Illegal borewells worsen water crisis in Hyderabad

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: The groundwater levels in Hyderabad and across Telangana have seen a sharp decline, attributed primarily to the proliferation of illegal borewells. According to officials, from April 2023 to April 2024, the groundwater depth fell by -1.74 meters in the state and -1.03 meters in Hyderabad.

On average, residents in Hyderabad could access water from 10.51 meters below the ground in April 2024, compared to 9.48 meters in the same period last year.

N Shankar, the Director of the Groundwater Department, highlighted that the rampant sinking of illegal borewells and the lack of maintenance of rainwater harvesting systems are the primary contributors to the water depletion crisis, especially in urban areas like Hyderabad.

Despite complaints from citizens and the groundwater department, enforcement actions against illegal borewells remain inadequate. Shankar expressed concerns over the lack of enforcement mechanisms within the groundwater department and uncertainty about actions taken by other relevant departments.

Furthermore, as groundwater levels continue to plummet, individuals are drilling borewells deeper, exacerbating the depletion and tapping into water reserves accumulated over decades. Recharging these depleted aquifers could take years, underscoring the urgent need for water conservation measures.

Across districts, Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy, and Nalgonda recorded significant declines in groundwater levels, indicating a widespread issue. The Groundwater Department monitored levels through 1,718 stations across 33 districts, revealing an average depth of 10.51 meters below ground level in April 2024, with variations ranging from 5.70 MBGL in Jagityal to 15.79 MBGL in Medak.

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