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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 1: Rainwater Harvesting in an Urban Context

Paper 1.10

Quantitative and Qualitative Improvement in Groundwater by Artificial Recharge: A Case Study in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Saumitra Mukherjee and Anita Mukherjee
School of Environmental Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi-110067


Soil properties and land use patterns are the major contributing factors to the hydromorphogeology of a particular area. Information on existing land use is required for the formulation of policies and programmes for sustainable development (Kale, 1992). Humans transform the land for different activities and quantifiable information on the dominant activities is necessary to develop future plans (Rao,1995). A knowledge of past human activities on the site may also be useful.

In order to choose good positions for check dams (to replenish groundwater) on the JNU campus, historical monuments and other urban features of the JNU have been analysed by satellite imagery ( Mishra 1996, Shokhi, 1992, Catanese, 1972). The same data was helpful in locating former brick kilns in the recharge areas of JNU new campus for groundwater replenishment. Repeated heating and cooling in the brick kilns were responsible for changing the soil texture of the JNU campus ( Mukherjee 19971). Multispectral and multitemporal data from SPOT, IRS- 1A, IRS- 1B and IRS -1C satellites when integrated with land use, geological, geomorphological, hydrogeological and magnetic data, have potential for identifying suitable areas for constructing check dams. Check dams' sites have been selected in the places with high spectral reflectance (low soil moisture) in satellite data. Interception of surface runoff by check dams across drainage at appropriate locations is one method for artificial recharge ( Map-1).

In general J.N.U. area lacks sufficient surface water bodies and palaeochannels to sustain rich ecosystems. The very thin soil cover in this area does not support the use of dug wells. Groundwater occurrence is restricted to the deep-seated fracture zones. For the selection of artificial recharge areas, the radiance values of pixels in near-infrared region were studied. Due to high recharge the soil moisture as well as vegetation densities were low in the inferred check dam sites. Lineaments pass through the check dams, which were selected on the basis of their low spectral reflectance and low magnetic values over the weathered ferruginous quartzites. Low magnetic values were noticed in lineaments on ferruginous quartzite (Mukherjee 19972). Selection of check dams were based on the points inferred by magnetometer showing low magnetic values and interconnected lineaments (a magnetic survey was carried out around the J.N.U. campus in 1996 using the US instrument Proton Precession Magnetometer Geomatrix G-816/826 A).

Groundwater levels had gone down in this area, but increased after the artificial recharge. Eco-conservation in this campus is being restored by plantations of specific species in suitable area.

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