Study Finds Significant Groundwater Depletion In Northern India Amid Climate Change
A new study reveals that approximately 450 cubic kilometers of groundwater were depleted in northern India between 2002 and 2021, with climate change expected to further accelerate this depletion in the future.
Lead author Vimal Mishra, professor of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences at IIT Gandhinagar, highlighted that this loss is about 37 times the capacity of the Indira Sagar dam, India's largest reservoir, at full capacity.
Researchers used on-site observations, satellite data, and models to discover that monsoon rainfall across north India decreased by 8.5% from 1951 to 2021.
During the unusually warm winter of 2022, researchers noted that higher temperatures led to drier soils, necessitating increased irrigation. It marked India's fifth warmest winter since the IMD began keeping records in 1901.
The dual impact of increased irrigation needs and declining groundwater replenishment could further stress an already rapidly depleting resource, the lead author added.
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