‘Groundwater conservation needed round the year’

AHMEDABAD: conservation experts said that the issue demands immediate attention – not only during the severe months of summers where the water shortage is acute but round the year. They advocated identification of natural water channels that facilitate collection of water at a central location. Yogesh Jadeja, founder of Bhuj-based ACT, said that the need of the hour is to identify villages or cluster level aquifers. “The conservation and recharge starts from the small scale that can go up to region level. We tried to implement the strategy in Kutch and it is yielding results. Local-level conservation also reduces stress on the region-level groundwater system,” he said.
“The stressed condition of groundwater in Gujarat is a stark reality for several years now. During our project on water usage in state with the and government of Gujarat, we found that there is rapid depletion of water level and it is affecting water quality,” said Manvita Baradi, director of Ahmedabad-based UMC, adding that there is urban and rural divide in water exploitation, tilting towards urban areas. “Even today, we don’t need any permission for a borewell — every major residential schemes have one. There has to be judicious use of groundwater as well — it’s criminal to fill up Kankaria Lake, a recreational spot, with 15,000 year old groundwater,” Baradi added.

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