Modeling Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 635–645 | Cite as

A GIS based DRASTIC model for assessing aquifer vulnerability in Southern Punjab, India

  • Chetan P. S. Ahada
  • Surindra Suthar
Original Article


The geogenic processes along with surface discharge cause significant changes in the quality of groundwater resources. The prediction and monitoring of aquifer vulnerability can be a suitable tool for managing groundwater resources efficiently. The aim of this study was to estimate the aquifer vulnerability in intensively cultivable belt of Malwa Punjab, India using GIS-DRASTIC model. The vulnerability index of groundwater was modelled using primary as well as secondary datasets for different input variables and DRASTIC index value was calculated for this region. Results showed the DRASTIC index values in the ranges of 95–166, suggesting three vulnerability classes viz. low, medium and high for this region. The results of vulnerability analysis revealed that some part of aquifers of eastern and western Punjab are at greater risk of contamination mainly due to the leaching and infiltration of surface pollutants. Modelled output data identified the vadose zone, groundwater depth, topography, aquifer media, etc. as governing factors for aquifer vulnerability in this region. A detailed survey on aquifer chemical quality is further required in this area in order to validate the contamination levels and associated human health risks in this studied parts of Punjab. The source reduction of specific pollutant could be a preferable mitigation measure to protect the aquifers of this region.


Water quality Irrigation Groundwater susceptibility Aquifer contamination Soil permeability 



This work was supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, New Delhi (No. SR/FTP/ES-28/2012).


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and Natural ResourcesDoon UniversityDehradunIndia

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