Staring at a Harsh and Parched summer!
   Date :02-Apr-2024

Harsh and Parched summer 
By Ankita Garg
Due to uncontrolled and excessive exploitation of groundwater, a Bengaluru-like situation can be evolved in Bhopal, where the groundwater level is drying. With the beginning of summer, residential areas in Bhopal have started facing acute water shortage. Borings have become necessary for the families in most of the colonies to get sufficient water for daily use. According to Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), the surface below City of Lakes is drying. The warning is based on a decade-long monitoring which found diminution in water levels in Bhopal by a high 66.7 per cent. If we talk about commercial capital Indore, it has higher diminution in ground water by 85%. CGWB says that water level in 15 wells were checked for ten years from November 2012 to 2022 and out of this, ten wells were reported a diminution in water level. Eight of the wells were 0-2 m, one each was 2.-4m and above 4m. Four wells where the level was reported a hike were 0-2 m and one 2-4 m.
CGWB monitors the groundwater level periodically in cities on a regional scale through network of monitoring wells. Ashok Kumar Biswal, Regional Director of CGWB, North Central Region, Bhopal, says, “No doubt exploitation of water exists in most part of the State due to which Bhopal can be in Red zone soon. Our neighbouring city Indore is very close to be red zone for groundwater level. Water level in Bhopal is also drying.” The groundwater level in Indore district was recorded 150 meter in 2012 but it has gone down by 160 meters in 2023. He further said that Bhopal monitors ground water level in Madhya Pradesh through a network of 1,612 ground water monitoring dug wells and piezometers, four times in a year in order to bring out the spatial and temporal changes in the ground water regime. This continuous monitoring provides a valuable tool to decipher the seasonal and long-term changes in ground water level and quality and in turn helps in managing the ground water resources in a more scientific and effective manner.
The latest date was collected from monitoring or observation wells during the year 2022-2023. The ground water level of May 2022 was compared with the 10 years May (2012-2021) average ground water level to decipher the long-term changes in the ground water regime. It is observed that about 59.14 % of the wells show rise and about 40.32 % wells show decline in water levels in the state. The rise in water level is in the order of 0-2 m in 42.32 % of the wells, 2-4 m in 11.26 % of the wells and more than 4 m in about 5.55 % of the wells. The decline in water levels in the order of 0-2 m is shown by about 30.4 % of the wells, between 2-4 m in 7.40 % of the wells and more than 4 m in 2.8 % of the wells.