Groundwater

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December 18, 2019 A study from Gujarat finds that micro-irrigation combined with metered power led to a reduction in uncontrolled groundwater extraction by farmers.
Micro-irrigation and its impact on groundwater (Image Source: India Water Portal)
December 13, 2019 A study highlights the need to scale down the export of rice, maize, buffalo meat and other items to conserve groundwater in India.
A farmer uses a hosepipe to irrigate crops at her farm in Nilgiris mountains, Tamil Nadu (Image: Hamish John Appleby for IWMI, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
December 11, 2019 Policy matters this week
Polythene bags and solid waste left behind as water recedes in the Ganga river. (Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
December 4, 2019 The 2015­-2018 drought, the longest, but less severe of droughts experienced by India raises alarm on the negative effects of future droughts on water security in the country.
India will see more droughts in the future. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
December 2, 2019 Water stewardship is an approach predicated on the concept that water is a shared resource and so water risks are also shared risks that everyone in a catchment will face
Picture credit: Romit Sen
Data, data everywhere, but where?
Involving the community in a data framework with the right incentives will have the second-order benefit of the community becoming decision makers with respect to water use. Amita Bhaduri posted 5 months 4 weeks ago

A few of us did an exercise where we closed our eyes and thought of the first four words that came to our minds when we thought of water data in India. Here is what we came up with:

The seamless flow of data from one program to another can be enabled if a few principles are kept in mind (Image: José Manuel Suárez, Wikimedia Commons)
Data-driven ‘water and agriculture’ planning: The big picture
If data was better organized and available for download in more ‘user-friendly’ formats, its utilization would improve manifold. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months ago

India is fortunate to have a rich tradition of public data collection and compilation.

The quality of our public data is highly variable, yet if analyses and interpretation are done keeping in mind some of the limitations, the datasets can be a precious resource at the meso and macro level. (Image: Pixabay)
Groundwater recharge needs grassroots solutions: A study of two techniques in Kerala
Although groundwater is emerging as a critical issue and has managed to encourage new government schemes, a generic solution of rainwater recharge cannot be applied across different regions. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months ago

In Kerala, around half the urban population and 80% of the rural population depend on open wells on their domestic water needs. But in the last decade, the majority of observatory wells recorded an average annual decline of half a meter.

Rainwater is captured from the rooftop of the community hall and diverted to the sump before it is pumped into the open well. (Image by Authors)
New groundwater guidelines prohibit industries and mining in over-exploited zones
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 6 months 1 week ago

Revised guidelines for groundwater use notified

Centre issues revised guidelines for groundwater use (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
No improvement in the water quality of the Ganga during lockdown: CPCB
News this week Swati Bansal posted 6 months 1 week ago

Water quality of Ganga river remained grim during lockdown: CPCB

Ganga river at Kachla, Uttar Pradesh. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Water wisdom of the Gonds of Garha Mandla
A peek into history shows how the Gonds of Garha Mandla managed their water needs with great ingenuity and wisdom by constructing and maintaining water tanks . Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 1 week ago

The Gond dynasties mainly flourished in the Central highlands of India. This region includes Sagar, Bhopal, and nearly half of Narmada valley, including the flanks of Vindhya and the Satpuda mountain ranges of southern Madhya Pradesh. The principal states of the Gonds were Garha-Mandla (1300 to 1789), Devgarh, Kherla and Chanda.

Kolatal, a traditional tank in Garha region of Jabalpur (Image Source: K. G. Vyas)
Where does the water in a well come from?
In the water sector, the focus on fixing demand and supply is taking us away from the real problem - the unnoticed groundwater dependencies in ever-expanding urban India. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 2 weeks ago

The environment versus development debate has increasingly become more polarised, with discussions in the public domain revealing a stark contrast of views. Development has increasingly come to symbolise ‘doing something’ and ensuring ‘visible outputs’, largely in the form of infrastructure.

An open well in Maharashtra (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos) Image used for representational purposes only.
Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan a low impact, high expenditure scheme: CAG
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan had a low impact in making Maharashtra drought free: CAG

Deepening work in progress under the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan (Source: Ravindra Pomane)
Overexploitation of groundwater highest in Punjab: Government
News this week Swati Bansal posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Punjab no.1 in overexploitation of groundwater 

Overexploitation of groundwater highest in Punjab (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Who is the thirstiest of them all?
A study evaluating the water use efficiency of sugarcane, curry banana and paddy among borewell irrigating farmers finds paddy to be the most inefficient and thirstiest of the three. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 3 weeks ago

Agriculture uses as high as 85 percent of the available water in India of which the irrigated area accounts for nearly 48.8 percent of the 140 million hectare (mha) of agricultural land, while the remaining 51.2 percent is rainfed.

Paddy, a thirsty crop (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)