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Goa Observes World Water Day, Good News Trickled In On Water Conservation
Thursday - Mar 23, 2023
Goa Observes World Water Day, Good News Trickled In On Water Conservation
Margão: As the state observed the World Water Day, good news trickled in on water conservation and its security in the long run. The water resources department said it has embarked on a massive drive to carry out geotagging of wells across the state. The fresh efforts on water conservation come on the heels of an intensive mapping of all waterbodies in Goa. The state has 6,000 wells; nearly 80% of them are open wells, which are mostly used for domestic and agriculture purposes. Highly-placed sources in the department confirmed that the process for geotagging of the wells has begun, and that efforts are on to complete it at the earliest.
A senior official of the department said that once the geotagging of the wells is completed the department will have a central data mechanism on groundwater extraction and its utilisation. The data will help the department conserve groundwater as also control its contamination; the official explained. Minister for Water Resources Subhash Shirodkar told Press that “the government is taking up geotagging of all the wells including bore wells”. “Our objective is conservation and preservation of groundwater. These are priceless resources handed down to us by our ancestors. They need to be conserved,” he reckoned.
Stating that waterbodies should not be overexploited, the minister said the government has also carried out a thorough study of waterbodies in all talukas. “Now, it is time for action and implementation of various schemes for revival and protection of the waterbodies,” Shirodkar said.  So far, 100 waterbodies have been taken up for rejuvenation and conservation and more will be repaired and revived.
The Central Ground Water Board has estimated Goa’s annual extractable groundwater resources to be 160.33 million cubic metre (MCuM), and the extraction of groundwater for all uses stands at 53.71 MCuM. The Goa state water policy has projected 34% extraction of groundwater to be safe, considering its overall stages of development and net annual groundwater availability for the entire state. However, the policy has pointed out that there has been a lack of recent and reliable estimates of water requirements for specific sectors.
The paucity of data on water, both on resource and utilisation sides, makes it difficult to fully understand how much water is actually being used and where. The senior official of the department explained that Salcete taluka, which has nearly 400 wells, leads the state in the highest groundwater utilisation. There are 197 dug wells and around 182 bore wells, and the number could increase or decrease due to various factors.
The official stated that a recent study pointed out that the water requirements for domestic and industrial uses will rise to 748.35 ha m by the year 2025 as against the present requirement of 604.35 ha m. The study has also stated that at present the net groundwater draft per annum for Salcete stands at 1679.27 ha m, of which 151 ha m is being utilised for irrigation.  The net groundwater availability for future irrigation stands at 779.46 ha m.
Despite some areas being declared as scheduled areas due to high utilisation of groundwater there is no major cause of concern as the groundwater assessment shows the stage of its development at 70% or lower. There is no significant decline of pre-or post-monsoon groundwater levels, said the study carried out a few years back.

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