Evaluation and interpolation of rainfall trends over the semi-arid upper Godavari basin

  • Pallavi P. KulkarniEmail author
  • Sudhakar D. Pardeshi
Original Paper


Dams are the major source of water for irrigation in India. As a result, any variability in rainfall over the catchment area of dams leads to huge economic loss. It also triggers water-sharing conflicts. Hence, understating the variation in rainfall in association with dams becomes essential. For the present study, the upper Godavari basin, primarily representing the semi-arid region in India, is selected. To understand the rainfall variation, the Mann–Kendall trend test is employed after checking the homogeneity of the data. Using the inverse distance weighted technique, the monthly, seasonal and annual trends in rainfall are interpolated. These interpolated results are then superimposed over the location of the dams. The results depict that the rainfall decreases in June, while it increases in August for most of the stations. The highest increase in monsoon rainfall is experienced in Akole (11.7 mm/year), while Khuldabad has experienced the maximum decline (− 6.58 mm/year) in rainfall. When the spatial variability of annual rainfall is considered, it is mostly declining in the eastern part of the basin. This area of decreasing rainfall accounts for more than 35% of the total basin area. Around 34 dams with capacity of more than 0.5 MCM (million cubic meter) are situated here. As a result of declining rainfall, the water supply from these dams might get adversely affected. Hence, for the upper Godavari basin, based on the rainfall variability analysis, policies should focus on demand side management of water resources.



The authors would like to extend their gratitude to the University Grants Commission, India, for sponsoring this study. We would like to thank the India Meteorological Department for providing the data. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers.


This study is funded by University Grants Commission, New Delhi, India, Award no. F.15-6(DEC. 2013)/2014(NET). UGC-Ref. no.: 3333/(NET-DEC.2013).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

703_2018_652_MOESM1_ESM.tif (770 kb)
Fig. 1 Annual rainfall time series of Akole rain gauge station along with its neighboring stations is represented (TIFF 769 kb)
703_2018_652_MOESM2_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Table 1 The p value calculated using Monte Carlo simulations for testing the homogeneity of the annual rainfall data for different tests is presented. The data is homogeneous if p ≥ 0.01. The classification of the station is according to Wijngaard (2003) (DOCX 12 kb)
703_2018_652_MOESM3_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Table 2 The values of Sen’s Slope estimator are presented in the following table (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographySavitribai Phule Pune UniversityPuneIndia

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