Environmental Earth Sciences

, 76:175 | Cite as

Observing changes in groundwater resource using hydro-chemical and isotopic parameters: a case study from Bist Doab, Punjab

  • M. S. Rao
  • Gopal KrishanEmail author
  • C. P. Kumar
  • P. Purushothaman
  • Sudhir Kumar
Original Article


The continuous and large-scale abstraction of groundwater has created a groundwater depletion problem in several parts of the Punjab state including Bist Doab, the interfluve region of Beas and Satluj rivers. In the present study, a few important parameters, viz. water level, stable isotope, EC, temperature, groundwater age, that can be used to fingerprint the over-exploitation of groundwater have been examined. It has been observed that with the increase in over-exploitation, the yield of shallow aquifer is progressively getting reduced and as a result forcing the farmers to sink their wells to deeper depths. With abstraction of deeper aquifer, the storage of old groundwater at the deeper aquifer is declining and getting replaced by induced accelerated inflow of young water from the recharge zone and the overlying shallow aquifer. The signatures of the modern water have been observed in the data analyzed for isotopic, hydro-chemical facies, electrical conductivity and temperature of water from deeper aquifer. The study has identified the usefulness of these parameters for identifying groundwater over-exploitation in the region. Depleting water resource may stagnate the economic progress of the region. The paper provides suitable water resource management strategies to be adopted to improve the sustainability of water resources and economic growth in the region.


Isotopes Hydro-chemical parameters Water level Groundwater Bist Doab Punjab 



Authors thank the funding received from IAEA-CRP project funded by IAEA, Vienna and Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The work reported formed part of Contract Research Project CRP_33019 of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, and this paper is a modified version of the final project report. Authors thank World Bank for funding for development of six deep piezometers in the study area under PDS (HP-II) project. Authors also thank the anonymous reviewers for valuable comments and improving the quality of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute of HydrologyRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Saveetha School of EngineeringSaveetha UniversityChennaiIndia

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