Impact of land-use and land-cover change on groundwater quality in the Lower Shiwalik hills: a remote sensing and GIS based approach

Sudhir Singh 1 , Chander Singh 2  and Saumitra Mukherjee 2
  • 1 Department of Atmospheric and Ocean Science, Nehru Science Centre, University of Allahabad, 211002, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • 2 School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 110067, New Delhi, India


Human activities have exerted small to large scale changes on the hydrological cycle. The current scenario regarding groundwater resources suggests that globally there is a water crisis in terms of quantity (availability) and quality. Therefore there is a great need for the assessment and monitoring of quality and quantity of groundwater resources at local level. This paper presents a case study of the lower Shiwalik hills, in Rupnagar, Punjab, India, to trace land-use and land-cover changes during the past 17 years, with an emphasis on groundwater quality and quantity. This study was performed in alluvial and hilly terrain. The results show that the quantity of groundwater increased with the help of natural and artificial recharge due to change in land-use and land-cover pattern (increased area of fallow land). The quality of groundwater deteriorated due to input of fertilizers for enhancing the short-term soil fertility. Using a Remote Sensing and GIS based approach, we show the final results in map form. In particular we highlight a potential groundwater exploration site, which could be useful for district level planning. Our research shows that the change in land-use and land-cover affects the quantity and quality of groundwater.

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Open Geosciences (formerly Central European Journal of Geosciences - CEJG) is an international, peer-reviewed journal publishing original research results from all fields of Earth Sciences such as: Geology, Geophysics, Geography, Geomicrobiology, Geotourism, Oceanography and Hydrology, Glaciology, Atmospheric Sciences, Speleology, Volcanology, Soil Science, Geoinformatics, Geostatistics. The journal is published in the Open Access model.