Groundwater depletion may reduce winter cropping intensity
Part of: GS Prelims and GS – III – Environment
- Groundwater depletion may reduce winter cropping intensity by 20% in India.
- India is the second-largest producer of wheat in the world, with over 30 million hectares in India dedicated to producing this crop.
- Some of the important winter crops (Rabi crops): wheat, barley, mustard and peas.
- But with severe groundwater depletion, the cropping intensity or the amount of land planted in the winter season may decrease by up to 20% by 2025
- The international team studied India’s three main irrigation types on winter cropped areas: dug wells, tube wells, canals, and also analysed the groundwater data from the Central Ground Water Board.
- They found that 13% of the villages in which farmers plant a winter crop are located in critically water-depleted regions.
- These villages may lose 68% of their cropped area in future if access to all groundwater irrigation is lost.
- The results suggest that these losses will largely occur in northwest and central India.