HYDROGEOLOGY of the INDOGANGETIC ALLUVIUM
The IndoGangetic Basin, though blessed with a vast network of dams, canals, andstrong irrigation bureaucracy, has lost its historical supremacy of the surface irrigationsystems to the more informal, demandbased and equitable groundwater irrigation.Most canal commands in the region are shrinking with groundwater taking over thecritical role of irrigation provisioning. In large parts of the IndoGangetic Basin findinga farmer who either does not have his own pump or does not purchase water from hisneighboring pumpowner may be a difficult task (Shah, 2006). The present size of thegroundwater economy in the region is substantial, and it is groundwater irrigation thatlargely account for the variations in the value of agricultural output per hectare.Groundwater irrigation is helping in catalyzing the spread of the green revolution intonew areas that were not covered by surface irrigation in the 1970s. Despite this, thedevelopment, use, sharing and groundwater markets, and the agricultural productionand large social benefits produced by the groundwater resource are not uniform anddepend heavily upon the prevailing hydrology and socioecology of the givenregion/state in the vast basin, albeit with very interesting twists. Understandingsustainable groundwater management in the developing world requires blending of three distinct perspectives: (a) the resource, (b) the user, and (3) the institutional.
GROUND WATER IN SANSKRIT LITERATURE
The study of our scriptures reveals that ancient Indian thinkers such as Sarasvatu,Manu with scientific bent were not only interested in exploring the means of storingrainwater but also exploring the methods to locate ground water sources. ManySanskrit works like Brihatsamhita of Varahamihira, Arthasastra of Kautilya etc.,describe the interior of the earth to be full of water channels, like the veins in the humanbody, further subdividing into hundreds and thousands of streams at different levelscausing life of different plants and trees on the earth. These works claim that on thebasis of certain plants and trees, ground water resources can be explored in the areaswhere surface water is not available. There are other methods like smell of soil andcharacter of rocks using which it can also be assessed whether water is sweet, saline,acidic or bitterThe
warn that deep wells are foolish to dig. At eight armlengths depth, thewell is
, or beautiful. At thirteen armlengths, it becomes
, a well thatcauses fear. The excavations at MohenjoDaro have revealed bricklined dug wellsexisting as early as 3000 B.C. during the Indus Valley Civilization. The writings of Vishnu Kautilya (in the reign of Chandragupta Maurya—300 B.C.) indicate that ground