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GIS Based Mapping of Groundwater Quality Zones for Agricultural Planning in Virudhunagar District, Tamil Nadu, India

Congress: 2008
Author(s):

Keyword(s): Groundwater quality mapping,USSL method,EC, SAR
AbstractGroundwater has become an integral part in agricultural development of India. Today, agricultural activities account for over 40 percent of total irrigated area and has helped the green revolution to make India self sufficient in food production. Tamil Nadu, being an agrarian State with limited water resources, needs special attention for the development of irrigation potential. The State is not endowed with perennial rivers its rivers are seasonal and mostly originate in bordering States. Virudhunagar District in Tamil Nadu is characterised by the predominance of agrarian economy despite the presence of other mineral and industrial resources. It lies between North latitudes 9o 08 and 11o 30 and East longitudes 77o 20 and 78o 24 and covering an area of about 4,225 sq.km. To assess the groundwater quality, 90 controlled wells have been established throughout the study area by the Groundwater Division of Water Resources Organisation, Government of Tamil Nadu and water samples have been collected during July and December months. The analysis of chemical constituents and their derivatives determine the alkalinity and salinity level of groundwater and the levels of contamination by select chemical substances. The sample wells are plotted in the respective classes on the USSL graph based on the values derived from these measures. Based on the distribution of sample wells in the plot diagram, the ground water quality zones are mapped for agricultural planning. ArcGIS software is used to represent the spatial distribution of EC, SAR, and pH for the selected samples wells. The study shows that among various chemical parameters the salinity and alkalinity influence the agricultural activities to a considerable extent. According to USSL groundwater classification method about 80 percent of the waters are suitable for irrigation. The remaining 20 percent waters are moderate to poor conditions for irrigation purposes. The spatial pattern of the combined aspects of the salinity alkalinity problems bring out the areas for reclamation and effective use.
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