Case study of Pondhe watershed area in Maharashtra based on rapid hydrogeological mapping by advanced center for water resources development and management (ACWADAM)

'Demand’ management of water resources in a region often holds the key to a complete and sustainable water resources management strategy

This document deals with a study by ACWADAM of Pondhe watershed area in Maharashtra based on rapid hydrogeological mapping through field studies. Large areas of India are covered by what are called “hard rocks” that are mostly of igneous and metamorphic origin. Many arid and semi-arid regions of India obtain water supplies from groundwater stored in these rocks. This is especially true for large rural tracts that obtain water for agriculture and domestic supplies entirely from the groundwater stored in these rocks.

Long-term planning of water resources in a region ought to consider, not only the effective implementation of conservation measures through the process of watershed development, but should also look beyond ‘supply’ side measures.

The first step in this direction is the development of a conceptual framework for water resources planning, taking into consideration the local conditions rather than “thumb-rule” planning based on broad parameters.

Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM) undertook this investigation to provide scientific inputs for developing a first cut conceptual model for the groundwater resources in the project area. These inputs are based on rapid geological and hydrogeological mapping conducted without any advanced aids such as remote sensing. However, ACWADAM’s experience in hydrogeology helped describe the geological factors governing the accumulation and movement of groundwater in the region. A broad water resources strategisation was also possible at the end of this exercise to provide direction to GGP on the processes required to consolidate its water management strategy further.

To go to the next step, it suggested that the water resources system be monitored to ensure improvements to the conceptual model and arrive at a fairly accurate overall water balance estimate that will help in the planning and execution of GGP’s water management strategy for the region and assess the exact nature and magnitude of the impacts of programmes on the water resources.

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