A severe crisis in the making!: India’s groundwater depletion

India’s north-western region is widely considered to be the country’s granary, with states such as Punjab and Haryana accounting for a large share of the country’s agricultural output and farm incomes. But farming in both these regions is increasingly becoming unsustainable, owing to depleting groundwater levels. The situation is equally precarious in the south-eastern parts of the country. Both these regions account for most of India’s groundwater-stressed blocks, as the chart below shows.
The dependence of irrigation on groundwater increased with the onset of the so-called Green Revolution, which depended on intensive use of inputs such as water and fertilizers to boost farm production. Rather than extending surface water irrigation to unirrigated regions, policymakers began providing incentives for groundwater extraction.






6


0m and above
20
2000-01
40
60
Below 10m
10-20m
20-40m
40-60m
60m and above



Ref: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/v4nXpXNxSJtxQNlEbvtJFL/Indias-groundwater-crisis.html


NASA Satellites Unlock Secret to Northern India's Vanishing Water


Beneath northern India’s irrigated fields of wheat, rice, and barley ... beneath its densely populated cities of Jaiphur and New Delhi, the groundwater has been disappearing. Halfway around the world, hydrologists, including Matt Rodell of NASA, have been hunting for it.


Where is northern India’s underground water supply going? According to Rodell and colleagues, it is being pumped and consumed by human activities -- principally to irrigate cropland -- faster than the aquifers can be replenished by natural processes. They based their conclusions -- published in the August 20 issue of Nature -- on observations from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/india_water.html

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