Groundwater systems of the Indian Sub-Continent
Author(s)Mukherjee, Abhijit; Saha, Dipankar; Harvey, Charles F.; Taylor, Richard G.; Ahmed, Kazi Matin; Bhanja, Soumendra N.; ... Show more Show less
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The Indian Sub-Continent is one of the most densely populated regions of the world, hosting ∼23% of the global population within only ∼3% of the world's land area. It encompasses some of the world's largest fluvial systems in the world (River Brahmaputra, Ganges and Indus Basins), which hosts some of the highest yielding aquifers in the world. The distribution of usable groundwater in the region varies considerably and the continued availability of safe water from many of these aquifers (e.g. Bengal Basin) is constrained by the presence of natural contaminants. Further, the trans-boundary nature of the aquifers in the Indian Sub-Continent makes groundwater resource a potentially politically sensitive issue, particularly since this region is the largest user of groundwater resources in the world. Indeed, there is considerable concern regarding dwindling well yield and declining groundwater levels, even for the highly productive aquifers. Though irrigation already accounts for >85% of the total ground water extraction of the region, there is a mounting pressure on aquifers for food security of the region. Highly variable precipitation, hydrogeological conditions and predicted, impending climate change effects provide substantial challenges to groundwater management. The observed presence of natural groundwater contaminants together with the growing demand for irrigated food production and predicted climate change further complicate the development of strategies for using groundwater resources sustainably. We provide an introduction and overview of 11 articles, collated in this special issue, which describe the current condition of vulnerable groundwater resources across the Indian Sub-Continent.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies
Mukherjee, Abhijit, Dipankar Saha, Charles F. Harvey, Richard G. Taylor, Kazi Matin Ahmed, and Soumendra N. Bhanja. “Groundwater Systems of the Indian Sub-Continent.” Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 4 (September 2015): 1–14.
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