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National Aquifer Mapping and Management program (NAQUIM)

National Aquifer Mapping and Management program (NAQUIM)

Why in news?

  • The National Aquifer Mapping and Management program (NAQUIM) is being implemented by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).
  • NAQUIM envisages mapping of aquifers (water bearing formations), their characterization and development of Aquifer Management Plans to facilitate sustainable management of groundwater resources.


  • It was initiated as a part of the Ground Water Management and Regulation scheme to delineate and characterize the aquifers to develop plans for ground water management.
  • The NAQUIM is an initiative of the Ministry of Jal Shakti
  • It is being implemented by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)
  • Aims:
    • To identify and map aquifers at the micro level
    • To quantify the available groundwater resources
    • To propose plans appropriate to the scale of demand and aquifer characteristics
    • Institutional arrangements for participatory management.
  • Out of the total mappable area of nearly 25 lakh sq km, so far aquifer maps and management plans have been prepared for an area of nearly 11.24 lakh sq km spread over various parts of the country.

Central Ground Water Board 

  • It is a subordinate office of the Ministry of Water Resources
  • It is the National Apex Agency entrusted with the responsibilities of providing scientific inputs for management, exploration, monitoring, assessment, augmentation and regulation of groundwater resources of the country.
  • It was established in 1970 by renaming the Exploratory Tubewells Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture
  • It was later merged with the Groundwater Wing of the Geological Survey of India during 1972.

Status Of Groundwater In India

  • India is the largest user of groundwater in the world, extracting groundwater to the tune of 253 billion cubic meter (bcm) per year.
  • It is about 25% of the global groundwater extraction.
  • Out of the total of 6584 assessment units, 1034 have been categorized as ‘Over-exploited’, 253 as ‘Critical’, 681 as ‘Semi-Critical’ and 4520 as ‘Safe’.
  • The remaining 96 assessment units have been classified as ‘Saline’ due to non-availability of fresh groundwater due to salinity problems. National Aquifer Mapping and Management program (NAQUIM)


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