Training modules on planning, development and management of groundwater with special reference to watershed management programmes by ACWADAM
A comprehensive training module on basic hydro-geology and groundwater science
6 Oct 2010


Advanced Center for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM) is a premier education and research institution and facilitates work on groundwater management through action research programmes and trainings. ACWADAM’s main thrust has been on the process of capacity building and facilitation, both founded strongly on its research base.

ACWADAM, with support from the Ford Foundation, has embarked on strengthening civil society capabilities in groundwater management, using the watershed management platform. A comprehensive training module on basic hydrogeology and groundwater science, has been developed, and can be sourced by writing to ACWADAM at

These trainings enable the trainees particularly from Civil Society Organisations to improve the planning, implementation and monitoring of their watershed development and allied projects.

The modules include interactive class-room sessions and hands-on practical training on the following topics:

Community organisation in groundwater management: This presentation on community organization in groundwater management deals with the processes involved in people’s mobilization and participation. The requisites of groundwater management include: resource enhancement, demand management, equitable distribution, institutional mechanism and controlling of free riding. Read more 

Pani Panchayat: A model of groundwater management: This presentation deals with Pani Panchayats as a model of groundwater management. Pani Panchayat is a voluntary activity of a group of farmers engaged in the collective management (harvesting and equitable distribution) of surface water and groundwater (wells and percolation tanks). It deals with the principles and protocols for water management and demand management followed by Gram Gaurav Pratisthan. Pani Panchayat principles covered equity, demand management, rights of landless, community participation and sustainability of the resource. Read more 

Hydraulic conductivity - The ability of the rock material to allow the flow of groundwater: This presentation on hydraulic conductivity deals with the hydrologic properties of rocks that signify the status of a rock as a good or poor aquifer. The status of a rock with regard to groundwater occurrence and movement is decided by its porosity (specific yield, more practically) and its hydraulic conductivity. These properties decide whether a rock can store and transmit groundwater. Read more 

Pumping tests on wells - A means of measuring the storage and transmission properties of aquifers: This presentation deals with the basic procedure involved in a pumping test i.e., pumping a well and observing the effect of such pumping on the water level in the pumped well as well as in the adjoining parts of the aquifer through observation wells. It gives details of pumping test equipments and the mechanics of pumping (well hydraulics). It describes concepts such as static and pumping water level, hydraulic gradient, dewatering of aquifers, drawdown, cone of depression, aquifer contribution, relation between outflow and inflow, pumped water level & drawdown, recuperation/recovery and cone of depression. Read more

Groundwater balance: This presentation deals with the subject of groundwater balance and begins by describing the skeleton for the water balance equation viz., ground surface, soil, aquifer and bed rock. It describes the processes subsequent to rainfall such as interception, initial detention, depression storage, infiltration, runoff, streamflow, soil moisture retention and recharge. Read more 

Augmenting groundwater resources by artificial recharge - A case study of Kolwan valley: This presentation deals with a case study of augmenting groundwater resources by artificial recharge in Kolwan valley, Mulshi taluka, Pune. The DfID funded project was undertaken by the British Geological Survey in collaboration with its partners in India with the aim of improving knowledge of the impacts of managed aquifer recharge in different physical and socio-economic settings. Furthermore, it aims to provide guidance on scope and effectiveness of managed aquifer recharge for implementers, funders and policy makers and disseminate knowledge.Read more 

Measurement of weather parameters - Data collection and analysis: The presentation deals with measurement of weather parameters and outlines the methods used in weather related data collection and analysis. Weather information is necessary for the planning and implementation of watershed programmes, especially in understanding factors like groundwater recharge, the relationship between recharge & discharge and in aspects like irrigation planning. Read more 

The structure of the sub-surface: This presentation deals with the structure of the sub-surface. The lithology and structure of rocks together define the geometric framework for the movement of groundwater. To some extent, these factors also govern the movement of surface water too. In other words, the physical environment of rocks and rock material hosts water, and hence, controls its accumulation and flow in the watershed. Read more

Type of rocks: This presentation deals with the three basic types of rocks that are found in nature – igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. Rocks are classified on the basis of minerals & chemical composition, by texture and by the processes that formed them. The presentation deals with openings in rocks (pores/fractures) and the action of water on ground (weathering and erosion). Read more 

Points of groundwater discharge - Types of springs: This presentation deals with springs, their characteristics and types. Springs are indicated by locations or points on the ground surface, where water from beneath the ground emerges on to the surface. A common example is of an overflowing unconfined aquifer. This presentation attempts to identify the type of spring in order to understand how they behave in space and time. Read more

Aquifers - The hosts of groundwater: This presentation on aquifers emphasizes the need for a systematic approach to groundwater studies to understand how water exists in each type of rock or sediment for which hydrogeological mapping of aquifers becomes significant in every watershed programme. The necessity of studying the scientific aspects of groundwater such as its properties and distribution below the earth’s surface is highlighted. Read more

Karst Hydrogeology: This presentation deals with Karst hydrogeology, a term used to denote the topography over limestones, dolomites or gypsum rich rocks where there are sinkholes, caverns and lack of surface streams. Karst mainly refers to carbonate rocks: Limestones (CaCO3) or Dolomites (MgCa[CO]). Read more

Vertical distribution of groundwater: This presentation explains the occurrence of groundwater and deals with the vertical distribution of groundwater. To begin with, the openings in rocks in the zone of rock fracture such as intergranular openings, vesicles in volcanic rock, joints & fractures and solution cavities are described. Read more 

Details about the rest of the presentations in this training module by ACWADAM can be accessed below -

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