Balanced Urban Development: Options and Strategies for Liveable Cities

Volume 72 of the series Water Science and Technology Library pp 211-219

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


Groundwater Crisis of a Mega City: A Case Study of New Delhi, India

  • Vijendra K. BokenAffiliated withDepartment of Geography and Earth Science, University of Nebraska-Kearney Email author 


This chapter analyses the groundwater table data derived from various wells across Delhi for the 2007–2011 period in order to examine the fluctuation in the groundwater table. Due to the inconsistency in data coverage, data for only one pre-monsoon month (May) was analysed. It was found that the depth to the groundwater table increased during 2007–2010 for all of the districts except the northeast district. Nevertheless, this trend changed in 2011 due to the groundwater recharge and heavy rains in 2010. Parameters influencing the groundwater availability (e.g., population growth and density, urbanisation etc.) indicate that Delhi may soon face a groundwater crisis if efforts to retard population influx into Delhi is not checked. This could be done by improving economy and infrastructure in the adjoining states thus making Delhi less attractive for the migrating population. In addition, the practice of apartmentisation (converting single or double story homes into multiple apartments) should be slowed down or permitted wisely by bearing in mind future groundwater sustainability.


Groundwater crisis Sustainability Groundwater table Popolation influx Migration