United Nations University — Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) issued a warning. According to the ‘Interconnected Disaster Risks Report 2023, 27 out of the world’s 31 major aquifers are experiencing depletion at a rate that exceeds their natural replenishment rate.
The report raises severe concerns for a state like Punjab where according to the reports ‘78% of wells are more exhausted than their natural replenishment rate resulting in severe water scarcity by 2025 in the northern Western belt of India.
El Nina is predicted to have a severe impact on agriculture in the southern countries causing a disturbance in precipitation, and seasonal conditions .
Groundwater is a vital natural resource, providing drinking water to billions of people and supporting agriculture and industry. It’s stored beneath the Earth’s surface in aquifers, acting as a buffer against droughts and ensuring water availability.
However, over-exploitation and mismanagement have led to the depletion of groundwater resources worldwide. Excessive pumping for agriculture, urbanization, and industrial use has caused water tables to drop significantly. This depletion has severe consequences, including land subsidence, saltwater intrusion, and the drying up of wells.
The depletion of groundwater also threatens ecosystems, as it can reduce the flow of water into surface water bodies like rivers and lakes, impacting aquatic life. Moreover, it increases vulnerability to water scarcity in regions heavily reliant on groundwater.
Addressing this issue necessitates sustainable water management practices, such as regulating extraction, promoting water-efficient technologies, and enhancing public awareness. It’s crucial to recognize that sustainable groundwater use is vital for current and future generations, ensuring the continued availability of this precious resource