years. These and more details were given by Minor Irrigation Minister T B Jayachandra to the Legislative Council. He was replying to a question by Basavaraj Horatti (JD-S).

Deforestation, consecutive droughts and increase in density of borewells have been identified as the causes for the depletion. Drilling of borewells has been restricted in taluks where there has been over-exploitation of the water table. Permission will have to be obtained from jurisdictional deputy commissioner for drilling new borewells.

To a query by Ramachandra Gowda (BJP), Jayachandra, replying on behalf of Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai, said the government will strictly implement the ban on planting saplings of eucalyptus and acacia trees as they caused ecological imbalance. Jayachandra said scientific studies had proved that cultivation of eucalyptus and acacia caused depletion of water table.

Technology to the rescue: Patil

Rural Development Minister H K Patil said, “We will adopt technology even to draw water from Pathala Gange (netherworld) to ensure the supply.”

In the Assembly, BJP’s Vishweshwar Hegde Kageri said war for waters may become common because of scarcity. The government must do something to stop misuse of water, he added. In his reply, Patil said new technologies are being adopted to draw water. BJP member Lakshman Savadi sarcastically said, “Encourage people to bathe in River Ganga.”