The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta today chaired a meeting to discuss the findings of the report on Dynamic Ground Water Resources Estimation of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Commissioner Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department, Commissioner Secretary, Jal Shakti Department, Regional Director, J&K Ground Water Board, Chief Engineers, Jal Shakti Department, Kashmir and Jammu, and all Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir participated in the meeting.As per the report, all the districts in Jammu and Kashmir are categorized under the ‘Safe’ category with less than 70% of groundwater extraction. The report recommends judicious use of underground water through suitable scientific interventions for optimal agricultural and domestic use of available water, besides recommending a review of subsidized electricity policy to farmers, suitable water pricing policy, and crop rotation for judicious cultivation of water extensive-non-extensive crops.
The study which computed the total groundwater availability in Jammu and Kashmir assessed the health of groundwater by studying the water recharge from rainfall, canals, surface water irrigation, tanks, ponds, water conservation structures, and subsurface inflow from hydraulically connected streams, as well as the gross groundwater extraction and water loss due to evaporation and transpiration.Regarding the quality of the underground water across Jammu and Kashmir, the Chief Secretary was informed that Ground Water aquifers are safe for use. The Chief Secretary directed testing of water from these resources on 16 defined parameters along with checking the presence of heavy metals as per defined protocol.Dr. Mehta entrusted the Jal Shakti Department task of preventing depletion of identified groundwater resources in Jammu and Kashmir.The Jal Shakti Department was also asked to undertake extensive IEC activities through the newly engaged ISAs and promote water conservation efforts through enhanced public participation in Jal Jeevan Mission which aims at providing functional tap water connection to every household.