Ground water depletion causing serious problems in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: Relentless depletion of ground water is posing a serious environmental threat to Kerala, a minister said on Thursday.

A 28 per cent decrease had been registered in the current year water level in wells across the state as compared to last year, Water Resource Minister N K Premachandran said during a conservation workshop by state ground water department here.

"In the past, we used to depend more on surface water sources like rivers, ponds and streams. But, with depletion of water bodies due to extreme summer and other factors, we have shifted our focus to ground water," he said.

The situation, if not reversed through conservation measures, would lead to collapse of entire agriculture sector and drinking water supply system of the state in near future, he said.

Premachandran said water level in the depletion-prone areas should be identified and adequate steps taken to sustain the ground water storage.

"Conscious efforts are required to sustain and rejuvenate water bodies and its result should be extended to drinking water supply and agriculture sector. Tamil Nadu could be taken as a role model for such initiatives".

Existing Ground Water Regulation Act should be amended taking current situation into account to check uncontrolled and illegal extraction, the minister said.

Rackets that thrive by commercial exploitation of water resources were active in the state and the laws should be strong enough to crack them down, he added.