Underwater Depleting Fast in Kerala

Published on: 02 Sep, 2013
Published under: Cochin District News, Ernakulam District News, General Kerala News

1 September 2013

Kerala has been ranked third in the country for the rate of groundwater depletion, according to the statistics of the Central Groundwater Board under the Union Ministry of Water Resources. The study conducted by the board across the country found that extreme water exploitation had resulted in the drastic depletion of groundwater in India.

The Board assessed a total of 10,121 wells in the country and found that 5,688 of them showed depletion in groundwater level. The board which surveyed 606 wells in Kerala found that 434 of them had witnessed a depletion in groundwater level over the years. The statistics show that the groundwater depletion rate of Kerala is 71.62 per cent as against the national average of 56.2 per cent.

Kerala is only behind Tamil Nadu (76.15 per cent) and Punjab (72.86 per cent), two states which have very poor monsoon and harsh climatic conditions when compared to Kerala. Dr V.S.Vijayan, former chairman of the Kerala Biodiversity Board said it was unfortunate that a state which received 3,000 mm rain every year was ranked third in the rate of groundwater depletion.

“The disappearance of wetlands has resulted in the drop of groundwater level in the state. All the rain we receive goes straight into the ocean. There is hardly any wetland or paddy field or pond here to hold the rain down,” he said.

The environmentalist also said it was high time the governments thought of restricting the filling of wetland. “Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia’s statement on the utilization of paddy fields for purposes other than agriculture denotes the government’s attitude to such issues.

The total wetland area of Kerala has gone down by 11 lakh hectares from 2004 to 2011, which is quite shocking. No wonder our groundwater level is getting depleted,” he added. The study also found that the available groundwater of the state was severely contaminated with even mercury being detected from wells.

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