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Chandrabhaga Watershed , Nagpur District, Maharashtra
Challenges and Way Forward
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.
Challenges and way forward for aquifer mapping in the area are the following:
The ground water potential of the Gondwana sandstone needs to be ascertained.
Precise and adequate information on all the aquifers occurring within 200m and on the disposition and nature of the interface between Deccan trap and the Gondwana Sandstone are needed.
Comprehensive delineation of aquifers as well as of the interface requires the application of geophysical methods. Challenges in applying geophysical methods in the area for delineating deeper aquifers include:
Overlapping resistivity ranges,
Limitation on deeper exploration due to the presence of highly resistive massive basalts, and
Low resistivity contrast between the Gondwana sediment and the Deccan Trap immediately overlying it.
Difficulty in demarcation of < 3 m thick layer (mostly bole beds) occurring between two basaltic flows. This major issue with numbers of basaltic flows occurring below ground level needs to be addressed by applying geophysical methods.
 To overcome these challenges, it is necessary to have a conceptual understanding of the area and to apply accordingly a combination of geophysical techniques.
Aquifer parameters, recharge and discharge processes, and sustainable abstraction levels have to be ascertained for all aquifers.
Delineation of recharge area for deeper aquifers has to be done for groundwater augmentation and also for drawing aquifer management plans.
The variation of water quality in the different aquifers and contamination processes are to be studied.
Aquifer mapping will provide the scientific basis for improved and more sustainable groundwater management in the area in partnership with stakeholders, in particular by identifying alternative resources that could be put to use, ascertaining sustainable abstraction levels, identifying areas with poor groundwater quality, and protecting vulnerable aquifers.