Nearly 87% of Telangana can now tap groundwater at a shallower depth. This dramatic transformation has happened in the last decade, according to data from the Telangana Ground Water Department. While 11027 square kilometres of area had groundwater table below 20 metres in 2012, now only 1,398 sq km has water deeper than 20 m bgl. A 30% excess rainfall in 2021 and the spread of reservoirs and lakes have contributed to the improvement of the water table, said an official from the groundwater department.
Just in one year, between May 2021 and May 2022, there was an average of .18 m rise in ground water table.
The water table measurement in May, before the outbreak of monsoon, is the best indicator of the health of aquifers in the state. The average groundwater level in the State during May-2022 is now 9.01 m bgl and it ranges from 5.17 m bgl in Wanaparthy district to 15.52 m bgl in Medak.
The Groundwater Department uses 1303 monitoring stations to chart the data which can help planners. Interestingly, the districts which saw the sharpest rise in groundwater table are those that are part of the new irrigation projects in the State. Nizamabad saw a 2.39 m bgl rise in the water table while Bhupalpally saw a 2.33 m bgl rise. Nirmal, Yadadri and Sangareddy also saw a significant rise in the water table.
Out of 594 mandals in the State, rise in the range of 0.02-38.38 m was logged in 493 (83%) mandals and a decline in the range 0.04-14.77 m in 101 (17%) mandals during May 2022 as compared to May 2012.
The National Hydrological Drought Information System also shows the Standardised Runoff Index in Telangana way above the mean in comparison to the years when it hovered below the mean showing risk of drought in the State.