Author(s): Rajeev Jaiswal, Saumitra Mukherjee, Krishnamurthy Jagannathan, R Saxena
The explosive growth and uneven distribution of population, poor irrigation practices, rapid urbanization/industrialization, large-scale deforestation and improper land use practices have induced the depletion and pollution of both the surface and groundwater resources in India. In addition, recurrent drought further aggravates the problem of water even for drinking, especially in rural areas. In order to ensure 'Health for All', the Government of India has launched many programmes to provide potable drinking water to every settlement in the country within the next five years. In order to accomplish these tasks, the systematic planning of groundwater exploitation using modern technologies is essential for the proper utilization of this precious natural resource. On this basis, we extracted information on lithology, geological structures, landforms, land use/land cover from remotely sensed data and drainage networks, soil characteristics and slope of the terrain using conventional methods and then integrated in a Geographical Information System (GIS) environment to depict village-wise groundwater prospect zones. Thus, a GIS-based model which takes account of local condition/variations has been developed specifically for mapping groundwater prospects. A pilot study was carried out for the Gorna sub-basin, a part of the Son watershed, Madhya Pradesh, India. Information from this study could be used for effective identification of suitable locations for extraction of potable water for rural populations.