Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is periodically assessing the Dynamic Ground Water Resources of the country: Bishweswar Tudu

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) is periodically assessing the Dynamic Ground Water Resources of the country as per the assessment units which are block/taluka/mandal/tehsil/firka etc and not the basin. Further, since 2022 the resource assessment is being done on annual basis.

Assessment unit-wise groundwater resource report can be seen at web-link – http://cgwb.gov.in/documents/2022-11-11-GWRA%202022.pdf

As mentioned in para (a), groundwater resource assessment in the country is being done as per assessment units. Further, as per 2022 groundwater resource assessment, the total annual ground water recharge in the country is 437.60 billion cubic meters (BCM), which is 5.74 BCM more as compared to 2017 assessment (431.86 BCM). Further, out of the total 7089 assessment units in the country, 1006 units (14%) have been categorized as ‘Over-exploited’ (where annual groundwater extraction is more than the annual groundwater recharge) which is 3% less when compared with 2017 assessment (1186 over exploited units against total 6881 units) ).

Further, CGWB is periodically monitoring the ground water levels throughout the country on a regional scale, through a network of monitoring wells. In order to assess the long term fluctuation in ground water levels, the water level data collected by CGWB during November 2022 has been compared with the decadal mean of November (2012-2021). Analysis of water level data indicates that about 61.10 % wells have registered rise in ground water level.

However, ground water levels in certain parts of the country appear to decline mainly because of continuous withdrawal due to reasons such as increased demand for freshwater for various uses, vagaries of rainfall, increased population, industrialization & urbanization etc.

Though water is a State subject, Central Government has taken a number of important measures for conservation, management of ground water including effective implementation of rain water harvesting in the country, which can be seen at

http://jalshaktidowr.gov.in/sites/default/files/Steps%20taken%20by%20the%20Central%20Govt%20for%20water_depletion_july2022.pdf. Some of the important initiatives are listed as under.

  1. Government of India is implementing Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) in the country in order to effectively tap the financial resources available through various schemes like MGNREGA, PMKSY-WDC, relevant State schemes etc and to monitor the progress with respect to water harvesting/recharge, intensive afforestation, awareness generation etc. First JSA was launched in 2019 in water stressed blocks of 256 districts which continued during the year 2021 (across entire country both rural and urban areas). JSA for the year 2021 and 2022 were launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister and Hon’ble President on 22.03.2021 and 29.03.2022 respectively.
  2. Atal Bhujal Yojana (Atal Jal), a Rs. 6000 crore Central Sector Scheme, is being implemented by the Ministry for sustainable management of ground water resources which include activities like preparation of water security plan at Gram Panchayat level in participatory mode by involving communities to use available groundwater and surface water in an efficient manner. The scheme is being taken up in select areas that include 80 districts, 229 administrative blocks and 8220 water stressed Gram Panchayats of seven States, viz. Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh from 01.04.202.
  3. Hon’ble Prime Minister launched Amrit Sarovar Mission on 24th April 2022. The Mission is aimed at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country as a part of celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  4. Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has been constituted under Section 3(3) of the “Environment (Protection) Act, 1986” for the purpose of regulation and control of ground water development and management in the country. CGWA has advised States/UTs to take measures to promote/adopt artificial recharge to ground water / rain water harvesting. The latest guideline for control and regulation of groundwater extraction, with pan-India applicability was notified by the Ministry on 24 September 2020.
  5. CGWB is implementing National Aquifer Mapping Program (NAQUIM) in the country, for sustainable management of aquifer system. Out of the total mappable area of nearly 25 Lakh Sq Km, nearly 24.50 Lakh Sq Km of the area (as on 30th December 2022) in the country has been covered. Balance areas are targeted to be covered by Mar 2023. The NAQUIM study report along-with management plans are shared with States/UTs for suitable interventions.

In addition a number of States have done notable work in the field of water conservation/harvesting such as ‘Mukhyamantri Jal Swavlamban Abhiyan’ in Rajasthan, ‘JalyuktShibar’ in Maharashtra, ‘SujalamSufalam Abhiyan’ in Gujarat, ‘Mission Kakatiya’ in Telangana, NeeruChettu’ in Andhra Pradesh, Jal Jeevan Hariyali in Bihar, ‘Jal Hi Jeevan’ in Haryana, and Kudimaramath scheme in Tamil Nadu.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Bishweswar Tudu in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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