Alarm over dip in average groundwater level in 19 dists

Even before the onset of summer, the groundwater level across various districts in the State has dipped at an alarming rate this year.
Alarm over dip in average groundwater level in 19 dists
Barren fields such as the above are a common sight across Tamil Nadu now

Chennai

According to official data for the month of February, maintained by the State ground and surface water resources data centre, 19 of the 31 districts have recorded a sharp decline leading to fears of impending water shortage.

Perambalur witnessed a massive drop in groundwater level (about 6.01 metres) when compared to the corresponding period last year.

It was followed by Tiruvannamalai, which recorded a significant dip of about 4.3 metres. As a result, the average water level in these two districts was brought down to 12.41 and 7.91 metres respectively.

This year, Sivagangai district for the first time witnessed a dip in the groundwater level by 0.11 metres. Its current average groundwater level stands at 8.46 metres.

The other three districts which witnessed a sharp fall were Vellore, 3.23 m (current level 9.39 m), Dharmapuri, 3.81m (current level 13.18 m), and Ariyalur, 2.27 m (current level 5.84 m).

The current average groundwater level in a few districts has reduced when compared to last year. In Madurai, the current level stands at 6.93 m (8.16 m last year). Other affected districts include Tirupur, 9.56 m (11.14 m), Coimbatore, 12.20 m, (15.61 m), Pudukkottai, 6.80 m (8.23 m), Nagapattinam, 2.88 m (5.20 m).

When contacted, S Janakarajan, retired Professor, Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS) told DT Next, “the groundwater level always appreciates after a few bouts of rain. It is mainly due to the increase in water level at the shallow aquifer. The actual groundwater level can be measured only after two or three months of the rainy season.”

He warned that the water level might depreciate in the coming months as the State had miserably failed in water conservation over the years.

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