S based the American Geophysical Union (AGU) a non-profit organization has taken notice of falling water table in Punjab. It is very vital that the issue has been taken up the world body which has 62,000 members from 144 countries and it deals with the issues related to Earth, atmospheric, ocean, hydrologic, space and planetary scientists.
On July 30, 2020 it published a detailed story ‘India’s food bowl heads toward desertification’ on its website Eos.org, in which it elucidated the issue quoting the experts, facts, figures, and studies. It has been widely reported in the past that average fall in water table of sub soil water in Punjab is 51 centimeters annually, the article in eos.org reported that the trend of fall has speeded and average fall in some areas of state have touched 60 centimeters.
National Institute of Hydrology in Roorkee is making a report on the underground water fall and have raised the alert that a new trend of fast pace of fall needs to be pondered. The Punjab government has also engaged Israel’s water company Mekorot to study the loss and suggest a way out.
To arrest all of sub soil water levels and conserve subsoil waters, the Punjab government has constituted a state level Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA) to solve state’s water crisis. PWRDA is seen as a step to intensify the efforts by state government to solve the depleting groundwater problem as well as optimum utilization of the irrigation potential created in the state and fixing priorities for use of canal water for different purposes.
The story has referred to all these issues and has also quoted experts like Sardara Singh Johl, Gopal Krishan a hydrology and soil scientist at India’s National Institute of hydrology Roorkee and Punjab’s state hydrogeologist Rajesh Vashisht. All are in unanimity that crisis emerging is alarming.
Located on Florida Avenue in Washington, DC, AGU’s activities are focused on the organization and dissemination of scientific information in the interdisciplinary and international fields within the Earth and space sciences. The geophysical sciences involve four fundamental areas: atmospheric and ocean sciences; solid-Earth sciences; hydrologic sciences; and space sciences.
The story reported that state agriculture is consuming 166% groundwater for irrigation. And it would be a desert here if we continue to exploit our only natural resource,” said agricultural economist Sardara Singh Johl, currently the chancellor of the Central University of Punjab in Bathinda.
When he was the chancellor of Punjabi University in the mid-1980s, Johl (now 93) sounded an alarm in a report submitted to the government, asking farmers and the government to stop the depletion of groundwater by diversifying crops and halting rice production. “No one listened,” told eos.org.
story published by American Geophysical union on eos.org :