Fluoride Action Network

Jammu and Kashmir: High iron, fluoride contents found in JK ground reserves

Source: GreaterKashmir.com | July 17th, 2011 | By Sumit Hakhoo
Location: India

Jammu, July 16: The much-awaited water mapping survey conducted to find new sources of ground water in Jammu and Kashmir by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has send alarm bells ringing among the planners with the report terming most of the ground water reserves in the state as unsuitable for human consumption.

Sources said that the remote sensing technology survey that cost the state Rs 2.50 crore found high level of iron or fluoride contents in the water beneath – the presence of which make it unsafe for drinking.

The report says that many of the newly found underground water channels have been found at inaccessible locations, which need sophisticated technology to extract, beyond the range of equipments what the engineers are using in the country at the moment.

The report was recently submitted to the government by the space scientists.

“The situation is more alarming in Kashmir valley as despite having abundance of glacier fed streams, which also recharge the under ground channels, high level of iron has been found at most of the places.”

“Similarly in Jammu region the survey has either shown very poor quality of hydro reserves or its total absence, which in turn has thrown a tough challenge for the planners, as how to cope up with the increasing demand of potable water in the coming decades.”

Official sources said that in places like Lolab and Kupwara, hit by the acute water scarcity, high mineral content has been found in newly found underground sources, which has cast its shadow over the plan to exploit these on massive scale.

Likewise in Jammu region, the ground water in Rajouri, Poonch, Doda, Kandi belt and southern districts is trapped at the places where it is very difficult to extract it at the moment.

Officials said that the survey has thrown open the fact that the people will continue to face drinking water shortage for decades to come, with more reliance on the surface water resources, already facing huge pressure in the backdrop of rising pollution and over exploitation.

It is pertinent to mention here that facing the threat of water scarcity due to global warming and other reasons, for the first time in six decades, the state government had decided to map its resources with the help of remote sensing satellite technology.

“We are ourselves quite surprised by the findings as we were looking forward to exploit the ground water to meet our future requirements. It has been found that most of it is not suitable for humans or is trapped in inaccessible areas”, said Minister for PHE Taj-Mohi-Ud-Din.

He claimed that the engineers are studying the findings minutely so to frame Water Security Plan for each district to meet the challenges of future requirements- the move which has now become inevitable.

Pertinently, Jammu & Kashmir is endowed with thousands of glacier fed rivers and streams, but in recent years due to the affect of global warming and ruthless exploitation of the water bodies, most of these are receding. State has so far used only 16 per cent of the available ground water and the Government wanted to conduct a comprehensive study of its resources, but the survey had thrown new challenges for it.