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Rising sea levels to affect water table along Chennai’s shoreline

Topics Covered:

  1. Topics related to conservation.


Rising sea levels to affect water table along Chennai’s shoreline


What to study?

For Prelims and mains: Relation between rising sea levels and water table- concerns and measures needed to sustain.


Context: According to a recent study, the fragile water table in Chennai’s coastal areas, particularly along East Coast Road, is under threat of severe seawater intrusion due to anticipated rise in sea levels in the next few decades.



  • There is a rise in sea level by 2mm every year based on a report by the Indian Network for Climate Change Assessment under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • The increasing sea level would also force the water table along the coastline to move upwards. But it would slowly replace the freshwater at the bottom of the aquifer.
  • The study has forecast the impact of sea level rise on the coastal aquifer in the coming years, till 2100.
  • Given the rate of increase in sea level, the water table would witness an incursion of sea water to the extent of 2-3mm every year. The volume of fresh water would gradually reduce in the coastal areas due to climate change-induced sea level rise.


Need of the hour:

It is imperative to change the land-use pattern along the shoreline to tackle the impact of climate change. Areas closer to the coast must also adopt water conservation measures to sustain groundwater.

Only minimal groundwater extraction through open wells must be allowed and water pumped in localities along the shoreline must be replenished through rainwater harvesting. Large residential complexes must adopt other measures like permeable pavements.


Sources: the hindu.