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Effects of rainwater-harvesting-induced artificial recharge on the groundwater of wells in Rajasthan, India

, : Effects of rainwater-harvesting-induced artificial recharge on the groundwater of wells in Rajasthan, India. Hydrogeology Journal 17.8

In light of the increasing deterioration of ground-water supplies in Rajasthan, India, rainwater harvesting practices in southern Rajasthan were studied to determine the effects of artificially recharged groundwater on the supply and quality of local groundwater. A physical and geochemical investigation utilizing environmental tracers (delta18 O and Cl(-) ), groundwater level and groundwater quality measurements, and geological surveys was conducted with two objectives: (1) to quantify the proportion of artificially recharged groundwater in wells located near rainwater harvesting structures and (2) to examine potential effects of artificial recharge on the quality of groundwater in these wells. A geochemical mixing model revealed that the proportion of artificial recharge in these wells ranged from 0 to 75%. Groundwater tracer, water table, and geological data provided evidence of complex groundwater flow and were used to explain the spatial distribution of artificial recharge. Furthermore, wells receiving artificial recharge had improved groundwater quality. Statistical analysis revealed a significant difference between the water quality in these wells and wells determined not to receive artificial recharge, for electrical conductivity and SO4(-) . The findings from this study provide quantitative evidence that rainwater harvesting structures in southern Rajasthan influence the groundwater supply and quality of nearby wells by artificially recharging local groundwater.


DOI: 10.1007/s10040-009-0491-6

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