Rampant underground water use turns Mawlai water source dry

By Our Reporter

SHILLONG: The sudden drying up of one of the underground water source in Mawlai Mawdatbaki has raised serious questions on the overuse of ground water resources by way of drilling of deep tubes in residential premises by few rich individuals without bothering to take necessary permission from the concerned Government departments.

The water source which has dried up is located at Nongpathaw-Umparmaw in Mawlai Mawdatbaki and functioned as the main source of drinking water for many of the residents of the area.

In fact, this is the first time that the source has dried up which is raising the eyebrows of many of the people residing close to this water source.

Many of the residents were in a state of surprise over the sudden drying up of the water source at Umparmaw even as they anticipated the continued drilling of deep tubes by individuals within their premises as one of the main reasons.

The water source is known as Umparmaw and has been catering to the daily needs of residents residing under Nongpathaw locality especially in the absence of PHE pipe water supply.

The source of water at Umparmaw has been used by residents not only for drinking but for washing clothes as well for the past many years.

A water reservoir was also constructed at the Umparmaw source many years ago for storing the water emerging from underground.

However the amount of water available in the reservoir showed a trend of decreasing over the years and the quality of water has also degraded due to the flowing of dirty water through a drain near the source.

With the State government yet to step in to protect the natural water sources, drilling of deep tubes by various individuals within their residential area is posing a serious threat to the survival of water table, being the foundation of water sources.

In fact, the unplanned and non-scientific development of ground water resources, mostly driven by individual initiatives has led to an increasing stress on the available water resources.

The adverse impacts can be observed in the form of long-term decline of ground water levels and increased energy consumption for lifting water from progressively deeper levels.

It is also believed that the various drinking water project of the PHE where water is being pumped by drilling a deep tube well is also contributing towards the decline in availability of the underground water.

Sources in the water department admitted that drilling of underground water by individuals has become a matter of concern for the government.

“To prevent such practice the government has to put in place measures including implementation of the much-needed water policy which talks about preservation of water sources,” an official in the government said.

When asked if the proposed water policy will ban drilling of deep tube, the official said that the policy will also address the issue seriously.

An official in the Public health engineering (PHE) also admitted that drilling of deep tube wells by individuals without permission from the government poses danger to the existence of underground water.

The official even informed that there were some deep tube wells drilled by the PHE in some parts of Shillong for supplying water to the people were affected after an individual drilled a deep tube well within his compound adjacent to the PHE deep tube well.

The official informed that drilling of deep tube

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