International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001
in an Urban Context
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
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 et.al 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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