Mohali on verge of facing acute water crisis, groundwater level hits all-time low

PUNJAB : The problem of water shortage in Mohali district is set to intensify with district’s groundwater level hitting a new low.

Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) officials say the groundwater level in the district has fallen by 6-7 feet over last two years alone due to the proliferation of real estate projects in the district, which has increased the population pressure. Experts say the district is overdrawing underground water resources with every residential colony digging up borewells for water supply.

Officials of the Soil and Water Conservation department said the new borewells, dug up between 2018 and March 2019, were up to 15 feet deeper than the previous years.  The CGWB report of 2017 shows that both, Derabassi and Kharar areas of the district, fall in the ‘over exploited’ category.

In 1988, the groundwater table of Mohali was at a depth of 17.7 feet; in 2016 it plunged to 68.8 feet. The average annual rate of decline is 2.8 feet but the increasing pressure of population on groundwater is accelerating the decline.

District Water and Soil Conservation officer Harjinder Singh said over two years, the net groundwater availability has reduced by around one-fifth.  The 2017 report mentions that though agriculture activities in Kharar have decreased over the years, there is commensurate increase in urbanisation and increasing demand of water from that sector.

As per CGWB 2017 report, there are a total of 11,636 tubewells in Mohali district, classified according to the depth of the bore wells, with the maximum depth at 150 metres. A total of 3,589 tubewells are at the depth of 60 to 70 metres.

As many as 1,553 tubewells are installed at a depth of 90 to 150 metres.