PunjAab without Aab

India’s State of Punjab is en route to a serious water shortage if current usage trends continue. According to a 2006 study by Karam Singh, aquifer water levels have fallen by approximately 10 meters since 1973, a trend which continues at an average rate of about 0.2-0.5m per year. While groundwater exploitation is a pr...oblem for the entire state, Central Punjab is the most affected, with virtually all districts classified either critical or over exploited by the national government (CGWB, 2009). Over the last two decades there has been a dramatic increase in areas where mining of water is resulting in depleted resources: in 1985 less than 5% of wells were unsustainable, but by 2005 that number had increased to over 60%. If these trends of aquifer depletion continue, it is estimated that Punjab’s groundwater will be entirely exhausted in 15 to 20 years.

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