Groundwater is one of the most important freshwater resources in the country that caters for more than 63% irrigation water and more than 80% of rural & urban water supplies. The dependency on groundwater for irrigation water needs has increased many folds since the green revolution. This has lead to situation wherein the groundwater withdrawal is more than natural recharge resulting declining in groundwater level, desaturation of shallow aquifers, increased energy consumption for lifting water from progressively deeper levels, quality deterioration, issues like reduction in groundwater flow to rivers, contamination and no flow in rivers. These scenarios not only have adverse devastating effects on the environment but have also lead to subdued economic growth of the country. This has necessitated for a paradigm shift from “groundwater development” to “groundwater management”. National Aquifer Mapping and Management program (NAQUIM) was taken up in different hydrogeological settings to bring out an accurate and comprehensive picture of groundwater conditions through aquifer maps. The robust groundwater management plans at the appropriate scale to be devised and implemented for this common-pool resource. This will help in providing sustainability in water resources. The aquifer mapping program is important for planning suitable adaptation strategies to meet climate change also. Thus the crux of NAQUIM is delineation and characterization of aquifers in two and three dimensions, Identification & manifestation of issues and devising suitable management plans to ensure sustainability of ground water resources.
The primary objective of the Aquifer Mapping Exercise can be summed up as “Know your Aquifer - Manage your Aquifer”. Demystification of Science and thereby involvement of stake holders is the essence of the entire project. The involvement and participation of the community will infuse a sense of ownership amongst the stakeholders. This is an activity where the Government and the Community work in tandem. Greater the harmony between the two, greater will be the chances of successful implementation and achievement of the goals of the Project. The aquifer mapping helps us to integrate ground water availability with ground water accessibility, management and quality aspects.