Evaluation of groundwater vulnerability in the lower Varuna catchment area, Uttar Pradesh, India using AVI concept
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Groundwater vulnerability assessments calculate the sensitivity of quality of groundwater to an imposed contaminant load which is essential element of the aquifer management plans. Seventy five groundwater samples have been analyzed for different chemical parameters to understand the groundwater quality of the lower Varuna river basin, Uttar Pradesh, India. The intrinsic groundwater vulnerability map of the lower Varuna catchment area in the north of the city of Varanasi (India) shows a high dependency on the depth to groundwater. The topmost layer of alluvial silty clay, protects the groundwater against contamination in this urban area, but the retention time in the unsaturated zone can be estimated to several months only. The input dataset is very sparse i.e. groundwater levels were measured twice (pre- and post-monsoon 2009) and the geological map shows only alluvium as the outcrop. Several boreholes in this area show, that the alluvium has a thickness of about 4 m and below that are fine grained sands. The surface information does not allow the development of a risk map since land use changes very fast and contamination areas can not be identified accurately. The vulnerability maps developed in this study have become important tools for environmental planning and predictive management of the groundwater resources in the fast urbanizing region in the Varanasi area.
KeywordsGroundwater quality Aquifer Vulnerability Index Varuna river Varanasi Uttar Pradesh
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