spread over 22,000 square kilometres, is a chronically poor area with an estimated population of 1.2 million people. Of these, 95 per cent live in around 2,000 villages. Water shortage is a major problem of the area as the limited groundwater is pretty much the only source of water for the people of the district. The groundwater that people here consume is saline to brackish, and has a high concentration of various salts and minerals, which are dangerous for human, as well as livestock health.
Generally, the total soluble salts of the groundwater in Thar Desert range between 636 parts per million (ppm) to 9,543 ppm. The water level varies between eight and 61 metres below the ground surface. The pH is reported to range between 7.1 and 8.6.
In Tharparkar, dug-wells have been found to be the only sustainable source of groundwater. The practice of installing tube wells, hand pumps and wind mills have also been introduced but such schemes have not proved to be entirely successful. Most such schemes are not functional due to social, economic, technical and other reasons.