Management of groundwater resources and the need to adopt measures to control depletion of the water table were the focus of a national seminar on Tuesday ahead of World Water Day.
Organised at Patna University’s geology department, faculty members of different institutions deliberated on the management of groundwater resources in India with special reference to Bihar at the seminar.
The World Water Day is on March 22.
Professor G.K. Mishra, department of geology, Patna University, said: “Initially, there were around 50,000 ponds in north Bihar but unfortunately, most of them have become derelict now. Many of the ponds have been encroached for agriculture. While several ponds cease to exist, many are covered with water hyacinth. All these ponds need to be revived and used as storage tanks for floodwater. They can also be used for promoting pisciculture.”
Bihari Singh, head of department, postgraduate, environment sciences, AN College, stressed on rainwater harvesting as a means to recharge the groundwater table in Patna. “Dependence on tube wells has resulted in groundwater extraction at an alarming rate in Patna’s urban areas. It has led to a slow, yet continuous, decrease in the water table in and around the city,” he said.
A.K. Saraf, the head of earth sciences department, IIT Roorkee, said: “Scientists should come up with ways of constructing percolation tanks, check dams (small dams built across a minor channel) and reservoirs in regions facing water scarcity to meet requirements of people through surface water.”