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Only 100 tmcft of groundwater left in Andhra Pradesh


In a reflection of the worst-ever drought situation in Andhra Pradesh in the last three decades, the groundwater in the state has plummeted to dangerously low level with only about 100 tmcft of potable water available below the ground across 13 districts.

Already the surface water in reservoirs and major tanks has almost dried up due to continuous dry spell and failure of monsoon last year. The potable groundwater available has come down by 500 per cent in the state. The available groundwater will last only for a couple months and if the ensuing monsoon is delayed, the situation will turn critical.

This is the first time that AP is faced with such a low reserve of groundwater. Major rivers Godavari, Krishna and Penna, and small rivers like Nagavali, Vamsadhara, Janjavati, Tammileru, Budameru, Gundlakamma, Kundu and Swarnamuki have always guaranteed the best groundwater table in the country. However, with successive failure of monsoon and reduced inflows have resulted in fast depletion of groundwater in the state.

Against 661 tmc ft of groundwater in the state, only about 100 tmc ft is now available. The state has 736 groundwater basins and around 100 basins are now listed under ‘overexploited’ or ‘critical’ categories. The groundwater department notified 946 villages as ‘overexploited’ and it has banned digging of new wells and sand mining.

 “Groundwater has depleted in more than 55 per cent of the state. The situation is precarious as the state is left with only 100 tmc feet groundwater. To revive the water table, we have taken up Neeru – Chettu programme and spent over Rs 465 crore to give water to 51,409 acres. Desilting and repairs to check dams, farm ponds and percolation tanks have been taken up in a mission mode,” Adityanath Das, principal secretary of irrigation, told TOI.
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