The Northern and Eastern states have seen a rapid decline in usable groundwater between 2005 and 2013, raising an impending risk of severe droughts, food crisis, and drinking water scarcity for millions, a team from IIT-Kharagpur, and Canada's Athabasca University have found.
They complied the first estimates of usable groundwater storage (UGWS) at the state-level across India using both in situ and satellite-based measurements. It showed rapid depletion in Assam, Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar and West Bengal.
Here increases in food production have resulted at the cost of non-renewable loss in groundwater volume at an alarming rate, they said in the study in the journal “Advances in Water Resources”. The Southern and Western states like Andhra, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, on the other hand, indicated replenishing usable groundwater storage trends.