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Watershed , Patna District, Bihar
Challenges and way forward
The key groundwater management issue is the arsenic contamination in shallow aquifers.
Challenges and way forward for aquifer mapping in the area are the following:
Aquifer delineation requires correlation of hydrogeological, geophysical, and chemical data amongst drilled boreholes, and geophysical measurements in between the boreholes to determine spatial continuity and boundaries of the aquifers.
Available information on aquifers in the watershed is mostly limited to the north-eastern part of the watershed (about 150 sq km). Complete investigations are needed in northern, western and southern parts of the watershed, including geophysical exploration and drilling of additional boreholes.
Water quality is to be further investigated, especially arsenic concentrations in the shallow and the deeper aquifers. Data is currently available in the area only at localized places for shallow aquifers and only in Patna urban area for deeper aquifers.
Delineation of aquifers and of confining clay beds, knowledge of the precise spatial disposition of aquifers and characterization of hydraulic properties of the aquifers and the confining clay beds are key for understanding aquifers in the area.
It is important to understand how the aquifers are getting recharged and interact with surface water bodies.
Aquifer mapping will provide the scientific basis for improved groundwater management in the area in partnership with stakeholders, in particular by identifying aquifers that could be further tapped in a sustainable manner and alternative, non-contaminated, sources for water supply.