Groundwater accounts for a major portion ¿ as much as 80 per cent ¿ of domestic and irrigation water in Gujarat. The state has witnessed a 104 per cent increase in groundwater extraction between 1978 and 1997. In 1996-97 groundwater provided for 79 per cent of the net irrigated area of the state and for 78 per cent of the rural drinking water needs. This dependence has caused a rapid decline in groundwater levels, about 2.5-3.6 metres per year. The decline in water levels has affected about 4.0 million ha (21 per cent of the total area of the state) in 74 talukas of 14 districts of the state. The situation is likely to worsen since about 87 per cent of the municipal towns in Gujarat depend on groundwater to meet their drinking, domestic and other needs. The Government of Gujarat, in its Master Plan 1999-2000, allocated Rs 3,108.88 million to mitigate the problem. The investment was meant to improve services in 6,312 villages, 69 towns and three areas that municipal corporations served by drilling new bore wells, deep tubewells and rejuvenating water supply schemes.
|Publication status||Published - 2004|