Hyderabad: The average groundwater level in the state has fallen by 1.38 metres in a year, amid predictions that urban areas, especially Hyderabad, are running out of groundwater.
The water level in the latest measurements taken in August 2019 stood at 11.15 metres below ground level (mbgl), against 9.77 metres last year. It fluctuated between 3.38 mbgl in Bhupalpally to 23.96 mbgl in Medak.
In this season alone, the fall in groundwater level has been observed in 29 districts. The maximum fall of 4.94 mbgl was observed in Sangareddy, where the rainfall deficit is 22 per cent. The smallest drop was reported in Mancherial, of 0.66 mbgl, where the deficit rainfall is 14 per cent.
In the city, the groundwater level fell by 62 cm to 8.62 mbgl, against 7.86 in August last year. This is a vast improvement from May, when the water was available 10.88 m below the ground on average.
A government official said there was no cause for alarm, and the groundwater level was expected to improve as the monsoon is still active over the state. The fall in groundwater levels has been attributed to a deficit rainfall.
The state has an eight per cent deficit with regard to rainfall. In 2018-19, the state received 545.9 mm of rainfall against the normal 592.6 mm.
According to environmentalists, this should be considered as a wake-up call and change should be brought at the individual level and community level and not just government measures. More focus should be put on managing waste water and recharging ground water.
The risk is not just depleting ground water; as the depth increases, the fluoride content in the water also dangerously increases, posing a threat to human health. If the careless attitude to water continues, there will be days when we won't be able to afford water at any cost, said Kalpana Ramesh, an environmentalist.
Reviving wells will help recharge groundwater levels. Instead, wells are being closed, and open land is being covered in concrete, which is an obvious reason for the perilously low ground water levels, experts say....