The Telegraph
Monday , May 5 , 2014
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TT: How bad is the overall groundwater scenario in Jharkhand?

Singh: The water table has plunged over the past decade. In most places exploitation of groundwater is more than its recharge through rainwater

Which parts are particularly bad?

Over-exploited blocks include Ranchi’s Kanke, Dhanbad’s Jharia and Sadar, Jamshedpur Sadar, Godda Sadar and Ramgarh Sadar

Why is this happening?

Exploitation is more than recharge primarily due to vertical growth of cities and their suburbs, which were already facing water crisis. Deep borings of over four-inch diameter for apartments are harmful. There should be more dependence on surface water sources. Civic authorities should focus more on providing piped water supply from rivers, dams and reservoirs

Which are the critical zones?

Five sub-critical zones where groundwater use is possibly 70-90 per cent are Chas (Bokaro), Ratu and Ormanjhi (Ranchi), Gamharia (Seraikela-Kharsawan) and Lohardaga (Lohardaga)

What are the parameters of demarcating such zones?

Where usage of groundwater is over 100 per cent it is called over-exploitation, between 90-100 per cent is critical, between 70-90 per cent is sub-critical and below 70 per cent is safe

How do you study groundwater?

Every year we conduct pre-monsoon and post-monsoon studies across Jharkhand. Besides, dynamic groundwater assessment of 260 blocks is going on. This gives an overall idea

What about rainwater harvesting?

Special drilling for recharging groundwater in over-exploited areas is on the cards

Is there a problem when monsoon gets delayed?

Of course. Late or erratic monsoon results in less recharge of groundwater, which means depletion is more in summer

When was the last groundwater study done?

The 2013 findings are being compiled. This will provide us with information on the prevailing situation

Is there any link between groundwater and surface water sources such as rivers, ponds and dams?

No direct link.