Groundwater Level in Punjab

In the past years, there have been a lot of noise about the lowering of water table in Punjab and the articles about Punjab turning into a desert are common in daily newspapers.
In this article, I will share the details of ground water level in Punjab during the year 2020 and a comparison with the decade old data i.e. for the year 2010. There is no doubt that the level of ground water in Punjab is decreasing very quickly and it is considered critical in many blocks. But in my view, Punjab will never become a desert due to lowering of water table in the state. The rainfall in the state and water available through rivers/canals may not be enough for growing of paddy crop, but it is more than sufficient to stop the state of Punjab from turning into a desert. You, the one reading this article today, will not see the state becoming a desert at least during your lifetime.
The major reason of depletion of water level is the cultivation of paddy crop which requires huge amount of water and is grown in the peak summer season when the temperature in Punjab is very high and hence the rate of evaporation of water is also high. On this page, we will share the minimum water level (maximum depth) in each district recorded during the pre-monsoon season in 2020. The pre-monsoon readings are recorded in the month of June and the post-monsoon water level is measured in the month of October. The details given on this page are according to the data released by Agriculture department of Punjab govt.

Water Level in Punjab

The district wise details of pre-monsoon and post-monsoon minimum water level in Punjab (or say maximum depth of water level) in 2020 is given in the following table.
The decade old data for the year 2010 is also given, which will enable you to clearly see the problem of lowering of water table in Punjab. According to this data, the water level is very low in Patiala, Mohali, Barnala and Sangrur districts. The level of water is high in Muktsar, Faridkot and Fazilka districts and many parts of these districts face the problem of water logging. But the water in many parts of these districts in not suitable for human consumption or irrigation due to high level of salinity.
Water Level in Punjab
District of PunjabWater Level in Punjab in Feet
Y 2010 (Pre Monsoon)Y 2020 (Pre Monsoon)Y 2020 (Post Monsoon)
Tarn Taran608989
Nawan Shahr11475158
Fatehgarh Sahib107127123

One will expect that the water level will increase after the heavy rains of the monsoon season. When you analyze the above details, you will find that the post-monsoon water level increases in some of the districts. But in many districts of the state, the level of water actually decreases instead of increasing after the monsoon season. This behaviour can be attributed to the fact that maximum consumption of groundwater is also during the same period from June to September due to the sowing of paddy crop.