By Dr S K Jain, Dr Vijay Kumar and Prasad
The authors are Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee and Scientist E, National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, respectively.
Nearly 85 per cent of India’s population is dependent on ground water for their domestic needs, particularly as a source of drinking water in rural areas. Yet sustainable use of ground water with formulation of appropriate legislation, strong implementation, and artificial recharge wherever practicable is still a distant dream.
Water located below the ground surface in soil pores and the fractures of lithologic formations is often withdrawn for agricultural, municipal and industrial use and is replenished by precipitation, river flow and irrigation return flow. Usage of ground water has some obvious advantages over surface water — better protection against pollution; little treatment required before supplying to user; constant temperature; small distances between source and user; and a fairly steady supply due to large storage capacities. These advantages have stimulated...