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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 11: Hydrology-Related Issues

Paper 11.3

Targeting Sites For Rainwater Harvesting With Remote Sensing: A Case Study From Jaipur City And Its Hinterland, Western India

A. K. Sinha; S. P. Yadav and Shyamanuj Dubey
Department of Geology, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India


Water is a precious asset of humanity. A well managed society is one that knows how to treat its water with care, prudence and respect. Keeping in view this dictum, the present study has been carried out pertaining to Jaipur, the internationally famous pink city of India which falls in the semiarid region and is situated very close to the eastern fringe of the Thar desert. The present requirement of water for domestic agricultural and industrial needs are met mainly by the subsurface water resources which is increasingly under great stress due to exponential growth in population, urbanisation, industrialisation and modernisation in agriculture and irrigation practices. The water table of the region is showing a declining trend which is evident from the fact that the water level declined during the period 1987-91 on an average of 1.25 m per year as compared to 0.47 m per year during the period 1981-87. Pollution and fluoride contamination has further worsened the situation.

Integration of Remote Sensing Technology with meteorological data provides a reliable, accurate and updated data base on land and water resources which is also a prerequisite for an integrated approach in identifying runoff potential areas and to identify the suitable sites for rainwater harvesting.

The present study, which is based on remote sensing data and a very limited field check, is a small case study with a sole objective to identify more runoff potential zones for planning of rainwater harvesting in Jaipur in western India and its hinterland, mainly to increase the ground water resources. Jaipur lies in the north east part of Rajasthan at 26 degree 55 minute North latitude and 78 degree 48 minute East longitude. Arawalli hills, one of the oldest on the globe, surrounds the city on the north and east sides. The rock types of the area are Quartzites and Phyllite belonging to Delhi Supergroup which is overlain by the quaternary and recent sediments. The Dhund river, which is an ephemeral river system, passes through the city and its hinterland. The methodology adopted in the present study consists of the preparation of various thematic maps using the high resolution satellite data, including Spot and IRS data, coupled with ground truth data. Using the existing model, water balance was computed, runoff potential zones were identified, and sites for rainwater harvesting were proposed. The areas with different recharge possibilities, such as highly favourable, moderately favourable, less favourable and poor were categorised. The sites for the construction of dikes has also been precisely located, which if effected may significantly recharge the groundwater reservoir by tapping the rain runoff water. The outcome of this study may be replicated in a somewhat similar terrain condition.

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