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Ground Water -an Invaluable Resource - Upper Godavari Basin

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Prajakta Baste (Nashik, India)

Dr. Prajakta Baste
N. D. M. V. P. College of Architecture, Udoji Maratha Boarding Campus,
Off Gangapur Road, Nashik-422013, India.
Contact No: +919422774038, 912532576107, 912532570822
Email -

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 10: Management of water resources,


Ground water is an important form of water in the hydrologic cycle. This form of water needs attention from mankind and awareness in terms of harnessing, conservation, and usage. India has an Agro based Economy. Agriculture in India is mainly (74%) dependant on Ground water. The resource of Ground water indirectly determines the Economy, especially of the Hot and Dry regions of India and governs the living standard and condition of the people. The major concern today is the declining water levels and exploitation of ground water that needs to be arrested. The National Water Policy 2012 emphasizes on scientific study of Ground water.

The aim of the study is to understand the relation between the Ground water and the Human settlements. The objective is to redefine the relationship with Ground water for subsistence through appropriate measures in the rural areas.

Due to the growing pressure of the increasing population and its food demand, it is necessary that the activity of agriculture is strengthened. The rural population also needs to support this occupation for earning a basic livelihood. An irratic rainfall condition increases the dependence on the ground water in the rural areas for the basic purpose of drinking and Agriculture. Hence the management of Ground water is important and needs to be redefined

Approach and Analysis

The study is based on the Region of Upper Godavari Basin located in the state of Maharashtra,district -Nashik. The study Region is The study begins with the understanding of climatic conditions w.r.t temperature, rainfall and humidity of the region along with the topography and the soil conditions of the Region.

The Geology of the Deccan Trap formations in the study Region, the characteristic of the basalt formations and their behaviour w.r.t the Ground water is studied. A detail study of local variations within the basalt rocks and whether these local variations influence the resource of Ground water is done.

The availability of water in the region from the annual precipitation and the surface water availability from the development of dams, tanks, etc in the Region are studied. The dependence on Groundwater for drinking and agriculture is studied.

A village settlement is considered as the basic unit to understand the relationship of ground water and the human usage in today's context. Two village settlements having population 1500 to 2000 in the Upper Godavari Basin in different watersheds are identified. The study of cropping pattern in the selected villages is done. The vegetation cover in the form of forest, grassland, pastures etc which plays a critical role in harnessing the rainfall for Ground water is studied.

The main source for the Ground water is the wells, through which the water is extracted by mechanical means. Observation wells in each of the settlements are selected for observing the ground water availability in different season's i.e pre-monsoon and post monsoon. The water levels are observed for three years - 2010, 2011 and 2012. Sections of 30 wells are documented for analysis of the geologic composition and the influence on ground water. Depletion of ground water table is observed in the study region and the selected settlements.

It is learned from the historic references that the association of people with the resource of water in all respects was a strong and deep rooted in their lives. Hence whether this relationship exists today or not is understood.

Results and Discussion

Agriculture is mainly dependant on the Ground-water. The measures for harnessing rainfall and recharging the ground water are very poor in the villages and in general within the study Region. A change in the cropping pattern has brought a change in the usage of water over a period of 30 years. Inadequate knowledge of improved watering mechanisms and the changing cropping pattern has also resulted in the inappropriate use of ground water. Possibility of developing surface water storage projects in future is less in the study region. Hence it is the need of the day that a scientific understanding of the Ground water as a resource is developed and practiced.

It is observed that the generic study of characteristic of the basaltic formations at a Regional level (as is practiced till today) is not adequate to redefine the management of Groundwater. The Basaltic formations differ in their compositions within single watershed. The behaviour of the Ground water is a complex relation between the parameters such as the topography, soil cover and vegetation cover. The permutations and the combinations of these parameters vary within a watershed and affect the Ground water.

A guideline w.r.t the recharge methods, cropping pattern and the landuse is proposed for effective management of this invaluable form of water. The economy of the settlement improves because of the management of Ground water.


*Ground water contributes majorly for the activity of Agriculture to fulfill the objective of subsistence at the local level and the food security at the National level.

*The 'Geology' is the critical parameter for determining the availability of ground water in the Upper Godavari Basin.

*A scientific and a 'coordinated' application of measures w.r.t the soil conservation, vegetation cover, cropping pattern and the watering systems help in management the Ground water.

*A single village or a group of villages having similar geologic composition is a suitable unit for the management of Groundwater in the study region.

*It is inferred that the area under irrigation increases by 15 % to 30% with the proposed measures.

*People's participation is a must for the implementation of measures and for effective management of this invisible resource. 1.Central Ground Water Board. Manual on Artificial Recharge of Ground water. New Delhi: Ministry of water Resource, September 2007.
2.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations --FAO. New Dimensions in Water Security-Water, society and ecosystem services in the 21st century. Rome: Land and Water Development Division, 2000.AGL/MISC/25/2000.
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5.Government of India Planning Commission. Ground Water Management and Ownership. New Delhi: September. 2007.
6.Krishi Vigyan Kendra. Kadvanchi water shed project. Jalna: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, 2006.
7.National Rainfed Area Authority. Monitoring and Evaluation of Artificial Recharge of Ground Water Programmes/Schemes/Projects in the Rainfed Regions of Maharashtra. New Delhi: National Rainfed Area Authority, November 2011.
8.Nashik Regional Planning Board, Town Planning and Valuation Department, Nashik Regional Development Plan. Nashik: Town Planning and Valuation Department. Nashik, 2009.
9.Subbarao K.V. Deccan Flood Basalts Memoir - Ten. Banglore: Geological Society of India, 1988.

2011 IWRA - International Water Resources Association - - Admin