- 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.
- 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