Study of soil moisture movement and recharge to groundwater using tritium tagging techniques in Saharanpur - A research report by National Institute of Hydrology

The present study aims to estimate the soil moisture movement and recharge to groundwater in Saharanpur due to monsoon rains through the unsaturated porous media in case of cultivated and uncultivated fields. Artificial radioisotope was injected at two uncultivated and five cultivated sites before the onset of monsoon and soil samples were collected from the injection points after the rainy season.

The district falls under the vast alluvial tract of quarternary deposits of Indo-Gangetic plains in western Uttar Pradesh. It is bordered by the river Yamuna in the west, foothills of Himalayas in the north, Hardwar in the east and Muzaffarnagar in the south. The area is well drained by a number of rivers and nallahs like Hindon, Kali, Maskara, Krishni, Budhi Yamuna and Katha Nallah. The Hindon river is the main source of natural drainage in the area. The Eastern Yamuna Canal and Deoband branch of Upper Ganga Canal flows across the area and are the main source of recharge to shallow aquifers in the adjoining areas.

The geohydrological data indicates the presence of three aquifers systems in this region, e.g., shallow within 60 feet depth below ground level (bgl), intermediate within 70-150 feet bgl and deeper aquifer within 300-500 feet depth bgl. The average pre-monsoon and post-monsoon groundwater table fluctuation is around 1.6 m in the study area.

The results of recharge to groundwater vary from 10 per cent to 15 per cent in uncultivated lands while it ranges from 14 per cent to 26 per cent in cultivated land. The values of recharge to groundwater seem justified keeping in view the type of soil and other geo-hydrological conditions prevailing in the study area. Further studies using neutron moisture probe and environmental isotope will throw more light on the interconnections of different aquifer systems, locations of recharge zones to deeper aquifers and major recharge sources.

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Post By: Rama Mani