Variations in the rate of urbanization directly impact groundwater levels and quality. Therefore, the present study examines the relationship between changes in land-use and land-cover (LULC) and groundwater drawdown in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Landsat images, i.e., Operational Land Imager (OLI), Thematic Mapper (TM), and Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+), were downloaded for the years 1991, 1997, 2007, 2010, and 2017. The study area was classified using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and normalized difference built-up index (NDBI) to create three classes, i.e., urban area, vegetation, and barren land. The groundwater level in the study area for the year 2017 was obtained using an electrical resistivity survey (ERS) with a Schlumberger configuration. The data obtained were interpreted using IX1D iteration software. The results of NDBI and NDVI showed that the urban area increased by 37.89% during the period 1991–2017, at the expense of vegetation. Similarly, the groundwater level was found to decrease at a rate of 1.38 m per annum. If the same trend prevails, the groundwater level will decrease to approximately 160 m from the natural ground surface by the end of this century. The results of the present study may be used for the formulation of policy and proper planning prior to any major developmental project to control the impact of LULC changes on water resources in the future.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
The groundwater data used to support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.
Abbas, I., Rafique, H. M., Sohl, M. A., Falak, A., Mahmood, S., Imran, M., et al. (2014). Spatio-temporal analysis of groundwater regime within Rawalpindi Municipal Jurisdiction, Pakistan. Desalination and Water Treatment, 52(7–9), 1472–1483. https://doi.org/10.1080/19443994.2013.786658.
Anomohanran, O., & Orhiunu, M. E. (2018). Assessment of groundwater occurrence in Olomoro, Nigeria using borehole logging and electrical resistivity methods. Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 11(9), 219. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-018-3582-7.
Choudhury, J., Kumar, K. L., Nagaiah, E., Sonkamble, S., Ahmed, S., & Kumar, V. (2017). Vertical electrical sounding to delineate the potential aquifer zones for drinking water in Niamey city, Niger, Africa. Journal of Earth System Science, 126(6), 91. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-017-0860-9.
Cihlar, J., & Jansen, L. (2001). From land cover to land use: A methodology for efficient land use mapping over large areas. The Professional Geographer, 53(2), 275–289. https://doi.org/10.1111/0033-0124.00285.
Dewan, A. M., & Yamaguchi, Y. (2009). Land use and land cover change in Greater Dhaka, Bangladesh: Using remote sensing to promote sustainable urbanization. Applied Geography, 29(3), 390–401. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2008.12.005.
Dutta, I., & Das, A. (2019). Application of geo-spatial indices for detection of growth dynamics and forms of expansion in English Bazar Urban Agglomeration, West Bengal. Journal of Urban Management, 8(2), 288–302. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jum.2019.03.007.
Dutta, D., Rahman, A., Paul, S. K., & Kundu, A. (2019). Changing pattern of urban landscape and its effect on land surface temperature in and around Delhi. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 191(9), 551. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-019-7645-3.
Dutta, D., Rahman, A., Paul, S. K., & Kundu, A. (2020). Estimating urban growth in peri-urban areas and its interrelationships with built-up density using earth observation datasets. The Annals of Regional Science, 65(1), 67–82. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00168-020-00974-8.
Gregorio, A. D. (2016). Land cover classification system: Classification concepts, software version 3. Rome: Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Gupta, G., Erram, V. C., & Kuman, S. (2012). Temporal geoelectric behaviour of dyke aquifers in northern Deccan Volcanic Province, India. Journal of Earth System Science, 121(3), 723–732. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-012-0180-z.
Haider, H., Zaman, M., Liu, S., Saifullah, M., Usman, M., Chauhdary, J. N., et al. (2020). Appraisal of climate change and its impact on water resources of Pakistan: A case study of Mangla Watershed. Atmosphere, 11(10), 1071. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11101071.
Hassan, Z., Shabbir, R., Ahmad, S. S., Malik, A. H., Aziz, N., Butt, A., & Erum, S. (2016). Dynamics of land use and land cover change (LULCC) using geospatial techniques: a case study of Islamabad Pakistan. SpringerPlus, 5(1), 812. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40064-016-2414-z.
Hazarika, N., & Nitivattananon, V. (2016). Strategic assessment of groundwater resource exploitation using DPSIR framework in Guwahati city, India. Habitat International, 51, 79–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.10.003.
Jat, M. K., Khare, D., Garg, P. K., & Shankar, V. (2009). Remote sensing and GIS-based assessment of urbanisation and degradation of watershed health. Urban Water Journal, 6(3), 251–263. https://doi.org/10.1080/15730620801971920.
Lambin, E. F., Turner, B. L., Geist, H. J., Agbola, S. B., Angelsen, A., Bruce, J. W., et al. (2001). The causes of land-use and land-cover change: Moving beyond the myths. Global Environmental Change, 11(4), 261–269. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0959-3780(01)00007-3.
Lashkaripour, G. R., & Nakhaei, M. (2005). Geoelectrical investigation for the assessment of groundwater conditions: A case study. Annals of Geophysics, 48(6), 937–944. https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-3244.
Marescot, L., Monnet, R., & Chapellier, D. (2008). Resistivity and induced polarization surveys for slope instability studies in the Swiss Alps. Engineering Geology, 98(1–2), 18–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2008.01.010.
McGrane, S. J. (2016). Impacts of urbanisation on hydrological and water quality dynamics, and urban water management: a review. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 61(13), 2295–2311. https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2015.1128084.
Mishra, N., & Kumar, S. (2015). Impact of land use change on groundwater recharge in Haridwar District. In Proceedings of the 20th International conference on hydraulics, water resources and river engineering. India: IIT Roorkee.
Naikoo, M. W., Rihan, M., Ishtiaque, M., & Shahfahad. (2020). Analyses of land use land cover (LULC) change and built-up expansion in the suburb of a metropolitan city: Spatio-temporal analysis of Delhi NCR using landsat datasets. Journal of Urban Management, 9(3), 347–359. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jum.2020.05.004.
Nath, B., Ni-Meister, W., & Choudhury, R. (2021). Impact of urbanization on land use and land cover change in Guwahati city, India and its implication on declining groundwater level. Groundwater for Sustainable Development, 12, 100500. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsd.2020.100500.
Nayan, N. K., Das, A., Mukerji, A., Mazumder, T., & Bera, S. (2020). Spatio-temporal dynamics of water resources of Hyderabad Metropolitan Area and its relationship with urbanization. Land Use Policy, 99, 105010. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.105010.
Nazaruddin, D. A., Amiruzan, Z. S., Hussin, H., & Jafar, M. T. M. (2017). Integrated geological and multi-electrode resistivity surveys for groundwater investigation in Kampung Rahmat village and its vicinity, Jeli district, Kelantan, Malaysia. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 138, 23–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jappgeo.2017.01.012.
Panda, K. P., Sharma, S. P., & Jha, M. K. (2018). Mapping lithological variations in a river basin of West Bengal, India using electrical resistivity survey: Implications for artificial recharge. Environmental Earth Sciences, 77(17), 626. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-018-7813-8.
Patra, S., Sahoo, S., Mishra, P., & Mahapatra, S. C. (2018). Impacts of urbanization on land use/cover changes and its probable implications on local climate and groundwater level. Journal of Urban Management, 7(2), 70–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jum.2018.04.006.
Rahman, A., Aggarwal, S. P., Netzband, M., & Fazal, S. (2011). Monitoring urban Sprawl using remote sensing and GIS techniques of a fast growing urban centre, India. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 4(1), 56–64. https://doi.org/10.1109/JSTARS.2010.2084072.
Rahman, A., Kumar, S., Fazal, S., & Siddiqui, M. A. (2012). Assessment of land use/land cover change in the north-west district of Delhi using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 40(4), 689–697. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12524-011-0165-4.
Ranjpishe, et al. (2016). The effect of land use changes on groundwater level decline (Case study: North of Urmia lake basin). Journal of Biodiversity and Environmental Sciences (JBES), 9(4), 272–278.
Sahana, M., Hong, H., & Sajjad, H. (2018). Analyzing urban spatial patterns and trend of urban growth using urban sprawl matrix: A study on Kolkata urban agglomeration, India. Science of The Total Environment, 628–629, 1557–1566. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.170.
Sajikumar, N., & Remya, R. S. (2015). Impact of land cover and land use change on runoff characteristics. Journal of Environmental Management, 161, 460–468. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.12.041.
Singh, S. K., Mustak, S., Srivastava, P. K., Szabó, S., & Islam, T. (2015). Predicting spatial and decadal LULC changes through Cellular Automata Markov Chain Models using earth observation datasets and geo-information. Environmental Processes, 2(1), 61–78. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40710-015-0062-x.
Stonestrom, D. A., Scanlon, B. R., & Zhang, L. (2009). Introduction to special section on impacts of land use change on water resources. Water Resources Research. https://doi.org/10.1029/2009WR007937.
Usman, M., Qamar, M. U., Becker, R., Zaman, M., Conrad, C., & Salim, S. (2020). Numerical modelling and remote sensing based approaches for investigating groundwater dynamics under changing land-use and climate in the agricultural region of Pakistan. Journal of Hydrology, 581, 124408. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.124408.
Voogt, J., & Oke, T. (2003). Thermal remote sensing of urban climates. Remote Sensing of Environment, 86(3), 370–384. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0034-4257(03)00079-8.
Walker, R. (2001). Industry builds the city: the suburbanization of manufacturing in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1850–1940. Journal of Historical Geography, 27(1), 36–57. https://doi.org/10.1006/jhge.2000.0268.
Zafar, R., Bashir, S., Nabi, D., & Arshad, M. (2020). Occurrence and quantification of prevalent antibiotics in wastewater samples from Rawalpindi and Islamabad, Pakistan. Science of The Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142596.
The completion of this research work would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of Engr. Aziz Ullah, Deputy Director, Rawalpindi Development Authority (RDA).
No funding was received to assist with the preparation of this manuscript.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest related to this work.
Consent to Participate
Consent to Publish
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
ul Haq, F., Naeem, U.A., Gabriel, H.F. et al. Impact of Urbanization on Groundwater Levels in Rawalpindi City, Pakistan. Pure Appl. Geophys. 178, 491–500 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-021-02660-y
- Land use and land cover
- electrical resistivity survey
- groundwater level