Excessive groundwater extraction affects not just the quantity but also the quality of water. Water collected from deeper underground is more likely to be contaminated with harmful chemicals such as arsenic and fluoride. Data from the National Rural Drinking Water Programme reveals that around 3.5 percent of habitations are affected by contaminated water, but states such as Punjab (21.5 percent of habitations) and Rajasthan (14.3 percent), with more depleted groundwater, are affected more.

*Original article online at https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/the-roots-of-indias-deepening-rural-water-crisis-4258521.html