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Opinion By 2025 One-Third of Punjab Could Go Dry

Discussion in 'Punjab, Punjabi, Punjabiyat' started by spnadmin, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. spnadmin

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    [​IMG]About one-third of Punjab -- the Land of the Five Rivers -- will nearly go dry by 2025, drastically hitting farm output and triggering a major water crisis that will affect half of the state's population, warns a new study.

    By 2025, the water level of 42 blocks out of 134 (30 per cent of Punjab's area) will go below a depth of over 100 ft, making it impossible to pump out groundwater using hand pumps or small submersible pumps.

    A hand pump can function up to 60 ft and a 1 HP (horse power) submersible pump can draw water up to 90 ft.


    It will lead to great reduction in farm output of Punjab, the food bowl of India, posing a major threat to the country's sustainability in terms of food security.


    These are the observations of a study on Punjab groundwater level and future projection carried out by Dr Gurdev Singh Hira, a water resource management scientist. The study has been conducted for the Punjab Soil Department.

    Hira has drawn conclusions using data of all 653 observation wells across the state. It is a study with data derived from natural resources, not by satellite imaging, as done by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    Recently, NASA observed that human activity like irrigation had pushed groundwater levels in North India down by as much as 1 ft per year over the past seven years. The 11crore population of North India, particularly Punjab and Haryana, will face a severe water crisis in the coming years.

    More than 26 cubic miles of groundwater have vanished from aquifers in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and the National Capital Territory of Delhi since 2002, says the study.

    In Punjab, out of 134 blocks, 103 have over-exploited groundwater and 10 have reached critical levels. The groundwater development in Punjab is 145 per cent, which means that water is being used at the rate of 45 per cent more from underground sources than natural systems.

    The study warns that by 2025, it would be impossible to draw groundwater from Andana (Sangrur), Patran (Patiala), Saroya (Nawanshahr) and Phagwara (Kapurthala) blocks, as the water level will fall to a depth of 200 to 270 ft.

    The water level in blocks like Bassi Pathana (Fatehgarh Sahib), Samana, Bhunarheri, Nabha (Patiala) and Sunam, Bhawanigarh (Sangrur) will go down below 170 ft. Almost entire Sangrur, a major part of Patiala and Jalandhar will go dry.

    Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) projections of groundwater availability for irrigation in 2025 also show negative figures for Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.

    Talking to HT, Dr Hira said after the induction of the wheatpaddy circle, Punjab had made India sustainable in terms of food, but it had severely depleted natural resources. For the past 30 years, water level has been continuously falling.

    He said the main reasons were excessive use of groundwater for irrigation, wheat-paddy circle and the drying up of water channels and ponds. "Massive urbanisation is also a major cause.

    Blocks like Ludhiana, Phagwara, Khanna, Jalandhar East, Verka are in the danger zone due to excessive drainage of groundwater for domestic and industrial needs," he added.

    THREAT TO FOOD SECURITY Dr S.S. Johl, noted economist and former Deputy Chairman of Punjab State Planning Board, said the water crisis would have wider ramifications. "It has been said that the next war would be over water. The prediction is coming true. I have gone through Dr Hira's study and predict that the water crisis will cause a threat to food security of the nation and have social ramifications as a large number of clashes will take place over water," he said.

    "For the past 20 years, I have been asking for diversification and new research-based crops and technology. If Punjab goes dry, it will be because of the political leadership, which has ignored repeated warnings by scientists," he added. POWER DEMAND If the 2025 prediction comes true, people will face a severe crisis of drinking water. For domestic water pumping, one will have to invest Rs 20,000 on a submersible pump, and for irrigation, a farmer will have to spend over Rs 2 lakh for each borewell.

    "The demand of electricity will increase manifold as people will have to go for submersible pumps," said Dr R.S. Sandhu, farm economist at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

    About one-third of Punjab -- the Land of the Five Rivers -- will nearly go dry by 2025, drastically hitting farm output and triggering a major water crisis that will affect half of the state's population, warns a new study. By 2025, the water level of 42 blocks out of 134 (30 per cent of Punjab's area) will go below a depth of over 100 ft, making it impossible to pump out groundwater using hand pumps or small submersible pumps.

    A hand pump can function up to 60 ft and a 1 HP (horse power) submersible pump can draw water up to 90 ft.

    It will lead to great reduction in farm output of Punjab, the food bowl of India, posing a major threat to the country's sustainability in terms of food security.

    These are the observations of a study on Punjab groundwater level and future projection carried out by Dr Gurdev Singh Hira, a water resource management scientist. The study has been conducted for the Punjab Soil Department.

    Hira has drawn conclusions using data of all 653 observation wells across the state. It is a study with data derived from natural resources, not by satellite imaging, as done by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    Recently, NASA observed that human activity like irrigation had pushed groundwater levels in North India down by as much as 1 ft per year over the past seven years. The 11crore population of North India, particularly Punjab and Haryana, will face a severe water crisis in the coming years.

    More than 26 cubic miles of groundwater have vanished from aquifers in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and the National Capital Territory of Delhi since 2002, says the study.

    In Punjab, out of 134 blocks, 103 have over-exploited groundwater and 10 have reached critical levels. The groundwater development in Punjab is 145 per cent, which means that water is being used at the rate of 45 per cent more from underground sources than natural systems.

    The study warns that by 2025, it would be impossible to draw groundwater from Andana (Sangrur), Patran (Patiala), Saroya (Nawanshahr) and Phagwara (Kapurthala) blocks, as the water level will fall to a depth of 200 to 270 ft.

    The water level in blocks like Bassi Pathana (Fatehgarh Sahib), Samana, Bhunarheri, Nabha (Patiala) and Sunam, Bhawanigarh (Sangrur) will go down below 170 ft. Almost entire Sangrur, a major part of Patiala and Jalandhar will go dry.

    Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) projections of groundwater availability for irrigation in 2025 also show negative figures for Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan.

    Talking to HT, Dr Hira said after the induction of the wheatpaddy circle, Punjab had made India sustainable in terms of food, but it had severely depleted natural resources. For the past 30 years, water level has been continuously falling.

    He said the main reasons were excessive use of groundwater for irrigation, wheat-paddy circle and the drying up of water channels and ponds. "Massive urbanisation is also a major cause.

    Blocks like Ludhiana, Phagwara, Khanna, Jalandhar East, Verka are in the danger zone due to excessive drainage of groundwater for domestic and industrial needs," he added.

    THREAT TO FOOD SECURITY Dr S.S. Johl, noted economist and former Deputy Chairman of Punjab State Planning Board, said the water crisis would have wider ramifications. "It has been said that the next war would be over water. The prediction is coming true. I have gone through Dr Hira's study and predict that the water crisis will cause a threat to food security of the nation and have social ramifications as a large number of clashes will take place over water," he said.

    "For the past 20 years, I have been asking for diversification and new research-based crops and technology. If Punjab goes dry, it will be because of the political leadership, which has ignored repeated warnings by scientists," he added. POWER DEMAND If the 2025 prediction comes true, people will face a severe crisis of drinking water. For domestic water pumping, one will have to invest Rs 20,000 on a submersible pump, and for irrigation, a farmer will have to spend over Rs 2 lakh for each borewell.

    "The demand of electricity will increase manifold as people will have to go for submersible pumps," said Dr R.S. Sandhu, farm economist at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

    http://epaper. hindustantimes. com/ArticleText. aspx?article= 16_11_2009_ 001_007&kword=&mode=1

    Forwarded by forum member Tejwant Singh ji Malik
     
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  3. kds1980

    kds1980 India
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    Punjab and other States of India need's to implement eco friendly techniques of Farming
    Badly exploitation of natural resources will lead to this situation one day.
     

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