The Atal Bhujal Yojana, Meant to Address Groundwater Depletion, is Missing a Key Part of Water Flows

Published in Mongabay

Oct 20, 2023

The water budgeting process carried out as part of Atal Bhujal Yojana by the gram panchayat of Karnataka’s Nonavinakere village, failed to account for imported surface water that flows into the region through canals.

On the last day of August 2023, the Indian Meteorological Department announced that it was the driest and hottest August since 1901. The country received 36% less rainfall than normal, prompting concerns that water levels in reservoirs and aquifers will remain low and result in severe water scarcity.

However, even before this record-breaking month, India was not water-secure. Depleting groundwater reserves has been a very real threat for a long time now. The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) estimates that groundwater in about a third of India’s blocks (an administrative unit within districts) is overexploited or critical or semi-critical. This means the rate at which water is extracted exceeds the limit or is close to the rate at which it is replenished.



Veena Srinivasan and Partik Kumar for Mongabay India, as part of its series ‘The India Water Story’.

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