Problem of Desertification

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Recently, two separate studies have revealed the Problem of Desertification and possibility of desertification of Punjab within 25 years.

The Punjab Legislative Assembly had constituted a committee to study the reduction in water level. This committee has recently said that the state will turn into a desert in the next 25 years if the current trend of drainage from underground aquifers continues.

Two decades ago the Washington-based World Watch Institute published a report titled “The State of the World Report, 1998”. According to this report, the aquifers of Punjab may be exhausted by the year 2025.

Key findings of the report – Problem of Desertification

  • The rate of drainage in Punjab is 1.86 times as compared to the rate of recharge. As a result, the water level is falling rapidly.
  • In 109 blocks (out of 138) of Punjab, the groundwater withdrawal rate has already exceeded 100%.
  • About 80% of the blocks in the state have already dried up, and 45 are on the verge of drying up. The main reason responsible for over-exploitation of water is adoption of faulty cropping method.
  • Paddy crop was produced on a large scale during the Green Revolution. This has resulted in the formation of a thick hard layer on agricultural lands. Due to this the process of recharge of water gets obstructed and rain water gets wasted in the form of evaporation.
  • Paddy crop requires a lot of water. For example, to grow one kg of rice, at least 4,000 liters of water is required.

Source – The Hindu

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