Groundwater level plummets in Visakhapatnam district

Scanty rainfall during the last two months and overexploitation have led to fall in groundwater levels, particularly in the areas in and around the city. Though there appears to be not much of a deviation in the overall rainfall — against a normal of 350 mm for June and July, the actual was 337 mm with a deviation of 4 % — the spread is not even. Only five mandals in the district have received excess rainfall, 22 normal and 16 suffered a deficit.

The urban mandals of Visakhapatnam Urban and Rural, Gajuwaka, Peda Gantyada and Pendurti have suffered a deficit rainfall of 35 %, according to Deputy Director of the Groundwater Department K.S. Sastry.

As a result, the average fall in groundwater table is estimated to be around 83 cm.

The average groundwater level of 8.34 metres in the district on Monday is 0.55 m less than the average level in August 2017. This, however, does not hold good when actual levels in parts of the city and the expanding suburbs are observed.

Piezometer readings

Of the 15 piezometer readings of the Groundwater Department in the city and the suburbs on Monday, only three show higher levels than in the corresponding period last year and the rest are in the negative with a few recording a steep fall.

At Vellanki, Gollalapalem and City Central Park, there has been an increase of 1.117 m, 0.57 m and 0.61 m.

The others at Bhimunipatnam, Kanithi Colony, BHPV, the Steel Plant, Pendurti, Narava, Sabbavaram, Gopalapatnam, Sivajipalem and Tatichetlapalem however recorded a fall.

Of them, Gopalapatnam recorded a steep decline of 8.006 m, Pendurthi 2.513 m and Narava 1.307 m.

“In July, the water table rose to 7.18 m but subsequently it fell owing to prolonged dry spell,” said Mr. Sastry when contacted.

Groundwater levels will never be steady but keep changing depending upon utilisation and recharge, he says.

It’s a double impact of needing more supply owing to lack of rain and consequently more utilisation leading to overexploitation and lack of recharge leading to fall in water table, he explains.

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