IWA Publishing

Study of water-table behaviour for the Indian Punjab using GIS

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The state of Punjab (India) has witnessed a spectacular increase in agricultural production in the last few decades. This has been possible due to high use of fertilizers, good quality seeds and increased use of water resources. This increased demand of water resources has resulted in extensive use of groundwater in the central districts of the state and surface water (canals) in South-West Punjab, where groundwater is of poor quality in general. The state has been facing the twin problem of water table decline/rise in different parts. Efficient management relies on comprehensive database and regular monitoring of the resources. GIS is one of the important tools for integrating and analyzing spatial information from different sources or disciplines. It helps to integrate, analyze and represent spatial information and database of any resource, which could be easily used for planning of resource development, environmental protection and scientific researches and investigations. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been used for a variety of groundwater studies. Groundwater level change maps are useful in determining areas of greatest changes in storage in the regional systems. In this study, an attempt has been made to assess the long term groundwater behaviour of the state using GIS to visually and spatially analyze water level data obtained from the state and central agencies. The data was analysed for 0–3 m, 3–10 m, 10–20 m and beyond 20 m. The study revealed that per cent area with water table depth > 10 m was 20% in 1998 and has increased to 58% by 2006 which is critical limit for shifting from centrifugal pump to submersible pump.

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