An unconventional approach to integrated ground and surface water development
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The conjunctive use of surface water with groundwater development in the Ganga Basin is considered more desirable due to unacceptable environmental conditions created by using all the low flows and the limited possibilities of surface storages. There are several ways to increase infiltration during the monsoon season. One method is to create groundwater storage by pumping during the non-monsoon period. A procedure for estimating the extent and the rate of pumping such that it is replenished in 120 days of the monsoon season and equilibrium is achieved, is outlined in this study. The areas in the Ganga Basin suitable for such groundwater storage schemes have been marked out and the economic aspects of the scheme have also been studied. It is concluded that with this scheme of underground storage of flood water the total potential irrigation in the Ganga Basin may be limited by the area of irrigable land rather than the water supply.
It is suggested that this potentially advantageous scheme should be systematically studied and investigated in detail and factors like sediment transportation which may reduce the infiltration rate, the possible hazards of subsidence due to lowering of the water table, the possible ecological effects, and other relevant issues should also be considered.
KeywordsGroundwater conjunctive use surface water underground water storage
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