Saturday 29 September 2012

Minister for Water Resources Releases Atlas on Aquifer systems of India

New Delhi:(Page3 News Network)-Minister of Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal released Atlas for six states viz Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya in New Delhi today. Central Ground Water Board has generated enormous data on various aspects of ground water since its inception; the same has been compiled and integrated to bring out the publication in the form of atlas entitled “Aquifer systems of India.” 
Speaking on the occasion, Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal said the atlas provides a country wide overview and summary of the most important information available for each principal and major aquifer systems and depicts aquifer wise ground water scenario. It also deals with major issues and challenges which need immediate attention for sustainable management of ground water resources, the minister said. In this process, a baseline data on GIS platform has been created for initiating National Aquifer Mapping Programme and demarcating priority areas for aquifer wise management of ground water resources on scientific and sustainable basis. Attempt has been made to represent the correlations of various thematic layers such as climate, topographic settings on the occurrence, movement, and chemical quality of ground water in map forms. The Atlas will be of immense use for Regional and National ground water resources planning by the policy makers and anyone who needs to understand ground water scenario in the country. This atlas will be very handy tool for academia at the institution level and the next step would be to provide such data to the farmers in the country so that they can derive maximum benefit out of those available data, he added. 
The aquifers of India have been classified in to 14 principal and 42 major aquifer systems. The compilation has been done on 1:250,000 scale by integrating the geological and hydro geological data of CGWB & GSI respectively and various other ground water related the mtic data/information from other agencies. The Atlas has been prepared keeping in view the utilities and user friendliness in understanding by the non-professional as well as professional Hydro geologist. Simple presentation of tables is used to explain aquifer wise ground water scenario in the country. Central Ground Water Board Ministry of Water Resources is contemplating National Aquifer Mapping Programme at 1:50,000 or larger scales during XII and XIII Plan periods. This ambitions venture will involve compilation and synthesis of all relevant data collected by CGWB and various other agencies, to identify existing data gaps, creating of additional data through suitable investigations and finally, to bring out comprehensive aquifer maps along with their ground water potential as well as realistic and scientific management plans to ensure long-term sustainability. 
Over the past few decades there has been phenomenal increase in water demand and has led to greater dependence on ground water. The gap between demand and supply of water is widening in many parts of the country. The situation has further aggravated over the past few decades in several areas due to deterioration in quality of ground water as well as erratic rainfall. Large numbers of bore wells in some areas are drying up due to declining ground water levels affecting the water supply for various uses. If this situation continues, without suitable management intervention, very soon the sustainability of ground water sources will be jeopardized. It is the need of the hours that the ground water resources are managed with appropriate scientific approach for its sustainability. To evolve a viable management plan for various hydro geological environment it is essential to understand the aquifer in its totality in terms of its typology, extension in vertical and horizontal directions, its physical characteristics and the quality of formation water as well as its potential in time and space. 
Shri Vincent H Pala, Hon’ble Minister of State for Water Resources and other senior officers form Ministry of Water Resources and CGWB were also present on the occasion. 

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