CHANDIGARH: Exactly how widespread is the water crisis in Haryana? According to the latest data available, more than three-fourth of the state’s total area spread across 20 of the 22 districts has seen a dip in water levels since last decade. A rainfall deficit of 42% this monsoon is only going to worsen the situation.
The ‘Ground Water Year Book Of Haryana State (2017-2018)’ released by the Central Ground Water Board, which works under the Union ministry of water resources, has compared water levels of Haryana as observed in January 2018 with the average figure of 2008-2017 period.
It found, “The behaviour of water level over the period compared with decadal mean fluctuations indicate water level decline in about 76% area of the state. As many as 20 districts witnessed overall decline in the water level: Panchkula, Ambala, Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra , Kaithal, Karnal, Panipat, Sonipat, Jind , Fatehabad, Sirsa, Hisar, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh , Rewari, Gurgaon, Mewat, Faridabad and Palwal districts.”
It found that almost 20% area of the state — covering parts of Kurukshetra, Kaithal Karnal, Panipat, Jind, Fatehabad, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri, Mahendragarh, Rewari, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Palwal districts — saw water level decline by more than 4 metres Very deep water levels (more than 40m) occur in 7% area falling in Kurukshetra, Kaithal, Bhiwani and Mahendragarh districts and isolated patches in Fatehabad and Sirsa districts.
Even between May 2017 and January 2018, which included a normal monsoon and winter showers, seasonal fluctuations indicated a general decline in 47% of the wells monitored covering an area of 50% of the state.
While the state government is trying to wean farmers away from water guzzling crops like paddy, no concentrated attempts seem to have been made to avoid further over-exploitation of water or to replenish the drained out groundwater reservoirs of Haryana.