Managed aquifer recharge in South India: What to expect from small percolation tanks in hard rock? uri icon


  • Many states in India are currently facing general overuse of their groundwater resources mainly due to growing demand for irrigated agriculture. Groundwater levels are declining despite water harvesting measures to enhance aquifer recharge which are supported on a massive scale by watershed development programmes. New programmes are being implemented to improve artificial percolation (i.e., managed aquifer recharge, MAR) although the impact of former measures on aquifer recharge has not yet been assessed. It is therefore crucial to increase our understanding of MAR to successfully overcome the threat of groundwater scarcity in the near future.
  • This paper scrutinizes the ability of a typical percolation tank to recharge the aquifer using a comprehensive approach combining water accounting, geochemistry and hydrodynamic modelling. Over 2 years of observation, the percolation efficiency (percolated fraction of stored water) of the tank ranged from 57% to 63%, the rest being evaporated. Modelling showed that the percolated water was mostly (80%) pumped straight back by the neighbouring boreholes, limiting the area of MAR influence but increasing percolation efficiency. (C) 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V.

publication date

  • 2014
  • 2014