Groundwater depletion in Punjab: Time for a major policy overhaul
The time for quick fixes is over; a comprehensive policy overhaul is urgently needed to impede the juggernaut of Punjab’s groundwater depletion.
Punjab, a small state in northwest India, derives its name from the Persian words panj (five) and āb (water), meaning the “land of five rivers”. Ironically, this state is now regularly in the news for its rapidly depleting groundwater levels. The most recent government reporton Punjab’s groundwater resources notes that groundwater extraction has increased from 149% (of naturally available recharge) in 2013 to 165% in 2018, and the state has maximum percentage of wells showing groundwater depletion among all states in India.