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Groundwater Dept to Upgrade Infrastructure for Testing Water Quality

With the start of this ground-breaking project from the state groundwater department, we can expect to get a better idea of groundwater quality.

Shivam Dwivedi
Groundwater Dept to Upgrade Infrastructure for Testing Water Quality (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Groundwater Dept to Upgrade Infrastructure for Testing Water Quality (Photo Source: Pixabay)

State Groundwater Department (SGBD) has launched a major project to address groundwater quality concerns. The project aims to improve inspection and assessment procedures. The State Government approved the draft proposal on 27 June 2022, thus allowing the project to be implemented.

As part of the project's first phase, the department will strategically install additional observation wells in regions where groundwater quality is a matter of concern. Each of the 14 districts will have one block selected for this purpose, and within these blocks, wells will be listed in one-square-kilometer grids.

The second phase of the project involves the compilation of data collected from these observation wells. To accomplish this task efficiently, the department will utilize the mobile laboratory that was introduced under the National Hydrology Project.

The primary objective of this ambitious project is to generate accurate and comprehensive data that can provide a clear picture of the groundwater quality in a given region. This information will help raise awareness among the local population about existing quality issues and enable the concerned government departments to implement necessary preventive measures, as outlined in the department's proposal.

To evaluate the effectiveness of the project, a pilot study will be conducted in one block panchayat where water quality issues are particularly acute. Furthermore, the State Groundwater Department has developed a standardized operating procedure for collecting statewide data on groundwater quality.

The State government acknowledged that while the department currently monitors 790 observation wells across the State, the collected data is insufficient for a comprehensive assessment of water quality. Additionally, the existing water quality testing laboratories in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode are inadequate for evaluating groundwater quality throughout the entire State. Recognizing these limitations, the department formulated this project and sought government approval to address these critical gaps.

Moreover, based on a 2015 judgment by the National Green Tribunal, the State government has decided to strengthen groundwater monitoring and regulation activities in blocks categorized as critical or semi-critical within the State.

According to the "National Compilation on Dynamic Ground Water Resources of India-2022," compiled by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), the State witnessed an increase in total annual groundwater recharge to 5.73 billion cubic meters (bcm), along with an annual groundwater extraction of 2.73 bcm.

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