The West Bokaro coalfield is a richest coal-mining belt in the Damodar Valley, India. The extensive mining of the area has resulted in disruption of the groundwater availability in terms of both quantity and quality. This has led to a drinking water crisis, especially during the pre-monsoon period in the West Bokaro coalfield area. The characterization of the hydrogeological system and the artificial recharging of the aquifers might help to better manage the problem of the groundwater-level depletion. For this purpose, seven important hydrogeological factors (water depth, slope, drainage, soil, infiltration, lithology, and landuse) have been considered to define the most suitable locations for artificial groundwater recharging in the mining area. Different thematic maps were prepared from existing maps and data sets, remote-sensing images, and field investigations for identification of the most suitable locations for artificial recharge. Thematic layers for these parameters were prepared, classified, weighted, and integrated into a geographic information system (GIS) environment by means of fuzzy logic. The results of the study indicate that about 29 and 31% of the area are very suitable and suitable for recharging purposes in the West Bokaro coalfield. However, the rest of the area is moderate to unsuitable for recharging due to the ongoing mining and related activities in the study area. The groundwater recharging map of the study area was validated with measured electrical conductivity (EC) values in the groundwater, and it indicated that validation can be accepted for the identification of groundwater recharging sites. These findings are providing useful information for the proper planning and sustainable management of the groundwater resources in the study area.
Applied Water Science – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 4, 2017
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