Twenty second report on groundwater: a valuable but diminishing resource

A parliamentary standing committee has recommended restricting free electricity to the farmers to curtail the misuse of groundwater. Over exploitation of groundwater for irrigation has become a major challenge in Punjab and Haryana. The annual groundwater consumption in Punjab and Haryana is more than the annual extractable groundwater resources. Against the national average of 61.6 %, the overall groundwater extraction in Punjab and Haryana stands at 64.42% and 134.56%, respectively. Of 33.85 billion cubic meter (BCM) groundwater extracted annually in Punjab, 32.80 BCM (97%) is for irrigation purposes, while in Haryana 10.47 BCM (90%), out of 11.61 BCM of groundwater extraction is done for irrigation. The standing committee on water resources under the Jal Shakti ministry submitted the second report on 'Groundwater: A Valuable but Diminishing Resource' in Lok Sabha on March 20, 2023. Punjab and Haryana are among the few states that offer free power to the farmers. Some of the states collect token charges.