Dimapur: About 800 million people world-wide will experience absolute water scarcity while two-third of the world’s population would also face severe water crisis by 2025. Besides, 1.1 billion people would be deprived of clean drinking water.

This was made known during a one-day training organised by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) North Eastern Region (NER) under the aegis of National Ground Water Training and Research Institute (NGWTRI) on “water quality issues and ground water stress areas” at the Directorate of Geology and Mining (DGM), Dimapur, on November 28.

Speaking on the occasion, CGWB NER scientist Dr. SS Singh noted that 54% of India faces high to extremely high water stress and 54% of India’s groundwater wells are decreasing. He said India is among 23 nations in the world, where fluoride contaminated ground water is creating health problems.

“Fluoride in drinking water neither produces any taste or odour nor does it produce any colour or turbidity. Therefore it becomes very difficult to establish its presence in water,” Dr. Singh said.

About 203 districts of 20 states in India are affected with fluoride contamination and around 66.62 million people (6 million children below the age of 14) suffer from fluoride related issues, he said. He said that the contents of fluoride in ground water are increasing due to heavy withdrawal of water for agriculture purpose, poor recharging, low rainfalls and pollution from industrial effluents.

CGWB NER covers an area of 2.25 lac sq.km for seven states and the stakeholders are the individuals, groups and organisations that are involved in or may be affected by a change in the conditions governing the management and use of a resource, space or sector.

DGM Joint Director S Manen addressing on “ground water scenario of Dimapur valley and problems” remarked that the overexploitation of groundwater due to rapid urbanisation have led to drying of ring wells during lean period. He said that hand boring wells at an average depth of 120ft are also drying up.

He has advocated artificial recharging of groundwater through rainwater harvesting, awareness campaign on judicious use of groundwater resources and implementation of groundwater regulation act in the state.

The objective of the trainings was to develop a pool of trained resource persons who would be working towards sustainability of ground water resource.

The tier- III training programme is a village / block levels training – cum – awareness programme under the capacity building programme of NGWTRI, CGWB, Ministry of Water Resources, RD& GR, Government of India, to create awareness to the people at grass root level about the aquifer system, water quality and about the co-operative management of the aquifer in an equitable manner by community efforts.

*Original article online at http://www.easternmirrornagaland.com/800-million-people-to-face-water-crisis-by-2025/