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    Haryana88 out of 143 blocks in Haryana declared overexploited as groundwater crisis...

    88 out of 143 blocks in Haryana declared overexploited as groundwater crisis worsens


    A recent study conducted by 's Ground Water Cell has uncovered deeply troubling findings about the state's groundwater situation. According to the data collected, a staggering 88 out of Haryana's 143 blocks have now been categorized as overexploited when it comes to groundwater extraction.

    Of the remaining blocks, 11 are in the critical category while 9 are identified as semi-critical. Only 35 blocks remain in the relatively safer category. As per officials, a block is deemed overexploited if the groundwater extraction exceeds 100% of the annual recharge level. Extraction rates between 90-100% are considered critical and 70-90% is semi-critical.

    The situation is most dire in the Karnal district where a full 7 out of 8 blocks have crossed the overexploitation mark. Other districts with multiple overexploited blocks include Ambala, Bhiwani, Faridabad, Fatehabad, Jind and Yamunanagar among others. Groundwater experts point to the increased use of flooded irrigation techniques involving submersible pumps since 1999-2000 as a major factor along with insufficient water management practices.

    The unchecked exploitation of the underground reserves poses severe challenges for the future availability of water resources. Officials agree urgent reforms are needed like promoting more efficient drip irrigation, enacting stricter pumping regulations and increasing rainwater harvesting efforts. Farmers will also have to be supported to diversify crops beyond water-guzzling options like paddy.

    Ongoing state projects tackling the crisis include the Centre's Atal Bhujal Yojana initiative as well as programs for improved hydrological monitoring, awareness drives and other conservation steps. However, the depletion rates observed clearly demonstrate that existing interventions are not proving adequate to reverse Haryana's growing groundwater crisis. Stronger measures are direly needed to safeguard this vital but declining natural asset.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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