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Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 147–161 | Cite as

Mapping groundwater quality for irrigation in Punjab, North-West India, using geographical information system

  • Raj KumarEmail author
  • Kuldip Singh
  • Balwinder Singh
  • S. S. Aulakh
Original Article

Abstract

The state of Punjab—a part of the Indus basin of the Indian subcontinent has an excellent net work of irrigation facilities. However, due to intensive cultivation it is facing a major problem with respect to quality of groundwater for irrigation. In the present investigation, geo-referenced groundwater samples were analysed to map water quality using geographical information system. Electrical conductivity varied from 0.418 to 5.754 dS m−1 with an average of 1.365 dS m−1. The carbonate ranged between 0 and 120 mg L−1, whereas bicarbonate ranged from 5 to 1,000 mg L−1. Chloride varied from 7 to 2,347 mg L−1. Calcium plus magnesium ranged from 12 to 1,216 mg L−1 with a mean value of 169 mg L−1. Sodium adsorption ratio ranged between 0.0 and 34.78 with an average of 2.66 meq L−1/2. Residual sodium carbonate varied from 0 to 21.30 meq L−1 with a standard deviation of 2.24. The Geographic Information System (GIS)-based mapping indicated that water in suitable category spatially covered 45.7 % of the state which is located mostly in the sub-mountain (Siwalik Hills), north-eastern undulating and piedmont and alluvial plain agro-eco-subregions. Marginally suitable groundwater spatially covered 46.1 % in the central alluvial plain and south-western alluvial plain agro-eco-subregions. Unsuitable groundwater covered 8.2 % of the state, mostly in the erstwhile sodic soils areas in the central alluvial plain and south-western alluvial plain agro-eco-subregions. GIS-based maps are effective in identifying hot spots which need immediate attention and call for strategic planning for sustainable management.

Keywords

Groundwater Geospatial quality Punjab GIS 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raj Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kuldip Singh
    • 1
  • Balwinder Singh
    • 1
  • S. S. Aulakh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Soil SciencePunjab Agricultural UniversityLudhianaIndia

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