VADODARA: If rainwater is not harvested properly, Vadodara is heading towards a serious drinking water problem.
The quality of groundwater in the city is fast deteriorating, a recent study by the Gujarat Ecological Society (GES) has revealed. The total dissolved solids, salinity and fluoride content in the city’s water table is steadily increasing, the study shows.
According to experts, the lack of rejuvenating systems for the water tables and deepening borewells across the city are the major reasons behind the deteriorating quality.
Gujarat Ecological Society (GES) had studied 141 samples of groundwater from across the city.
Most of the areas in the city recorded fluoride content well over the desired level of 1 milligram per liter.
“In the city 80 to 100 per cent of drinking water demand is met through ground water, leading to unsustainable development of ground water. With increasing high rise buildings dependence on ground water has increased. A large part of the city is settled on pockets of saline water,” said GES acting director Deepa Gavali.
Fluoride content and salinity are naturally found in groundwater through sediments of marine origin. The increase in their quantity is the direct consequence of the fact that people are digging deeper to find water resources, experts said.
Borewells in the city have gone as deep as 450 feet in few areas with an average depth of 150 to 200 feet across the urban area.
“Rejuvenating groundwater is required to keep the source alive and potable. Concrete carpeting and no major inclination towards rainwater harvesting might leave the city thirsty if steps are not taken. We are taking away at a rate much higher than the nature can sustain,” she added.
“The quantity and quality of groundwater are a cause and effect cycle. We are going deeper into the earth for water. Deep down there is a saline base because of the sea coast, once the saline water from there seeps in our ground water it would be hard to reverse the process,” said a senior official from the Vadodara regional office of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB).