(News) Parched Bundelkhand is flooded with hope

Parched Bundelkhand is flooded with hope
A UNIQUE groundwater recharge scenario has surfaced in Bundelkhand. Till the first week of June, the region was in the grip of a drought that had lasted five years.

It was impossible to find water even at the depth of 125ft. But 15 days of rainfall between June 12 and 30 has flooded Bundelkhand with hope.

The region experienced over 300 per cent of excess rainfall for the month. Today, hand pumps in the seven Bundelkhand districts - Lalitpur, Jhansi, Jalaun, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Banda and Chitrakoot - throw up water with the first push at the hand-lever.

In some places water even touches the mouths of the wells. How did this happen and why similar amount of rainfall in the Uttar Pradesh plains could not recharge ground water so swiftly? "The land was too parched.

So, it absorbed water very fast," explained Sharad Karkare, an engineer with the Jal Nigam in Mahoba. It was in Mahoba that the Jal Nigam had tried making 'blast wells' to tide over the water crisis.

Blast wells are tube wells where explosives are detonated to fracture hard rocks to get to the water below. But parched land is not the only reason for such fast recharge.

There are two more factors behind the water table's steep climb in Bundelkhand. One is the nature of the soil in the region, says M.K. Srivastava, a hydrologist at the ground water department in Jhansi.

The pore space is very large because the soil has larger grain size than the type in the UP plains. It absorbs water very fast and makes it travel down fast.

Baba Ram, a geo-physist at the same department, explains the second factor. "Aquifer in the Bundelkhand region is not continuous unlike the plains.

Here, rocks separate aquifers." An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt or clay) from which groundwater can be extracted.

The 15-day downpour coupled with the geological factors of the region recharged the underground water quickly.

Courtesy: Yahoo India News