PATIALA: Nearly three-fourth of the state is affected due to depleting ground water resources and declining ground water levels. The situation has worsened after 1970 due to excessive withdrawals and practically ne re-charge of the ground water level.

Even the 1988 floods which submerged vast areas of Punjab for many days and resulted in an addition of about 12 the ground water table could no help the situation as its benefit vanished within a year or so.

 Every successive five-year plan witnessed enhanced targets for the creation of additional irrigation potential from ground water resources. Even the technology mission or drinking water ha: placed its reliance principally o ground water for solving water supply needs of problem villages

Dramatic changes are taking place in the irrigation scenario and over five lakh agricultural pumps are being added each year while the tempo of development may continue to have the momentum it has already achieved there is a need to prevent indiscriminate exploitation of water resources

According to a report the state has identified 87 blocks (out of 118)as critical and among these there are 71 blocks which have been termed dark where development of ground water for irrigation ranges between 65 to 85% of the total re-charge

If the present continues test a may experience hydrological drought resulting in a situation which in the past had led to socioeconomic downfall of man communities and human settlements.

Recently extensive field investigations were carried out jointly by the Punjab Agriculture University Ludhiana and the PSEB to evaluate efficiency to the centrifugal pump sets operating in Punjab. I was found that the efficiency ranged between 26 to 58% with a majority to cases falling around the mea value of 39%. There has been gradual change in cropping pattern all over Punjab with bringing of more land under wheat-paddy rotation. The setting up new sugar mils the state has also increased are under sugarcane cultivation. This shift has imposed an additional burden on the ground water resources of Punjab

Earlier three was a ban or giving new electric connection for tube wells is in dark blocks but since February 1990 the man agreement of the electricity boar has withdrawn this ban and now applications are accepted and treated at par with other applications from white or grey areas of the state.

 There is an apprehensive expert that a stage is coming when presently used technology for ground water pumping (centrifugal single stage pumps) may go dry.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 8, 1996