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Chandrabhaga Watershed , Nagpur District, Maharashtra
 
Introduction
Chandrabhaga watershed in Nagpur District, Maharashtra, forms a part of the Deccan plateau. It is characterized by Deccan basaltic Traps underlain by Gondwana sediments.
The key groundwater related issues in the area are the following:
The available storage potential of groundwater in Deccan Traps is strictly limited as it is governed by local weathering and fracturing characteristics and water-bearing properties of basaltic formation. It can thus be rapidly depleted by heavy abstraction.
The ground water potential of Gondwana sediments occurring below Deccan basalt is not known, as tapping (Drilling & construction of tubewell) soft rock aquifer below hard rock is difficult and costly affair.
Most of the dug wells dry up in the summer, causing damage to the crops and plantations. Increasing demand for water supply could be met from deeper aquifers.
In places, there is industrial pollution of groundwater.
In rural areas, inadequate sanitation and diffuse agricultural pollution threaten groundwater quality over the long term.
 
The methodology developed for mapping aquifers in the area can be replicated in the entire Deccan Traps area of the country (mostly Maharashtra, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh).
 
AQUIFER MAPPING PROJECT IN MAHARASHTRA AT A GLANCE
  Assessment Unit Watershed  
  Name / Code Chandrabhaga / WGKKC – 2  
  Area 360 sq.km / 36,00,000 ha  
  District Nagpur  
  Taluk / Block Kalmeshwar, Nagpur (rural), Katol  
  No. of Towns / Villages 1 / 60  
  Approx. population in the Taluks Rural : 4.7 lakh (Kalmeshwar, Nagpur rural, Katol)  
Figure 3.1: Aerial view of area.
 
  Normal Annual Rainfall 985 mm
839 mm in June to Sept. (SW monsoon)
72 mm in Sept. to Dec. (NE monsoon)
73 mm in Jan. to May (non-monsoon)
 
  No. of annual rainy days 58  
  River Basin Godavari/ Wainganga/ Kanhan/ Kolar  
  Major rivers / streams Chandrabhaga, Saptadhara, Mortham nala  
Figure 3.2: Location map of study area.
 
  Geology Mostly Deccan trap basalt (313 sq.km) and Gondwana formation of Permian age in north eastern part (47 sq.km)  
  Hydrogeology 4 types of subsurface hydrogeological conditions encountered up to 200m depth: (a) the entire 200m depth section of Deccan basalt, (b) Deccan basalts underlain by Gondwana sediments at depths, (c) Deccan basalts underlain by granite-gneiss, and (d) the entire 200m depth section of Gondwana sediments (eastern part of watershed)  
  Aquifers Weathered, fractured & vesicular basalt; Sandstones.  
Figure 3.3: Schematic view of aquifers in Deccan trap and underlying Gondwama sediment.
 
  Land use Majority of the area covered by agricultural land (256 sq.km / ha). Wasteland and forests mostly observed in the western part of the watershed (33 and 12 sq.km respectively).  
  Major crops Wheat, Paddy, Orange  
  Agriculture Rainfed crops : approx. 21400 ha
Irrigation canals : 650 ha
Ground water : 3591 ha
 
  Major Irrigation tanks / reservoirs 3  
  Wells: dug wells
          bore / tube wells
4294
228
 
  Depth to water table (Min. / Max.) 0.6 / 11.2 m below ground level  
  Ground water level trend Pre-monsoon : Negligible Rise (about 0.01 m/yr)
Post-monsoon : Negligible rise (about 0.01 m/yr)
Annual : Moderate rising trend
 
Figure 3.4: Pre-monsoon depth to water level, May 2012.
 
  Ground Water Resources (2008-09)

Recharge due to rainfall)
Recharge due to other sources)
Annual Ground Water Recharge)
Natural discharge)
Net Ground Water resource available
Monsoon season
44.81 MCM
0.20 MCM
60.89 MCM
3.04 MCM
57.85 MCM
Non-monsoon season
6.10 MCM
9.76 MCM
 
  Draft for irrigation 36.12 MCM  
  Demand for domestic & industries 2.33 MCM  
  Balance for future irrigatoin use 17.05 MCM  
  Stage of ground water development  66.48 %  
  Groundwater quality GW quality in general is good for drinking and irrigation, except nitrate contamination at places and industrial/ agriculture pollution is yet to be established.  
  Major issues Ground water pollution; unsustainable aquifers; assessment of ground water potential in deeper aquifers.  
  Methodology of study Monthly monitoring of KOW, detailed well inventory, and pumping test on shallow wells for phreatic aquifers and exploratory drilling and evaluation & determination of aquifer parameters. Surface GP survey on grid pattern and subsurface GP on deep aquifers.  
  Expected outcomes of aquifer mapping Identification of potential sustainable aquifers; better picture of aquifer geometry including geological structures; aquifer inter-relationship; model for preparing management plans for each aquifer; establishing protocol for geophysical surveys in similar environment.  
  Geographical applicability of the methodology Mostly Maharashtra, parts of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh.