Hyderabad: Scientists at the NGRI have found that people in some parts of Hyderabad are drawing groundwater that has been in the deep pockets of the earth from 6,000 years.
Except for some low-lying areas in the city, NGRI scientists found that the top, weathered zone in Hyderabad was “practically dry” because of over-exploitation of groundwater necessitated by extensive and intensive domestic and industrial usage.
The weathered zone is the top layer of earth where groundwater can be found and its width depends on the topography of a place. In Hyderabad it ranges from 0.5-2 metre in elevated places like Filmnagar and Borabanda to 10-15 metres in low-lying areas like Gowliguda and Lower Tank Bund.
Hyderabad has already been categorised as one of the “dark blocks” in the country by the Central Groundwater Board as groundwater exploitation status in the city has been declared as “over-exploited”.
As per data presented by the Standing Committee on Water Resources to the Lok Sabha in December 2015, Telan-gana state is among the nine in India where the groundwater resource is “critical”. The state’s groundwater usage stands at 7.05 billion cubic metres and net annual ground water availability is around 13.684 billion cubic metres.
Dr D.V. Reddy, senior principal scientist and head of Isotope Hydro-logy and Paleoseismol-ogy, NGRI, said, “It is natural that as the city grows, deep-water aquifers will continue to be exploited as demand for water increases. In Rajasthan, 40,000-year-old water is being utilised from deep-water aquifers.
It is necessary to take up measures to ensure that groundwater is efficiently getting recharged, like billing each flat in an apartment for water usage rather than plot wise. It is necessary to make people conscious of their water usage.”
Groundwater does not fall by much in Hyderabad
Groundwater continued to fall across Telangana state. As per the report for March 2016 released by the groundwater department, the average groundwater level in March 2016 fell by 2.61 metres, from 12.27 met-res below ground level (mbgl) in March 2015 to 14.88 mbgl in March 2015.
The worst fall in March 2016 as compared to last year was in in Medak (5.95 metres) followed by Nizamabad (5.31 m). In Hyderabad the fall was comparatively less, by 0.78 metres. In March 2015, the average groundwater level in Hyde-rabad was 10.72 metres and 11.50 metres last month.