A process-based insight to the recent disappearance of streams in the central part of Tarai region, Uttarakhand, India
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The integrated study of geomorphology and hydrogeology could be significant in predicting and assessing the groundwater environment of ecologically sensitive terrains such as the Tarai region in North India. In this article, we integrate topographic elevation, stream network, water level data, and input and output stresses acting on the aquifer to understand the hydrological processes and linkages between groundwater dynamics and geomorphic elements in Rudrapur sub-division of Udham Singh Nagar district, Uttarakhand in the central part of Tarai region. The study area was selected on account of the fact that the Rudrapur area of late has witnessed rapid agricultural growth, urbanization, and industrialization. It has been observed that primarily, water table elevations are controlled by the topography of the region. Further, the groundwater abstraction has increased with time; however, except in urbanized sectors, the water level does not show any significant decline. This has been attributed to increased recharge. Prima facie, it appears to be ecologically balanced. However, in a temporal framework, it was observed that over the years, a few streams have disappeared to compensate for enhanced groundwater abstraction. The article explains the underlying hydrological processes behind the disappearance of streams with help of schematic diagrams. It also put forward reasons for the persistence of shallow water level in parts of the study area. It suggests for preservation of the waterways of disappeared streams as possible sites for remedial measures like check dams etc. if required in future on account of over-exploitation of groundwater resources.
KeywordsTarai Uttarakhand Groundwater dynamics Geomorphology Hydrogeology Stream-aquifer interaction
The financial support to AK through UGC-SRF is duly acknowledged. The discussions and technical advice of Dr. V Jain, IIT Gandhinagar during revision of the manuscript are duly acknowledged.
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