JK Using Only 14% Ground Water25 March 2010
Srinagar: At a moment when climate change is threatening water resources in Jammu and Kashmir, the authorities reveal only 14 per cent of the state’s ground water resources have been harnessed so far. The figure is far below the “sustainable level” but it is expected to rise to 25 per cent in the coming years due to increasing stress on the ground water resources. “We worked out the data in a survey conducted by us. We didn’t find any upsetting trend in the ground water resources but the exploitation of these resources is very low. The under-exploitation wasn’t due to technological constraints but funding could be a constraint,” regional director, central ground water board, Arun Kumar, told Greater Kashmir on the sidelines of the daylong workshop organized here in connection with the World Water Day. According to the statistics, listed on the website of the board, J&K has 2.70 BCM. Annual Replenishable Ground water Resources. And the net Annual Ground Water Availability is 2.43 BCM. However, the state, particularly Kashmir division, has been more known for its surface water resources in the form of Nallas, lakes and rivers. But of late the Valley has been witnessing an abnormal rise in the temperatures in the recent years. The winter have been drier this year and the temperatures are running around 11 degrees above normal. While the experts fear the changing climate may affect the water resources, Kumar said the depletion of annual rain and snowfall in the state would lead to more exploitation of ground water resources. “Naturally the stress will increase on the ground water resources to meet the growing demand for potable water,” he said. The vice-chancellor of SK University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Professor Anwar Alam, who was chief guest on the occasion, said the under-exploitation of ground water resources was also affecting the agriculture. Alam said the annual agriculture produce in Kashmir was 30 percent less than the requirement, which could be overcome by fully irrigating the cultivable agriculture land. He held the “paucity of electricity” responsible for under-exploitation of ground water resources. “It hampers the usage of tube-wells, pumps etc which could exploit ground water,” he said. The chief engineer Public health and engineering department, Ghulam Rasool Zargar, said the ground water resources were not exploited due to the presence of ample surface water resources in Kashmir. “It was being exploited in the hilly areas only,” he said. He, however, said the infrastructure was being built to conserve the water so prevent water crisis. “The central government is taking note of the climate changes so a substantial amount of funds will be used to build the infrastructure for water conservation,” he said.