Groundwater Resources of India: Potential, Challenges and Management

  • Dipankar SahaEmail author
  • Ranjan K. Ray


Recent research has revealed that two-thirds of the world’s population currently lives in areas that experience water scarcity for at least 1 month a year. Noteworthy is that about 50% of the people facing this level of water scarcity live in China and India (UN-Water 2017). Though India receives a copious annual precipitation of around 4000 × 109 m3, only around one fourth (1123 × 109 m3) of it is utilizable. A country is considered to be under regular water stress when the renewable water supplies drop below 1700 m3 per capita per year and it faces chronic water scarcity when the water supplies drop below 1000 m3 per capita per year (Falkenmark and Widstrand 1992). The per capita average water availability in India in the year 2001 was 1816 m3 which is likely to reduce to 1140 m3 in 2050 (MoWR 2015). In the recent past, major share of the increased demand for water has been met from aquifers and groundwater has steadily emerged as the backbone of India’s agriculture and drinking water security (Vijay Shankar et al. 2011). Today, contribution of groundwater is ~62% in irrigation, ~85% in rural water supply and ~45% in urban water consumption. High dependence on groundwater resources has led to stressed conditions in various parts of the country. This calls for holistic understanding of the aquifer systems and management of this precious natural resource in a sustainable manner.


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Copyright information

© Capital Publishing Company, New Delhi, India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Central Ground Water BoardFaridabadIndia

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