Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 6, pp 1289–1302 | Cite as

GIS-based impact assessment of land-use changes on groundwater quality: study from a rapidly urbanizing region of South India

  • Haris H. Khan
  • Arina Khan
  • Shakeel Ahmed
  • Jerome Perrin
Original Article


This study attempts to assess the influence of changing land-use patterns on the groundwater quality of the hard rock aquifer system in the Maheshwaram watershed, near Hyderabad, India. The study area is a rapidly urbanizing region with land development progressing at a fast pace. To study the impact of this rapid urbanization and overall land-use transition, a groundwater quality index (GQI) was prepared within a geographical information system (GIS). The GQI integrates the different water quality parameters to give a final index value that can be used for spatio-temporal comparisons. The land-use transitions were closely monitored from 2003 to 2008 using multispectral satellite images. The land-use pattern has changed drastically with an increase in the built-up area at the expense of other land uses. The analysis reveals a rapid deterioration of groundwater quality related mainly to the increase in built-up land with unsewered sanitation and poultry farms. Seasonal variability of the groundwater quality was also assessed. Mean GQI decreased from 84.16 to 83.26 over a period of 5 years from 2003 to 2008, while seasonal variability of water quality increased. GQI and Seasonal Variability of water quality were integrated in GIS to yield a groundwater sustainability map, in terms of water quality. Zones of sustainable and unsustainable groundwater use were demarcated for better decision making related to municipal land allotment in this rapidly urbanizing region.


GQI GIS Land-use Sustainability Maheshwaram 



The first author would like to thank the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, India, for funding the present research, in the form of CSIR Senior Research Fellowship. Thanks are also due to the two anonymous reviewers for suggestions that led to substantial improvement in the quality of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Haris H. Khan
    • 1
  • Arina Khan
    • 2
  • Shakeel Ahmed
    • 1
  • Jerome Perrin
    • 3
  1. 1.National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI)Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)HyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Aligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia
  3. 3.Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et MinièresOrléansFrance

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