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Water

In Punjab, the surface water resources are being fully managed through well-organized canal irrigation system. However, the available surface water resources of the State are fully committed but unable to meet further demand of water in irrigation for agriculture with increasing pressure on ground water resources. The ground water is being exploited exceeding to limit at annual recharge to meet increasing demand of water for diverse purposes i.e. intensive irrigation, drinking, industry, power generation etc.

Due to global warming, the contribution of surface water resources is limited and decreasing. On the other hand the ground water resources in State is facing the dual phenomenon of rising water table (mostly in south-western parts, where water extraction is limited due to brackish/saline quality) and falling water table in north-western, central, southern and south eastern parts of the state, where ground water is generally fresh and fit for irrigation.

The hydro-geological studies reveal that the State has alluvial deposits comprising of sand, silt and clay often mixed with kankar. Sandy zones of varying grade constitute a vast ground water reservoir. The alluvial plain towards the hills is bordered by the piedmont deposits comprising Kandi and Sirowal. Immediately south-west of the hills, Kandi belt is 10 to 15 km wide followed by Sirowal which imperceptibly merges with the alluvial plain. Kandi deposit explored almost down to 450 m bgl show a gradation from boulders to clays, at places an admixture of various grades in different proportions. The Sirowal is essentially composed of finer sediments but occasional gravel beds are also encountered. The saturated sand, gravel or boulder beds constitute the aquifers.

Ground Water Quality

Ground Water Quality in Punjab has huge variation in different zones of the state, The quality of ground water changes from good to poor from North to South/South West. The ground water in South Western district of Punjab namely, Mansa, Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozepur and Faridkot contain varying concentrations of soluble salts and their use for irrigation adversely affects agricultural production. The ground water of the state has been grouped into three categories i.e. good, marginal and poor. This has been based upon the variation in Electrical Conductivity (EC) and Residual Sodium Carbonate (RSC) Values. For good quality of Ground water, RSC shall be below 2.5me/L & EC below 2.00 dS/m (Source: Directorate of Water Resources & Environment, Punjab).

·         Good Quality Ground Water: This category of ground water occupies about 51% of total geographical area of the state. The good quality ground water is present along the flood plains of Sutluj, Beas, Ravi and Ghaggar rivers and also in the vicinity of major canals due to recharge of ground water aquifer with fresh water. Uppar Bari Doab plain and Doab belt has maximum area of good quality water.

·         Marginal Quality Ground Waters: Marginal Quality Ground Waters occupy 37% area of the state. Water under this category is saline, sodic or both. The extent of marginal quality ground waters is highest in the south-western zone.

·         Poor Quality Ground Water: This category occupies nearly 6% area of the state. The continuous use of poor quality water renders the soils unproductive or barren over a period of time. These waters are unsuitable for irrigation due to high EC or high RSC or both. The poor quality waters are present in S-W zone and Satluj-Ghaggar plain.

 District-wise Yearly Rate Of Fall / Rate of Rise of Water Level - June 1984 To June 2017

(Figure in Meters/ Per Year)

Data is Provisional and shall be used for academic purpose only.

Source: https://irrigation.punjab.gov.in as cited on 03 March, 2020

Source: Ground Water Resources of Punjab State, 2017