New Delhi, India: In the next five years, India is considering spending as much as USD 1 billion to map aquifers, or large underground reservoirs. With the help of this project the Indian government aims to avert a water crisis in the South Asian country, where agriculture accounts for 20 percent of the USD 1.7 trillion economy, according to member of the Planning Commission, India, Mihir Shah.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Shah said, “Now people have begun to feel the pinch. Competitive drilling for water has led to the destruction of our groundwater tables. This has happened because we don’t know what lies below the ground.”
Mapping of aquifers is expected to help India manage cropping patterns and ensure drinking water for its growing population. More than 85 percent India’s villages and half of its cities rely on wells for water.
According to a study by the NASA, India lost 109 cubic kilometers of groundwater because of indiscriminate use during 2002-2008.