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| Last Updated:: 12/05/2017

Ground Water Status : An Overview

The state of Uttar Pradesh, covering an area of 2,40,928 sq.km., lies in the vast Gangetic plain.

 

It is a south easterly sloping flat terrain with a gentle, variable land slope, steeper in western part and flattening eastward. Southern part is characterised by rugged topography with rocky terrain.

 

The river Ganga is the major drainage with Yamuna, Ram Ganga, Gomti and Ghagra as its main tributaries.

 

The state is characterised by subtropical climate.

 

With average annual rainfall is around 947 mm varying in different areas. 85%rainfall occurs during monsoon period. The rainfall is highest in northern and eastern parts of the states which gradually decreases towards west and south west.

 

The state comprises two major geomorphic units (i) Ganga plains (ii) Bundelkhand plateau.

 

The Ganga plain covers nearly 85% area and is underlain by a thick pile of unconsolidated alluvial sediments of Quaternary age overlying the Precambrian basement. These sediments consist of sand of different grades with clay, silt and occasional gravel and kankar.

 

The alluvium constitutes a very rich reservoir of ground water. The exploratory bore well data have been shown that ground water occurs in a multiple aquifer system which can broadly be divided into four groups. The shallow aquifer is being extensively exploited and hence is under heavy stress.

 

In Bundelkhand rocky terrain, ground water movement is controlled by fractures, joints, faults and it occurs in localised pockets within weathered mantle.

 

Ground water in the alluvial region of the state occurs in abundance which has led to extensive exploitation in certain parts of the state. The monitoring of hydrological regime is therefore of utmost importance for a scientific and planned management of the resource.

 

Ground  Water Department, U.P. has been monitoring the ground water regime since 1975 and has generated a vast database to understand the behaviour of water level in response to recharge to ground water storage or withdrawal from it.

 

The state is a largest user of ground water resources with a gross withdrawal of 5.28 mham.  Region wise the maximum withdrawal (ground water draft) is from the western region covering 30 districts i.e. 2.15 mham. With minimum withdrawal from Bundelkhand  region i.e. 0.23 mham.

 

Studies reveal that 659 blocks are affected with ground water level decline.

 

179 blocks from 43 districts are categorised as stressed (Over-exploited/Critical).

 

Almost all prominent urban centres like Lucknow, Kanpur, Meerut, Ghaziabad, Agra, Noida and Varanasi are severely affected with ground water depletion.

 

Ground water quality is another area of concern for the Uttar Pradesh, as contamination in ground water in high concentration of fluoride, iron, arsenic, chromium, manganese and also the salinity is reported from various areas.

 

The overall ground water situation in the state is critical and diversified problem related to the resource domain have been identified.     

 

                         In view of last growing population, there is a need for more agricultural production, for which it is required to bring more agricultural area under irrigation. Besides , the demand of water for industrial and drinking purpose is increasing. The decadal rate of growth of population of Uttar Pradesh is about 25 percent. With this trend of population growth there is a likely competition in demand of water in various water use sectors, particularly in drinking, domestic use and industrial sector. Therefore water availability for irrigated agriculture is likely to get reduced. This situation will need to be addressed on priority. An integrated approach is required for surface and ground water, the two major vital resources for irrigation is planning, development and management of the water so as to improve the performance efficiency of the system in a sustainable manner.

                          

  It is estimated that to meet the domestic, industrial and irrigation needs of growing population, the level of ground water exploitation will increase from 49.48BCM to 72.06BCM by 2025. This which will outmore stress on ground water from the present level. Tube wells are the major source of irrigation followed by canals, ponds and lakes which makes the dependency upon ground water larger than on the surface water. The impacts of climate change will further add to this critical situation and act as an additional stressor.