Recharge Potential Mapping in Complex Hydrological System of Kosi Basin in the Mid-Himalayan Region

  • Meenu Rani
  • Himanshu Joshi
  • Kireet Kumar
  • Ashutosh Tiwari


Increasing water use and climatic variability threaten thousands of springs and spring-fed watersheds in the mid-Himalayan region. The decline in spring discharge resulted in shrinking cropland, out migration and is adversely affecting the economy of the region. Shallow aquifer and short retention time emphasize on need of disposition of site suitable artificial measures to recharge groundwater. Complex geological and tectonic formations and lithological and chronological variations on one hand and impact of undulated terrain and land use pattern on the other put obstruction in finding suitable recharge sites in Himalaya. In this study, a GIS-based weighted sum analysis approach was used to identify suitable sites for artificial recharge of groundwater in Upper Kosi basin of Indian Himalayan region. The tools of GIS facilitate study relief and structural aspect of basin, quantify the influence of one factor on the other and provide precise and quick information on suitable recharge sites for rejuvenation of springs and hydrological sustainability of watershed. The results indicated that 19.6% area lies under good to excellent while 46.9% area having fait to poor potential of groundwater recharge. Area under good to excellent recharge potential can be further considered for implementation of site suitable groundwater augmentation measures for sustained specific yield of an aquifer.


Spring rejuvenation Recharges potential site Mid-Himalayan region Groundwater augmentation 



The financial support provided by the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), New Delhi, for conducting this research is duly acknowledged. The authors also wish to acknowledge the Principal Investigator of the project Er. Soukhin Tarafdar, Scientist D, G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment & Sustainable Development (GBPNIHESD), Garhwal Unit, Srinagar, Garhwal, Uttarakhand. The efforts and hard work of Junior Project Fellow Mr. Darshan K Bhatt, Field Assistants Mr. Vikram Negi, Mr. Pramod Kandpal and Mr. Mohit Chandra are appreciated for collecting water samples and conducting field surveys. Authors are grateful to the Director, GBPNIHESD, Kosi-Katarmal, Almora, Uttarakhand, for providing lab facility and field instruments.


  1. Adiat KAN, Nawawi MNM, Abdullah K (2012) Assessing the accuracy of GIS-based elementary multi criteria decision analysis as a spatial prediction tool—a case of predicting potential zones of sustainable groundwater resources. J Hydrol 440:75–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ayazi MH, Pirasteh S, Arvin AKP, Pradhan B, Nikouravan B, Mansor S (2010) Disasters and risk reduction in groundwater: Zagros mountain Southwest Iran using geo-informatics techniques. Adv Disaster 3:51–57Google Scholar
  3. Babus OG, Sashikumar MC (2010) Delineation of groundwater recharge potential zones for Tirrupur block using GIS. J Soil Water Conserv 9:154–158Google Scholar
  4. Chenini I, Mammou AB, May MY (2010) Groundwater recharge zone mapping using GIS-based multi-criteria analysis: a case study in Central Tunisia (maknassy basin). Water Resour Manag 24:921–939CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chowdhury A, Jha MK, Chowdary VM, Mal BCP (2009) Integrated remote sensing and GIS-based approach for accessing groundwater potential in West Medinipur District, West Bengal. India Int J Remote Sens 30:231–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dinesh Kumar PK, Gopinath G, Seralathan P (2007) Application of remote sensing and GIS for the demarcation of groundwater potential zones of a river basin in Kerala, southwest cost of India. Int J Remote Sens 28:5583–5601CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Eid MM, Abdel Rahman MT, Zaghloul E, Elbeih S (2006) Integrated remote sensing and GIS for proposing groundwater recharge locations: case study at west El-Nubariya Canal, Egypt. Egypt J Remote Sens Space Sci 9:113–134Google Scholar
  8. Fortes PS, Platonov AE, Pereira LS (2005) GISAREG- a GIS based irrigation scheduling simulation modelling to support improved water use. Agric Water Manag 77:159–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gansser A (1964) Geology of the Himalayas. Wiley InterScience, New York, p 289Google Scholar
  10. Gumma MK, Pavelic P (2013) Mapping of groundwater potential zones across Ghana using remote sensing, geographic information systems and spatial modeling. Environ Monit Assess 185:3561–3579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jaiswal RK, Mukharjee S, Krishnamurthy J, Saxena R (2003) Role of remote sensing and GIS techniques for generation of groundwater prospect zones towards rural development-an approach. Int J Remote Sens 24:993–1008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jaturon K, Wiewwiwun R, Srilert C (2014) Hydrogeologic characteristics and groundwater potentiality mapping using potential surface analysis in the Huay Sai area, Phetchaburi province. Thailand Geosci J 18:89–103Google Scholar
  13. Jha MK, Chowdary VM, Chowdhury A (2010) Groundwater assessment in Salboni block, West Bengal (India) using remote sensing, geographical information system and multi-criteria decision analysis techniques. Hydrogeol J 18:1713–1728CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Joshi BK, Kothyari BP (2003) Chemistry of perennial springs of Bhetagad watershed: a case study from Central Himalayas, India. Environ Geol 44(5):572–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kaliraj S, Chandrasekar N, Magesh NS (2014) Identification of potential groundwater recharge zones in Vaigai upper basin, Tamil Nadu, using GIS-based analytical hierarchical process (AHP) technique. Arab J Geosci 7:1385–1401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Krishnamurthy J, Mani A, Jayaraman V, Manivel M (2000) Groundwater resources development in hard rock terrain-an approach using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Int J Appl Earth Obs Geoinf 2:204–215CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kumar SGR, Shankar K (2014) Assessment of groundwater potential zones using GIS. Geosci Front 2:1–10Google Scholar
  18. Magesh NS, Chandrasekar N, Soundranayagam JP (2012) Delineation of groundwater potential zones in Theni district, Tamil Nadu, using remote sensing, GIS and MIF techniques. Geosci Front 3:189–196CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mishra A (2014) Changing climate of Uttarakhand, India. J Geol Geophys 3(2014):1–5Google Scholar
  20. Murthy KSR (2000) Groundwater potential in a semi-arid region of Andhra Pradesh-a geographical information system approach. Int J Remote Sens 21:1867–1884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Negi GCS, Joshi V (2004) Rainfall and spring discharge patterns in two small drainage catchments in the western Himalayan Mountains. India Environ 24:19–28Google Scholar
  22. Oh H-J, Kim Y-S, Choi J-K, Park E, Lee S (2011) GIS mapping of regional probabilistic groundwater potential in the area of Pohang City. Korea J Hydrol 399:158–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Pietersen K (2006) Multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA): a tool to support sustainable management of groundwater resources in South Africa. Water 32:119–128Google Scholar
  24. Pradhan B (2009) Groundwater potential zonation for basaltic watersheds using satellite remote sensing data and GIS techniques. Cent Eur J Geosci 1:120–129Google Scholar
  25. Rawat JS (2014) Impact of climate change in the non-glacial fed Himalayan River system, a case study from the Kosi River in district Almora, Uttarakhand state (India). In: 3rd international conference on hydrology and meteorology, Hyderabad, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  26. Riad PH, Billib M, Hassan AA, Salam MA, El Din MN (2011) Application of the overlay weighted model and Boolean logic to determine the best locations for artificial recharge of groundwater. J Urban Environ Eng 5:57–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Shaban A, Khawlie M, Abdallah C (2006) Use of remote sensing and GIS to determine recharge potential zone: the case of occidental Lebanon. Hydrogeol J 14:433–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Singh AK, Prakash SR (2003) An integrated approach of remote sensing, geophysics and GIS to evaluation of groundwater potentiality of Ojhala sub-watershed, Mirjapur District, U.P., India. In: Asian conference on GIS, GPS, aerial photography and remote sensing, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  29. Singh P, Gupta A, Singh M (2014) Hydrological inferences from watershed analysis for water resource management using remote sensing and GIS techniques. Egypt J Remote Sens Space Sci 17:111–121Google Scholar
  30. Solomon S, Quiel F (2006) Groundwater study using remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) in the central highlands of Eritrea. Hydrogeol J 14:1029–1041CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Subba Rao N, Chakradhar GKJ, Srinivas V (2001) Identification of groundwater potential zones using remote sensing techniques in and around Gunur town, Andhra Pradesh. India J Indian Soc Remote Sens 29:69–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tweed SO, Leblanc M, Webb JA, Lubczynski MW (2007) Remote sensing and GIS for mapping groundwater recharge and discharge areas in salinity prone catchments, South-Eastern Australia. Hydrogeol J 15:75–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Valdiya KS (1978) Extension and analogues of the Chail nappe in the Kumaun Himalaya. Indian J Earth Sci 5:1–19Google Scholar
  34. Valdiya KS, Bartarya SK (1989) Diminishing discharge of mountain springs in a part of Kumaun Himalaya. Curr Sci 58:417–426Google Scholar
  35. Valdiya KS, Bartarya S (1991) Hydrogeological studies of springs in the catchment of the Gaula River, Kumaun lesser Himalaya, India. Mt Res Dev 11(3):239–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meenu Rani
    • 1
  • Himanshu Joshi
    • 2
  • Kireet Kumar
    • 2
  • Ashutosh Tiwari
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyDSB Campus, Kumaun UniversityNainitalIndia
  2. 2.GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development (GBPNIHESD)AlmoraIndia

Personalised recommendations