Water conservation projects lead to rise in groundwater table

Construction of small dams, regulator bridges, and bamboo cultivation carried out

A series of water conservation projects implemented in Kasaragod district during the past two years has helped in increasing the groundwater table.

Projects such as the construction of small dams, regulator bridges, reclamation of ditches, and fodder cultivation were implemented with the participation of the people.

As a result, from May 2019 to May 2021, the groundwater level was found to have risen to a maximum of nine metres.

Earlier, a two-year study conducted by the groundwater department in six blocks of the district had found that 79.64% of the groundwater in Kasaragod district had been exploited.

The Central Water Agency, which also assessed the situation in Kasaragod block, found that the situation was critical as the groundwater extraction was 97.68%.

Based on this, District Collector D. Sajith Babu, in consultation with agencies concerned, came up with various projects with a focus on water conservation.

The groundwater level report was prepared by observing 67 selected wells in six blocks of the district. Selected tube wells and open wells were observed on a monthly basis.

Mr. Babu said that the reclamation of wetlands and levelling of hills was disrupting rainwater harvesting. Representatives of the Central Water Energy Mission, which visited the district two years ago, observed that uncontrolled exploitation of groundwater was causing the level to drop drastically.

The encroachment on natural resources had been identified as one of the major causes of water scarcity, which had upset the ecological balance and increased atmospheric temperature, he said.

In order to increase the vitality of the soil, a number of activities were carried out such as fodder cultivation, construction of small dams with public participation, reclamation of ditches and so on.

Bamboo planting was one of the notable activities of this period. The decision to plant bamboo saplings was made after studying the topography and soil structure.

As the project spread across the district, it became the bamboo capital of South India. Controlling the digging of tube wells also caused the water level to rise, Mr. Babu said.

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