Groundwater table increases in certain areas in Rajasthan
According to the groundwater department's latest report, among the 248 groundwater block in the state, 44 are now under safe category, which was 25 in 2011. The groundwater department collected the data till 2013 and compiled the ground report, saying the safe water blocks increased by 19 from 25 in 2011 to 44 in 2013.
"Annual average rainfall in above to normal category and more recharge due to surface water irrigation are the main reason for the increase in the water table," the report said.
The water blocks which have been put in safe category are in the districts of Banswara, Bikaner, Bundi, Churu, Dungarpur, Hanumangarh, Jhalawar, Jodhpur, Karauli, Pali, Tonk and Udaipur.
"Rainfall of five years from 2008-09 to 2012-13 has been considered for groundwater resource assessment. In most of the areas of Rajasthan, annual average rainfall in four years (2008-09 to 2012-13) is above normal.
"More rainfall causes more recharge which is 11,256.77 mcm (million cubic meters) in 2013 in comparison to 10,828 mcm in 2011," the report said. Earlier, among the 19 safe blocks, 13 were in semi-critical category, two over-exploited, as many critical and two are new blocks (Sangariya and Tibi in Hanumangarh districts).
At present, Rajasthan has 248 water blocks, out of which 44 are in safe category, 28 (semi-critical), 9 (critical) and 164 are over-exploited. 3 blocks are of saline water.
"As per the latest available report, safe water blocks have increased in Rajasthan which is a good sign. It will have positive impact on the schemes of public health and engineering department as the schemes will now be more sustainable," Kiran Maheshwari, Public Health and Engineering Department Minister, told PTI.
She said that efforts were being made to aware people for groundwater recharge on their level. West Rajasthan, comprising Jalore, Pali, Nagaur, Churu, Barmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Sriganganagar and Jaisalmer districts, is more or less demarcated as the desert are of the country and some of the water blocks which have been moved to safe category are located in this region.
Low to extremely low rainfall, intense summers with very high temperatures, high diurnal variation of temperatures, low humidity and high evaporation are some of the climatological characteristics of the desert state.