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Odisha benefits with geospatial for water source finding and mapping

Dr. Ajay Kumar Sahoo

Hydrogeologist, Odisha Water & Sanitation Mission
Dept of Rural Development, Odisha, India

Rural Water Supply & Sanitation dept of Odisha is finding GIS as the only solution for eradicating water crisis in the state

About one-fifth of the world’s population does not have enough water. The problem is only getting worse owing to droughts, increasing population, urbanisation and industrialisation. But till the time the next rain season comes or other sources are found, Geospatial technology including GIS,GPS and remote sensing, along with allied disciplines such as geophysics, geology, climatology is required to explore, save ,manage, control and distribute water resources.

Geosaptial technology for water management in Odisha
Rural Water Supply & Sanitation Mission (RWSS) under the Department of Rural Development of Government of Odisha plans to implement GIS platform in its organisation to manage all assets with exact location and also use geophysical survey in source identification for ground water exploration and estimation through aquifer mapping. At present, RWSS has planned for survey of 4,00,000 sources to collect GPS point. The goal of the project is to ensure safe, quality drinking water at all times in all situations.
In the first phase, RWSS intends to do GPS survey of all assets to register over Odisha georeferenced map of all tube wells and PWS (public water supply) schemes. RWSS will incorporate secondary layers for surface water management like drainages, water bodies, canals as source for supply of water to rural people.
During field survey, photographs of all sources will be geo-tagged to verify the location and exact status of tubewell or PWS for transparency in governance and water quality analysis. In addition, RWSS is including other schemes as NBA (IHHL activities) to monitor through GIS–GPS technology regarding sanitation construction to know exact status

Geographic data will be integrated with attribute data of habitation covered and census data to be attached for demographic analysis for water demand and response ration. RWSS will work for location of surface water harvesting and ground water recharge structure at suitable places to develop a 3D model based aquifer mapping. RWSS is also contemplating use of satellite imagery for DEM (digital elevation model) for gravity water supply.

The sampling locations were captured as latitude/longitude data in degree, minutes, seconds (DMS) format. The data was converted to decimal degrees (LongDD and LatDD) for all the sampling locations. Sorting these in Excel format file, it was exported as text file structure. Thus the converted text file structure was used for the analysis. Spatial Analyst Tool in the GIS software was employed for data interpretation. The results were stored as raster files upon analysis. In the GIS environment, various layers will be overlapped for analysis and correlation to source. A detailed analytical report will be generated for further scientific study.

Geophysical exploration
RWSS plans to investigate ground water source through geophysics by sophisticated geophysical instruments. Source investigation is the prime concern of RWSS before PWS schemes. The governance of Department o Rural Development has given special emphasis on ground water management and investigation with water quality and security.
RWSS may plan a 'village water security plan- plotting of all existing water available in village including existing hand pumps, open wells (both government and private sources) to meet water requirement of the village for drinking and other purposes for further exploration. Underground water is used in many industrial and private ways and finding new sources of fresh water is very important, especially since the ordinary water sources (including lakes, rivers) are heavily polluted.

RWSS is using very low frequency electromagnetic meter Instruments (ABEM)(EM-16/16 R VLF system), resistivity meter and its components (Resistivity Imaging System) for ground water source investigation. Exploring ground water is similar to exploring any other resources using geological evidence along with geophysical-based measurements to help define perspective zones for exploitation. RWSS is also considering using other sources for scientific study such as geological formation study, meteorological data, morphological data, rainfall data, topographic data etc.

GIS is poised to highlight the issues on water management in Odisha through composing prospective maps of ground water and water quality maps of the state by using various parameters, combining mineralogical, environmental, industrial and atmospheric data etc. Also RWSS plans to upload the information in public domain on Web platform where anyone can share, suggest, comment over the entire GIS system. While there are a lot of issues, there is only one solution, geospatial technology and allied science.