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| Last Updated:: 12/05/2017



The state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) is endowed with rich natural resource potential, lying in the fertile Indo-Gangetic plain with high natural soil fertility, abundant rainfall and huge potential of surface and ground water resources. Five major rivers the Ganga, Yamuna, Ramganga, Gomti and Ghagra flow through the state. All the rivers are part of the Ganga Basin. Physiographically, the state is broadly divided into two regions, the southern hills/plateau and the vast alluvial Gangetic plains. The state is characterized by four major regions viz. Southern UP (Bundelkahnd), Western UP, Central UP, Eastern UP. Administratively, there are 75 districts in the State.


The major part of the State of Uttar Pradesh falls in Indo-Gangetic plain, which is not only known to have vast Ground Water Resources potential but also comprises one of the largest aquifer systems in the world. But, over the last 3 decades, Ground Water Scenario in the state has completely changed, mainly because of indiscriminate exploitation and improper & unscientific management practices both in rural and urban segments, leading to a stage of ‘Hydrogeological Stress’. The low rainfall has also aggravated the problem.


The fact is that ground water has attained the position of a ‘Democratic Resource’ in the State, because it is a dependable and assured resource can be exploited with greater ease and flexibility. Therefore, the resource has gained a vital position in overall water resource development plans and programmes of the State.



 Image A : Resource-wise description of Irregation in State




 Image B : Resource-wise Irregated Area (in Percentage)



Around eighties, Uttar Pradesh became the “Centre of Irrigation Tube Well Revolution” in the country. It is noteworthy that more than 40% of private minor tube well in the country i.e. about 42 lakhs are located in the state, extracting huge bulk of ground water for agriculture use.


The data reveal that 70% of irrigated agriculture in the state is dependent on ground water. Besides, 80-90% of drinking water and almost all industrial needs in the state are also being fulfilled by ground water resulting into its continuous escalated abstraction and declining water level, thereby affecting its sustainability in many areas. Whereas, its non-integrated and unplanned use mostly in canal commands has led to various geo-environmental problem like water logging and soil sodicity.


The reported occurrence of Arsenic in ground water of some district has emerged as a new threat for providing safe drinking water supplies as well as possible risk of arsenic contamination reaching to the people through the food chain. Other water quality threats like pollution of fluoride, iron, nitrate, chromium, manganese, and also bacteriological contamination & salinity in ground water have posed big challenges for potable water supplies in the state. So, due to such alarming situations, ground water domain of various rural and urban sprawls has reached to a critical state, both quantitatively and qualitatively.


The reason for such ground water problems may be attributed to unscientific and poor management practices. Therefore, effective interventions and suitable ground water management plans are urgently needed in the state of UP to overcome these critical situations. The imperative need is to initiate, formulate and prepare a long term strategy plan with a sustainable framework for the effective management of ground water resources in the State.


When Neil Armstrong saw the Earth from the Moon, it appeared blue! This is because water covers more than two-thirds of the Earth's surface. But fresh water represents less than 0.5% of the total water on Earth. The rest is either in the form of seawater or locked up in icecaps or the soil, which is why one often hears of water scarcity in many areas.