GROUND WATER (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     2nd September 2023        
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Context: India will be losing groundwater three times faster in 2041-2080, finds study.

  • The rate of depletion of groundwater in India during 2041-2080 will be thrice the current rate with global warming, according to a new report.

Key Points

  • As the country becomes warmer, people will draw more water from underground, leading to faster depletion.
  • The projection that continued warming may triple groundwater depletion rates over the coming decades was made under a business-as-usual scenario. 
  • Warming-induced groundwater pumping will also likely increase the area facing groundwater overexploitation in the future. 
  • Currently, most overexploitation of aquifers is concentrated in the northwest and south India, but the study results further suggest overexploitation may expand to include aquifers in the southwest, the southern peninsula, and central India by 2050.
  • Water resources in India: India has 18% of the global population but only 4% of the freshwater resources.
  • Groundwater in India: As per, Central Groundwater Board of India, 17% of groundwater blocks are overexploited, meaning that the rate at which water is extracted is higher than the rate at which the aquifer can recharge. Groundwater support over 60% of irrigated agriculture and around 85% of domestic water supply in rural areas and 45% of it in urban areas.
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