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How technology can help save India’s groundwater

  • Published
    23rd Feb, 2022

Technology-guided decision-making would help distinguish groundwater abuse and promote efficient use.


Groundwater in India:

  • Groundwater is the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock.
  • It is stored in and moves slowly through geologic formations of soil, sand and rocks called aquifers.
  • India is the world’s largest user of groundwater. 
  • Tube wells, bore wells, springs and open-dug wells remain the primary source of groundwater production and abuse in India.

Use of technology

  • Integration of technology, ecology and livelihood is critical to the overall sustainability of groundwater.
  • Technology can help in ‘decision-making’ on economic and social priorities related to groundwater use.
  • Automated decision-making is one aspect that needs to be adopted as an integral part of groundwater extraction.
  • We need to enable technologies to simulate appropriate human responses.
  • Adopting artificial intelligence (AI) will help make decisions and visualise emerging scenarios for pro-active governance.
  • For instance, smart sensors in different appliances and Internet of Things shall enable visibility of data of consequence.

There are many ancient techniques few are as given:

  • Bamboo drip irrigation system – this method bamboo is used to transport water from a source to the field the bamboo pipes of varying diameter to control the flow by changing pipe positions.
  • Johads– A small mud barrier dug into the ground for storing rainwater
  • Stepwell – They are well in which water is stored deep into the ground the water is reached by descending a set of steps (bawdi).
  • Sand Bores – Water is extracted from sand particles. the sand acts as a good water filter by retaining salt content & releasing water.
  • Virdas – They are shallow wells dug at a low elevation that store water that seeps down the soil.
  • Zing – They are tanks that are used to collect and store water obtained from melting glaciers this stored water can be used in their seasons.
  • Taanka – It is a cylindrical underground pit that is used to store rainwater.
  • Kata – They are built across streams and store a large amount of water, the collected water sinks into the ground and raises the water level of nearby ponds.
  • Kuls – Kuls are artificial ridges that are used to transport water from a glacier it is tapped to a circular water tank.
  • Ahar pynes – The ahar is a basin embanked on three sides they are filled with water by pynes which transport the water from a river. Used mainly for agriculture.
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