For water plan, govt goes for 3D mapping of all villages

The News:

  • The Centre is carrying out 3D aquifer mapping of every village which will help it take specific water conservation measures at micro level across the country.

Aquifer:  An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing rock, from which groundwater can be extracted.

What is Aquifer Mapping?

  • Aquifer mapping  is  a  process  wherein  a  combination  of  geologic,  geophysical,  hydrologic  and  chemical  field  and  laboratory  analyses  are  applied  to  characterize  the  quantity,  quality  and  sustainability  of  ground  water  in  aquifers.
  • An accurate  and  comprehensive  micro-level picture of  groundwater  in  India  through  aquifer  mapping  in  different  hydrogeological  settings  will  enable  robust  groundwater  management  plans  at  the  appropriate  scale  to  be  devised  and  implemented  for  this  common-pool   
  • This will  help  achieving  drinking  water  security, improved  irrigation  facility  and  sustainability  in  water resources  development  in large  parts  of  rural  India,  and  many  parts  of  urban  India  as   
  • The aquifer  mapping  program  is  important  for  planning  suitable  adaptation  strategies  to  meet  climate  change 
  • A major output is 1:50,000 scale multiple-layer digital maps of the areas; in selected areas the scale of the maps is 1:10,000 scale. These maps are given both under 2-D and 3-D.
Image result for 3d mapping for water aquifers

News Summary:

  • The ongoing exercise of 3D aquifer (underground layer of water-bearing rock) mapping at micro-level will assist the government in estimating quantity and quality of ground water in a particular village or cluster of villages and help in assessment of sustainable level of ground extraction.
  • The mapping is being undertaken by the Central Ground Water Board on the scale of 1:50,000 in 3D.
  • Currently, 1,034 blocks (ground water assessment units) out of 6,584 are over-exploited, which means withdrawal of ground water is more than recharge in those particular units.
  • 934 blocks are in various stages of ground water criticality.

Significance of 3D Aquifer mapping:

  • It will help in predicting ground water scenario.
  • It will also help in educating the stakeholders in water use efficiency.
  • Identifying zones for drilling productive wells;
  • Understanding of aquifer vulnerability;
  • Identification of streams at risk for reduced base flows as a result of heavy groundwater use;
  • Formulation of effective aquifer management plans;
  • Identification of areas for groundwater development, rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharge;
  • The deficit so identified will help the government to carry out its recharge plan where the treated grey water can also be used. The recycled grey water could be used for agriculture or for groundwater recharge.

Note: Grey water or ‘sullage’ is defined as all wastewater generated in households, except from toilets. Sources of grey water include, sinks, showers, baths, clothes washing machines or dish washers.

About Central Ground Water Board

  • Central Ground Water Board is the National Apex Agency entrusted with the responsibilities of providing scientific inputs for management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation and regulation of ground water resources of the country.
  • Central Ground Water Board was established in 1970 by renaming the Exploratory Tube wells Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
  • It was merged with the Ground Water Wing of the Geological Survey of India during 1972.


  • Sustainable Development and Management of Ground Water Resources of the Country.


  • To develop ground water policies, programmes and practices to monitor and enable effective use of the country’s ground water resources in a sustainable manner with active involvement of all stakeholders.
  • To put into place scientific system and practices, which would result in sustained increase in ground water use efficiency.
  • To disseminate information, skills and knowledge, which would help in capacity building and mass awareness in ground water sector.

The major activities of the Board are:

  • National Aquifer mapping and Management ( NAQUIM) involving Preparation of Aquifer Maps and Management Plans
  • Geophysical surveys to delineate ground water bearing zones etc.
  • Periodic assessment of the country’s ground water resources
  • Dissemination of Ground Water Data and knowledge
  • Ground water modeling
  • GIS and Remote sensing
  • Capacity building and knowledge transfer

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