If this is shocking enough, the cost of the project is also very high and is pegged at Rs 12.5 crore per drilling.

Ktaka minister wants 1-km deep borewell dug for water clueless that it could worsen the problemPTI/ Representation Photo
news Water Shortage Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 09:44

Karnataka is facing its sixth consecutive drought and water rationing has already begun in most parts of the state.

With Minister for Irrigation, MB Patil announcing that the state’s reservoir has water to sustain for less than 60 days, the Karnataka government is scrambling for ideas to look for water.

On Friday, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, HK Patil, announced that in 10 water-scarce areas including Aland, Kolar and Gadag, the government is planning to drill i-km deep borewells to extract uncontaminated water, the New Indian Express reported.

The government has decided to go ahead with this plan after a private company, WaterQuest Hydroresources Management Ltd, presented the idea this year in Delhi at a water conservation meet hosted by the Centre.

The minister is keen on engaging the company to drill underground to tap water veins. “I am personally convinced of it. We want to go ahead with it,” Patil told media persons, while adding that no environmental or impact assessment has been made for this project yet.

What is this grand idea?

WaterQuest’s water specialists will detect the presence and location of naturally desalinated self-recharging water sources typically between the depths of 300 to 800m. The company has promised to identify spots where water would be delivered at a rate of 80,000 to 100,000 litres every hour, the report says.

This technology has not yet been patented but Patil has assured 98% accuracy in finding water. The state government is of the opinion that this is idea will be a huge success.

Chairman of the Centre for Earth Sciences at IISc, Prof D Nagesh Kumar told TNIE that unlike other areas, the Deccan Plateau is made of thick hard rock and water would be able to emerge only from fractures. At 800 metres this would only be available at some locations and such places would have to be identified with geophysical investigations.

The government is planning to drill borewells in precisely those areas with hard rock like Bagalkot, Gadag and Kolar.

If this is shocking enough, the cost of the project is also very high and is pegged at Rs 12.5 crore per drilling.

Speaking to The News Minute, Patil said, “The water table has dried up. Both unconfined and confined aquifers have dried up up to 550m. There is no other option but dig deeper,” he said.

The Minister, however, feels that the project bears no ill effect to the environment.

“Haven't we dug borewells in the past? This one is just a little deeper. How can a few more meters harm us?” he added.

The government would be well advised to consider proven technologies like desalination process as an alternative, when the costs are high, say experts.

Kumar said that digging more borewells will create instability and make the ground susceptible to tremors.

“These damages are irreversible. There can be no assurance of pure water? At 300 to 400m, there is enough arsenic and flouride content which is extremely harmful. The impact is not felt immediately, but only after years and then it will be too late,” he said.

K’taka minister wants 1-km deep borewell dug for water, clueless that it could worsen the problem

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