Groundwater is a precious resource for Pune
A few lakh households in Pune depend on groundwater. Municipal supply is inadequate in many areas. Several properties have bore wells while others have to depend on tankers, which are also filled at bore wells.
We need to manage Pune’s groundwater!
For several thousand people in the city, the management of the bore well is a year-round task. They have direct interactions with their society bore well – coaxing it to yield water, managing the pump, setting up timers for periodic pumping, cleaning the bore hole, and generally spending at least a few hours every month discussing the situation of groundwater, the depth of the neighbours’ bore wells, and the health of their own bore well. And the fact is that there are more and more bore wells, and people’s experience shows that the water levels seem to be dropping year after year.
Sound groundwater management
Some societies harvest rain water and have been successfully recharging aquifers.
Some others have not been successful in getting any water out of the ground or in recharge, as they may be in a zone with hard rock, or compact basalt, which does not bear any water. Yet others find that their attempt at recharge has resulted in ground water coming up to the ground level and flooding a basement or ground floor.
Mapping the rock structure, aquifers, recharge and discharge points can help us in scientific groundwater management and make it more effective.
Click here to see a preliminary map rendering showing different views of the Ramnadi watershed, superimposed over a map of Pune.
Some of this work has already been done by Geological Survey of India, Groundwater Survey and Development Agency, ACWADAM and others.
The experience of and knowledge of various individuals, societies, bungalows as regards the functioning of bore wells and recharge units can help in improving the information base. A participatory study of Pune’s Groundwater is currently underway.
Links between humans and groundwater
This diagram attempts to show the different types of interactions we have with groundwater.