Development of groundwater sustainability index: a case study of western arid region of Rajasthan, India

Abstract

Groundwater, its availability, and/or its adequate supply play an important role to define the economic and environmental sustainability and social well-being of a community, especially when groundwater is the main source to fulfil the demand for domestic and agricultural uses. Humanity is under threat due to scarcity of freshwater, deterioration of its quality and rising water stress around the globe. The situations are expected to become even more acute/conflicting worldwide if cumulative efforts are not practiced. In order to maintain freshwater resources sustainably, they should be used in an effective and efficient manner without compromising the needs of the future generation. The present paper deals with the development of a groundwater sustainability index by taking into consideration of a case study of western Rajasthan, India. The framework for the development of groundwater sustainability index considered five dimensions of groundwater resources defined on the basis of fifteen indicators chosen for the study. Analytical hierarchy process has been applied in order to assess the importance of the selected dimensions of groundwater. The outcomes of the study clearly reflect that the situation of groundwater resources in the region is alarming and the future of groundwater resources is at stake. This study presents the actual status of sustainability of groundwater with particular reference to hyper-arid region of Rajasthan by integrating all important indicators related to protection and management of groundwater in the region.

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Singh, A.P., Bhakar, P. Development of groundwater sustainability index: a case study of western arid region of Rajasthan, India. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 1844–1868 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-020-00654-9

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Keywords

  • AHP
  • Groundwater stress
  • Groundwater indicators
  • Ecosystem health
  • Sustainability index