Water Resources Development Action Plan by using Remote Sensing data: A case...

Water Resources Development Action Plan by using Remote Sensing data: A case study in Dhaulpur block, Dhaulpur district, Rajasthan


R. D. Gupta
Head, Department of Geography University of Rajasthan, Jaipur

Sujata Gupta
Chief Medical Officer, C. G. H. S., Jaipur

The available surface and ground water resources are inadequate to meet all the water requirements for all purpose. So the demand for water has increased over year, which needs the assessment of quantity and quality of water for its optional utilization. The interpretation of satellite data in conjunction with sufficient ground truth information makes it possible to identify and outline various ground features such as geological structures, geomorphic features and their hydraulic characters, that may serve as direct or indirect indicators of the presence of ground and surface water.

Remote Sensing and GIS methods permit rapid and cost effective natural resource survey and management. Moreover, remotely sensed data serve as vital tool in generating water resources action plan and also identifying landform features, drainage pattern and geomorphic indicators for location of recharge and discharge area analysis. The geomorphological conditions are an essential prerequisite in understanding water bearing characteristics of hard rooks. Sufficiently thick weathered zone forms groundwater storage in bedrock areas but often may not provide regular supply groundwater. The present study is an attempt to prepare maps of water resources action plan and integration of all thematic maps by using satellite data and GIS techniques.

Study Area
Dhaulpur block is located in the central part of the district, which is bounded by Bharatpur district in the north and Madhya Pradesh in south. Eastern boundary is the dividing line between Raja Khara and Dhaulpur blocks. Western boundary is touched by Baseri and Bari blocks of the district. This block is covered by toposheet 54 F/9, F/10, F/13, F/14 spread over 601.76 sq. km. Physiographically the area is characterised by a dissected plateau and alluvial plain region. The most striking feature is the development of dissected ravenous zone along the three main rivers viz. Chambal, Parbati and Gambhir, which also form the main drainage network of the block. The alluvial plain is formed by the rivers Chambal and its tributaries. Climatically the block falls under the semi- arid conditions. The maximum and minimum temperatures vary from 4202′ C to 701′ C. The diurnal variation in the temperature ranges from 110 C to 170 C. The relatively humidity during Southwest monsoon is highest i.e. 83% (8.30 hrs.) Whereas it is lowest in May i.e. 36% (8 : 30 hrs). The average annual rainfall of Dhaulpur block is 668.60 mm (1901-1997). Winds are generally light to moderate but in summer and early monsoon season they are strengthened for some days. The forest of the block falls under the dry deciduous variety. In regard to mineral wealth, the non-metallic deposits of economic value are predominantly sandstone and limestone belonging to Vindhyan Supergroup of the rock. Out of 7.5-lac total population, 17.19% live in urban areas. The decadal growth of population is 28.10% as compared to 28.44% of the entire state. The average density of population in the block is 284 persons per sq. kms. The block shows that nearly 20.47% of people belong to the scheduled caste. The overall literacy of the block is around 31%.

The main objectives of the study are to prepare water resources development action plan on 1:50,000 scale supported by various thematic maps like – Base map, Drainage map, Hydrogeomorphological map, and Ground water prospect map. The suitable sites for groundwater as well as surface water harvesting structures are suggested in consideration with physical and cultural parameters of the area to mitigate the increasing demands of water for irrigation and drinking purposes.

Toposheets (54 F/9, F/10, F/13, F/14), IRS LISS-III FCC on 1 : 50,000 scale of three seasons, and published literatures are used. The ground truth verification is also done as and when required at various stages.

The Satellite data of three seasons have been interpreted using visual techniques. The local knowledge of the area has been taken into consideration at the time of interpretation. All drainages are taken out from toposheets and further modified by satellite data. The groundwater prospect of the delineated geomorphic units are evaluate using available hydrologic characterise and aquifer parameters. All the thematic maps have been finalised after field checks at selected locations for verifying the doubtful units. Based on Groundwater prospect zones and geomorphic units of the block, water-harvesting structure are suggested on suitable sites.

GIS (ARC/INFO) has been used for integrating various thematic maps to demarcate the zones of low to high groundwater potential zones.

Results and Discussion

Geology : The geological sequence of block forms part of Vindhyan Supergroup, which is essentially made up of sedimentary rocks including sandstones, shales and limestones.

Stratigraphic Sequence in Dhaulpur

Recent to Quaternary Alluvium
MiddleToUpperProterozoic Vindhyan
Bhander Groups
Rewa Group
Fine to medium grained sandstone with minor shale intercalations (Upper Bhander Sandstone)
Shales with interbeds of stromatolitic limestone (Sirbu Shales)
Fine grained thickly bedded sandstone (Upper Rewa Sandstone)

Rewa Group: It is generally quartzitic in nature and characterised by more frequent intercalation of shales.

Bhander Group: The rocks of the Bhander group cover a very large area in Dhaulpur are essentially made up of sandstone, shales & minor limestones.

Alluvium: Narrow zone along Chambal River is covered by Quaternary Alluvium. It shows gradual thickening towards northeast and consists of mainly fine sand, silt and coarse gravels.

Structure: The sandstones in the area pre-dominantly show bedding joint.

The Chambal river, which is flows in a linear valley is interpreted to follow a structural valley formed by a fault. The river Parbati also appears to be fault controlled. There are number of other subsidiary faults parallel as well oblique to the general northwestern trend of the Vindhyan rocks.

The major geomorphic units identifying in this block are alluvial plains, river terraces, river channel, buried pediplain, denudational hills and upper plateau. Alluvial plains cover the maximum part of the block, which is a major geomorphic unit in the area. About 64.26% of the block has very good groundwater prospect. Deep ravenous alluvial plain and moderately deep alluvial plain occupy 16.60% area of the block, which is highly dissected. The ground water prospect in this zones moderate to good. River terraces are slightly raised alluvial flat of older alluvium along Chambal River showing high dissections, which cover 1.029 sq. km. area of the block, it has moderate to good ground water potential. Flood plain along Parbati River is very narrow, covers 0.188 sq. km. area, which has excellent groundwater potential. The upper plateau on sandstones covers 20.912 sq. km. area of the block, which has poor ground water potential. The other geomorphic units are buried pediment denudational hill and River channel, which are under good to poor ground water prospect zone.

Groundwater Prospect Dhaulpur Block

Geomorphic unit Description Ground water prospect Area within the block (sq. km.) Area in Percentage
Flood Plain Very narrow flat area along river Parbati Excellent 0.188 0.03
Paleo Channel Narrow arcuate tract within alluvial plain Very good 0.653 0.11
Channel Bar Small alluvial patch forming part of the riverbed. 0.052 0.01
Buried Channel Narrow arcuate tract in ravenous alluvial zone Good 0.618 0.10
Channel Meander Narrow meandering tracks along river Parbati Good 0.228 0.04
River Terrace Slightly raised alluvial flat of older alluvium along river Chambal Very good 13.648 2.27
River Terrace Ravenous Slightly raised alluvial flat of older alluvium along river Chambal showing high dissections Moderate to Good 1.029 0.17
Valley Fill Shallow Narrow depressions filled with colluvial material with in upper plateau. Moderate depending upon the thickness of full 0.461 0.08
Alluvial Plain Deep Nearly flat plain of alluvial sediments occupying a very large area having more than 30m depth. Very good 386.72 64.26
Alluvial Plain Deep Ravenous Nearly flat plain of alluvial sediments occupying a very large area having more than 30m depths, highly dissected. Moderate to Good 67.214 11.17
Alluvial Plain Moderate Nearly flat plain consisting of alluvial matter having thickness of 10-20m. Good 38.717 6.43
Alluvial Plain Shallow Nearly flat pain consisting of alluvial matter having thickness of less than 10m. Good 42.277 7.03
Buried Pediplain Shallow Nearly flat area within sedimentary plateaus of < 10 m thickness. Poor 0.189 0.03
Pediment Gentle slopes on the foothills of denudation hill of sandstones. Moderate 7.91 1.31
Outer Fringe of Plateau Middle slopes of the sandstone plateaus of around 150 – 200 slope Poor 0.154 0.03
Denudational Hill Isolated hills of sandstones of medium height Poor 5.916 0.98
Upper Plateau (Highly Dissected) Plateau on sandstones rising to heights of nearly 150m from plains Poor better possibility along secondary porosity zones. 20.912 3.48

In the Dhaulpur block the stage of groundwater development has been categorized as ‘CRITICAL’. The Quaternary alluvium, which covers a large part in the Dhaulpur block shows moderate to high yield where groundwater generally is suitable for domestic and irrigation purposes. The groundwater yield in the Bhander Sandstone and Sirbu Shales and limestone is low to moderate and the quality of water is suitable for domestic and as well as irrigation purposes. Ground water prospect of the block:
In this block there are six categories of Ground water prospect zones. Maximum part of the block has under ‘Excellent’ prospect which covers 401.021sq. km. the next category is 81.84 sq. km. of good Ground water prospect .in the southern part of the block:

Groundwater Prospect Dhaulpur Block

Sr. No. Category Total area sq. km.
1 Excellent 401.021
2 Very good 0.188
3 Good 81.84
4 Moderate to good 68.243
5 Moderate 8.371
6 Poor 27.171

Water Resources Action Plan:
The water resources available to a community are the most important factors contributing to its economic development to ensure a way of life, consistent with the human dignity. The water resources development plan of Dhaulpur block have been prepared on the basis of hydro-geomorphological characteristics of the different zones, drainage, surface waterbodies, present landuse and current status of surface and groundwater exploitation in the block. The maps show major units indicating their groundwater potentialities, new locales of potential aquifers, besides suggested locations of structure for exploitation both surface as well as groundwater.

The principal recharge of groundwater body in the block is through monsoon precipitation. Additional sources of recharge are through winter rainfall; return flow of irrigation, and water recharge from surface water resources the potential zone of alluvium in the block is under critical to semi-critical stage of groundwater development. This area also forms the arable land area, which needs continuous drawl of water for increasing demand of agricultural products. Therefore, for preventing further depletion of groundwater and its future development the first priority is for recouping it by – i) artificial recharge, ii) change of cropping pattern, iii) adopting better irrigation system (sprinkler and drip irrigation system), and iv) conjunctive use of water. Exploring areas in the hard rock terrain along secondary porosity zones should form the basis for future development. A proper groundwater management strategy including close-watch on the behaviour of water-table and monitoring the changes in the quality of groundwater would require increase in the number of Network Observation Wells.

Tributaries of parbati, especially the smaller ones, are short- lived and exhibit sandy beds. A large number of small and medium sized reservoirs have already been developed, which provide a good source of surface water although their water. Development of new storage reservoirs is rather limited, since most of the sites suitable for the construction of such reservoirs had already been occupied. However, a few water-harvesting structures on a smaller scale, have been suggested. Such structures at suitable sites not only help in improving hydrological behaviour but also help in the reduction of soil load, moderating the normal flood flow, restoration of degraded land for improving its productivity and improving ecological balance between land, water and biota.

Nalabund, recharge-pit, and desilting of tanks, as major part of the block forms a flat terrain consisting of two potential zones; the alluvium and sandstone part of, which is covered under command area. Along Chambal River most of the structures are suggested for recharge of groundwater or enhancing the water holding capacity of the existing waterbodies by desilting.

Surface Water Harvesting Structure in Dhaulpur Block

S. No. Structure Location Hydrogeomor-phology Unit Slope Land Use Remarks
1. Nala Bund (NB-1) 54 F/13 B-3, SW APD -R 0-1% Ravenous Land Recommended for recharge of groundwater and wells
2. Nala Bund (NB-2) 54 F/14 A-1, NW APD -R 0-3 % Kharif Recommended for recharge of groundwater checking, erosion, irrigation purpose.
3. Nala Bund (NB-3) 54 F/9, B-2, NW APD 0-1% Fallow Land Recommended for recharge of wells, irrigation purpose, drinking purpose.
4. Recharge pit (RP) 54 F/13 C-3, NW APD 0-1% Fallow Land Recommended for recharge of wells, irrigation purpose, drinking purpose.
5. Desilting of tank (D1) 54 F/13 B-3, South APD 0-1% Water body Recommended for groundwater recharge.
6. Desilting (D2) 54 F/13 B-3, SE APD 0-1% Water body Recommended for groundwater recharge.
7. Desilting (D3) 54 F/13 C-3, SE APD 0-1% Kharif Recommended for groundwater recharge and well recharge, drinking purpose.
8. Nala Bund (NB-4) 54 F/14 B-1, NW APD 0-1% Water body Recommended for groundwater recharge.
9. Desilting (D7) 54 F/13 C-3, SW 4 0-1% Water body Recommended for groundwater recharge.
10 . Desilting (D4) 54 F/14 A-2, Centre APD 0-1% Water body Recommended for groundwater recharge.
11. Desilting (D5) 54 F/14 A-2, Centre APD 0-1% Water body Recommended for groundwater recharge.
12. Desilting (D6) 54 F/14 A-2, SE UPH 0-1% Water body Recommended for groundwater recharge.

The study revealed the usefulness of remote sensing technology for preparing a water resource development action plan. The study shows that the area being an alluvial plain has very good to good ground water prospects. In this area we have suggested approximately 12 surface water-harvesting structures. Nala Bunds, desiltation are the most required for ground water recharging for irrigation and drinking purpose.

We are grateful to Dr. J. R. Sharma Head and Project Director, RRSSC, Jodhpur for his support and guidance in preparation of this research paper. We are also equally grateful to Prof. H. S. Sharma, Dean faculty of Science, Prof. R. B. Singh Retd. Director GSI, Prof. of Geography, Shri S. B. Sharma for their guidance. I shall fail in my duty if I don’t acknowledge the help extended by the Scientists of ISDRS, Jaipur.


  1. District Census Handbook, Dhaulpur, 1991, Census of India, Rajasthan.
  2. Integrated Mission for Sustainable Development, Technical Guidelines, NRSA/DOS, Hyderabad.
  3. Monthly and Annual Rainfall and number of rainy days for the period 1901 – 1950 (part – II), IMD, Pune.
  4. Rajasthan District Gazetters, Bharatpur, Gazetter of India, Directorate, District Gazetters, Govt. of Rajasthan, Jaipur.
  5. Water Atlas of India, 1988. all India Soil and Land Use Survey Deptt. of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture, GOI, New Delhi.
  6. General of the India Society of Remote Sensing vol. 27, 28, No. 1 2 & 3, March 1999, June & September 2002.