Keywords: land use, land cover, recharge, discharge, groundwater assessment, Pageru River basin, India, drought prone areas, groundwater management, water management
Assessment of groundwater resources using climatic and hydrologic budget methods
The Pageru River basin is situated in drought prone areas of the Rayalaseema region, Andhra Pradesh, South–India. In the absence of perennial surface water bodies, groundwater is an important source of water and has played an important role in developing industry, agricultural and domestic supply. In the present study, the efforts have been made to assess the groundwater resources using both climatic and hydrologic budget methods as quantification of groundwater balance are essential. The study reveals that the amount of recharge to the groundwater system is estimated as 5,434.5 ha.m from all sources viz, direct infiltration of rainfall seepage from water bodies and irrigation returns. The total draft accounts for 4,649.5 ha.m, providing a net groundwater balance of 785 ha.m in the catchment area. The results indicated that the groundwater balance is too little in the study area. These types of studies are more important for implementing groundwater management plans in this basin. Planning for groundwater management by precisely estimating the fluxes are necessary as groundwater balance is small and any changes in the climatic conditions may be disastrous.