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1.0 The Region

1.1 a)Geology and Irrigation
1.2 b)Physiographiy and Irrigation
1.3 Climate and Irrigation
1.3.1 Temperature and Humidity
1.3.2 Rainfall
a) Spatial distribution
b) Seasonal distribution
c) Intensity of rainfall
d) Rainfall variability
e) Agro-climatic Zones
1.4 Water resources and irrigation
1.4.1 Groundwater
a) Watertable during pre-monsoon
b) Watertable during post-monsoon
c) Seasonal fluctuation
d) Groundwater recharge
e) Groundwater withdrawal
1.4.2 Surface water
1.5 Soils and Irrigation
1.5.1 Soil types
1.5.2 Fertility status
1.5.3 Problems of soils
1.6 Demographic factors and Irrigation
1.6.1 Rural population
1.6.2 Density of rural population
In irrigated area
1.6.3 Cultivators
1.6.5 Agriculture labourers
Land ownership, Tenure and
Size of holding
a) Size of holding
b) Size of holding and irrigated Area

The region selected for the research work is Aurangabad

district. The district is known as Aurangabad after the name of
the city Aurangabad, which is the headquarter of the district. It
is situated in upper Godavari basin and in the extreme northwest
of Marathwada region. Aurangabad district lies between 190 180
and 200 400-north latitudes and 740 400 and 760 400 East
longitudes. The district Aurangabad is bounded by Jalgaon
district on the North, Buldhana to its northwest and Jalna on the
east, Bhir and Ahmadnagar districts on the South and Nasik on
the west.

The district is roughly triangular in shape, the southern

side corresponding to the Godavari river and northern side to the
Northeast trending arm of Ajanta ranges. The extreme distances
between east to west and north to south are 175 km and 130 km

The district Aurangabad is an administrative unit and part

of Maharashtra State Comprising nine talukes i.e. Aurangabad,
Gangapur, Kannad Khuldabad, Paithan, Phulambri, Sillod,
Soegaon and Vaijapur. The Geographical area of the district is
10106 The district covers 3.26 pc of the total area of the
state of Maharashtra. The total number of villages in the district
is 1344.

The Knowledge of physiographic and related aspects of

geography is essential not only for grasping geographical facts of
the region but also for understanding its agricultural and
irrigation development. Naturally, the study deals with geology,
relief, climatic, water resources and soils in the area under study
in relation to the irrigation facilities in the region. As Fukuda
(1976) has pointed out’ the need for irrigation and drainage is
meteorological conditions of the regions and by the conditions for
growth of particular kinds of crops in the district.


The development of irrigation, particularly well irrigation

depends upon the geological structure of the region. The
information presented here is based on the short dealing with
groundwater and local rock strata of the area under study.

The district is monotonously covered by the basaltic lava

flows called Deccan Trap. The Deccan Trap flows are divided into
three divisions Vis: Upper Traps 450 mt. thick. The middle traps
1200 mt thick and lower Traps 150 mt thick, Aurangabad
district. The lava flows consist of massive and vesicular flows
vesicular trap is hand whereas the massive basalt is dark The
massive basalt is a dark grey to black rock having very fine to
medium grained texture. It is hard and compact. Usually in trap
covered area the inter trapper sedimentary beds serve as geo
aquifer, But the middle traps are devoid of such beds, water
occurs in weathered vesicular zones, joints and future planes of
the rock. This type of geology affects the annual recharge of
groundwater and irrigation facilities of the area.

The relative aspect of relief, average slope have significant

role in the development of irrigation. The district Aurangabad is
a part of the Deccan Plateau slopping southeastwards from
Sahadris has many features in common with other district of the
Deccan. The Southeasterly trending Chandavad range in Nasik
district becomes very subdued in the Western part of Aurangabad
district. To the East of Shivana river the Ajanta plateau begins
with elevation of over 900 mts, and slope gently Eastwards. It is
the water divide between the Tapi and the Godavari drainage.

The Satmala hills ( 943 metres) one of the range is derived is

situated north of Kannad town. The Satmala range contains
several hills, Antur (826 metres), Sutonba (552 metres),
Abasgadh (671 metres), Baithaulvadi (625 metres) and Ajanta
(578 metres).

A branch of Ajanta range extends southwards and then

eastward toward Shivna River. The range contains several peaks
over 760 meters. The Surpainath hill is the highest peak with
958 meters altitude.

The Western edge of the Ajanta plateau forms the Ellora

range which runs southeast in Aurangabad. It is called as Satara

Taking into consideration the altitudinal range and relief

features, the district Aurangabad is divided into following three
(i) The Shivna-Godavari basin Region

(ii) The Ajanta Plateau. Region

(iii) The piedmont of Ajanta Region

1. The Shivna-Godavari basin Region

The region forming the basins of the Shivna and the

Godavari rivers comprises the relatively low-lying areas. The
altitudinal range along the river is 150 to 450 mt. It increases up
to 600 mt. away from the riverbanks. The region includes
southern and western parts of Kannad taluka, a small part of
Khuldabad and whole of Vaijapur and Gangapur talukas. It also
includes Paithan and Western portion of Aurangabad taluka

2. The Ajanta Plateau Region:

The Ajanta plateau region lies between Tapi basin in north,

Shivna and Godavari basins to the west and south. The river
Purna and Dudhana and their tributaries dissect the plateau
region. The region comprises the whole of Sillod taluka, the
northern part of Kannad taluka, Phulambri taluka and part of
Augrangabad taluka. The altitudinal range of the region is about
600-900 mt.

3 The piedmont of Ajanta Region

The region is to the north of Ajanta-Satmala ranges,

stretches from the Nagad in the northern part of Kannad taluka
and it also includes the whole of Soegaon taluka. In this region,
groundwater is abundant on account of springs all along the foot
hills of the scarp. Almost all the villages are on the banks of
innumerable streams, which drain this region.

In general the slope of the region decreases to the north,

east and south the Ajanta plateau region.

Agricultural water supply or irrigation is very much

influenced by the form of land. The provision of irrigation is the
easiest in plain country (Enayat Ahmed 1980) Relief features of
the district have affected the sources of irrigation. The
undulating slope of Ajanta plateau creates difficulties in the
construction canals. Therefore, in Ajanta plateau canals are
absent and wells have become major sources of irrigation.
Groundwater is abundant on account of springs all along the
Piedment of Ajanta favourers. Well irrigation. In the Shivana
Godavari, basin wells are located away from the river course and
increase in number,

Well water is used mostly for drinking purpose and little for
irrigation. The Godavari basin is favorable for canal irrigation,
Some irrigation projects are executed in this region.


Climate is one of the most important physical determinants

as it affects the availability of water for irrigation purpose.
The Climate of the district Aurangabad is characterized by
hot summer and general dryness throughout the year except
during the southwest monsoon season.
1.3.1 Temperature and Humidity

Cold weather commences by about the end of the November

when temperature begins to fall rapidly. December is the coldest
month of the year with minimum temperature at 12.90 c and
means daily maximum temperature at 28.90 c. In the could
season the district is sometimes affected by cold waves in
association with the eastward passage of western disturbances.
In the period from March to May there is continuous increase in
both day and night temperature. May is the hottest month of the
year with daily maximum temperature and minimum
temperature at 27.40 c.
With the advance of the Southwest monsoon in about the
second week of June, temperature falls appreciably and the
weather is pleasant throughout the Southwest monsoon season
in the Aurangabad district. By the first week of October, the
monsoon withdraws and the day temperature shows a slight
increase. Thereafter the temperatures begin to drop.

During the Southwest monsoon season when the relative

humidity are high, It is about 80 p.c., the general increase in
relative humidity is from April, September and it decrease form
October. In the month of March it is less than 25 % from January
to April the relative humidity is low. Except Southwest monsoon
period, the weather is dry throughout the year in the district.
The summer months are the driest when the relative humidity
are generally between 20 and 25 per cent in the afternoon. The
post-monsoon and cold season is dry. (Fig. 1.3)
1.3.2 Rainfall

The need and necessity of irrigation depends upon the

spatio-temporal distribution of rainfall. It is rainfall, which
controls to great extent the irrigation pattern in the district. Any
extremely, either of excess rains or inadequate rains results in a
failure of crops, hence irritation plays on important role in crop
cultivation in the region. The annual average rainfall is 758.00
mm. whereas the state average rainfall is 1628 mm.

The distribution of rainfall can be described as spatial and

temporal or seasonal

A) Spatial Distribution of Rainfall

B) Seasonal Distribution of Rainfall

A) Spatial Distribution of Rainfall

The rainfall is not uniformly distributed in the district of

Aurangabad Average distribution shows marked spatial variation.
The rainfall in western part of the district is low and it increases
to the central part and northern part of the district. The
Gangapur and Vaijapur talukas always face scarcity conditions,
as the rainfall in these two talukas is not dependable. In the
western part of the Gangapur and Vaijapur talukas, the rainfall
is less than 600 mm. It is about 700 mm in the eastern part of
these two talukas.
The areas of assured rainfall in the district are the talukas
of Kannad and Soegaon. The annual average rainfall ranges
between 700 mm to 800 mm found in western part of Soegaon,
Khuldabad, and part of Kannad. The Eastern part of Soegaon,
Sillod, Phulambri, Aurangabad and Paithan talukas get moderate
rainfall it is about above 800 mm
(Fig. No1.4 )

B) Seasonal Distribution of Rainfall

Monsoon or Rainy season (June to September): About

83% of the rainfall is concentrated during south-west monsoon.
However, the spatial distribution varies much. Vaijapur and
Gangapur taluka get above 20 p.c. of its total rainfall, whereas 60
to 70 p.c. of total rain found in Paithan, Sillod and Kannad
taluka and above 70 %, rainfall is in Khuldabad, Phulambri and
Soegaon talukas. (Fig. 1.5 A.)
Post–Monsoon season (October to January): Active
Northeast monsoon provides rainfall during this period in the
district. The districts also get a few showers of Northeast
monsoon. This rainfall is always helpful for the growth and yield
of Rabi Crops. It also helps to recouping water in the well. 20%
rainfall of the total where Kannad, Khuldabad, Phulambri taluka
and in Aurangabad, Sillod, Soegaon taluka the rainfall is 20 to 30
% and in Vaijapur, Gangapur, Paithan taluka. The rainfall is
above 30 % due to post monsoon season.
(Fig. 1.5-A).
Pre-Monsoon season (February to May) : About 15 % of
the total rainfall is received in this Aurangabad, Khuldabad
Phulambri, Paithan, Vaijapur, Gangapur taluka The Kannad,
sillod Taluka get 15 to 20 % of the total rainfall except Soegaon
which get more than 20% of the total rainfall in this period (Fig.
1.5 B)
Scarcity of water is observed in the dry period because there
is scanty rainfall. Uncertainty and unevenness of rainfall creates
the need for irrigation in the District. The district Aurangabad
depends for its rainfall on the Southwest monsoon which is not
only concentrated in a brief period of four months but also is
unevenly distributed both in space and time. (http://www

C) Intensity of Rainfall

The term intensity is used here in the context of rainfall

received during 24 hours. It is calculated by employing the
formula propounded by Monkhouse and Wilkinson (1971)


Where, I = Intensity of rainfall

A = Annual rainfall
X = Number of rainy days

Fig. 1.4 B, shows the intensity of rainfall which varies from 12 to

14 mm in Khuldabad and Phulambri Aurangabad,
Paithan,Gangapur,Vaijapur,Kannad have more intensity of
rainfall which is above 14 mm. And in Soegaon, Sillod taluka
intensity of rainfall is below 12 mm.

D) Rainfall variability

Rainfall variability is calculated here by computing the

rainfall for 25 years i.e. 1975 to 2000. For computing the
variability of annual rainfall, following formula is used:

Standard - deviation
C = ---------------------------- x 100

The values thus derived are called co-efficient of variation.

They indicate the amount of fluctuation recorded by rainfall over
a period from the mean values. High variability is continued to
Aurangabad and Kannad Taluka of the district where it ranges
between 26 to 55 p.c. The Aurangabad, Khuldabad, Soegaon,
Kannad and in Sillod taluka are assured rainfall zone and co-
efficient of variation in this part is about 32 to 39 p.c. Variability
increases in Aurangabad and Soegaon taluka with decreasing
mean annual rainfall. The annual co-efficient of variation is over
22 p.c. in the district, moreover, its importance changes
considerable in different seasons. “Variability in excess of 20 p.c.
implies a great risk in farming” (Williamson, 1929). Therefore, as
a rule, lower the rainfall greater is the variability and more is the
need of irrigation.
Table 1.1 Standard deviation and co-efficient of variation of
seasonal rainfall at selected rain gauge station of Aurangabad
District (1995)

Sr Rainfall zone Standard

No. and deviation
al stations
Monso Post Yearly
on Monso
1 Aurangabad 142 69 29
2 Khuldabad 188 74 26
3 Kannad 155 39 22
4 Seogaon 143 35 27
5 Sillod 100 62 25
6 Paithan 89 88 29
7 Gangapur 84 83 31
8 Vijapur 38 56 31
Source: Complied by the Author

E) Agro-climatic zones

Maharashtra State is divided into nine agro-climatic zones

based on climate, soils and cropping pattern, which in turn is
determined, by a combination of the first two factors (Agricultural
Department, 2001). Aurangabad District is broadly divided into
two categories or zones from the viewpoint of rainfall namely i)
Scarcity zone ii) Assured rainfall zone.
i) Scarcity zone :-
The Southern part of the district comes under the
drought prone zone where rainfall is scanty. Vaijapur, Gangapur,
and some western part of Paithan taluka have sporadic and
irregular rainfall. The annual average rainfall in this zone varies
from 500 to 700 mm. The soil is medium black calcareous formed
from trap with varying depth and texture. Kharif and Rabi both
crops are grown in this zone.
ii) Assured rainfall zone :-
It covers Soygaon, Kannad, Sillod, Khultabad Aurangabad,
Phulambri, and Paithan talukas .The zone extends between 700
mm. to 900 mm. Isotheral lines. The soil of the zone is shallow
black, calcareous and suitable for mainly Kharif crops excluding

The Department of Irrigation (1995) has identified 30%

of the total geographical area under study as drought prone,
which is in nine talukas of Aurangabad, The total number
villages in drought prone area is 1344. These taluka badly need
irrigation in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. The purpose of
irrigation is drought by making certain that the plants are not
deprived of water at any time during their development.
(Thornthwaite and Mather, 1955).

Apart from seasonal and spatial variations, the annual

rainfall shows departure from the normal. Thus, even in the rainy
season the rainfall is subject to uncertainty.

High variability of rainfall and unreliable nature of

rainfall increase the element of risk and make crop proportion
rather difficult. Seasonal variability is also high in all parts of the
district, which necessitates adoption of irrigation not only in dry
season but also in rainy season.
The climatic conditions in Paithan, Aurangabad taluka
of the district are suitable for the cultivation and Vijapur and
Gangapur talukas are dry not suitable for cultivation of
perennial crops. This fact clearly underlines the need of irrigation
in Khuldabad, Kannad taluka of the district.

The fact-finding committee appointed by the

Government of Maharashtra, reported that the rainfall is not
dependable in Vaijapur and Gangapur talukas, which likely to be
affected by scarcity conditions.

The southwestern part of the district generally low rainfall

and more susceptible of crop failures due to in adequate,
irregular and untimely rains. (http://www


The provision of irrigation facilities depends on the water

resources available in the district. The detailed analysis of
climate of the district has established that rainfall is both
unreliable and inadequate due to which it has become essential
to harness existing water resources.

The groundwater and surface water are other sources from

which water can be utilized for crop cultivation. An attempt is
made to investigate the water table fluctuation, the recharge and
withdrawal of groundwater, as well as availability of surface
water. The data is collected from the office of the Irrigation Project
and Investigation Circle and Groundwater Survey and
Development Agency (G.S.D.A.) Dy. Director’s Office,

1.4.1 Groundwater
Usually in a trap-covered country, the intertrappean
sedimentary beds serve as good aquifers. But the middle traps
being devoid of such beds, water occurs in the weathered
vesicular zones, joints and fracture planes. The annual recharge
to the groundwater body is by infiltration of rainwater. Therefore,
the groundwater reserve is totally dependent upon the occurrence
of weathered zones, joints and fractures coupled with intensity
and distribution of rainfall which is directly related to
percolation. The observed fluctuation of water level in wells may
be attributed to the rainfall pattern of the district.

There are no wells near Ajanta Caves. Water for drinking

purpose is obtained from cisterns in some of the caves. Water is
stored in the cisterns during the rainy season. Channels cut in
the rock, carrying water into the cisterns can be seen, both in the
Ellora and Ajanta Caves.

Groundwater is found in the saturated lower portion of

the rocks beneath the surface of the earth. The area under study
is suitable for well irrigation, but its development depends on the
fluctuations of groundwater. The fluctuation in water table is
higher and the scope for its development appears to be limited.
The analysis regarding the fluctuation of water table reveals the
following facts.
a) Water table during pre-monsoon period varies between 6 to 12
meters from the surface. It is 06-09 meters from the surface in
Aurangabad, Khuldabad, Sillod, Gangapur, Vaijapur, Phulambri,
talukas. But the depth is about 12 meters in Kannad and
Soegaon taluka of the district. The district average water level
from the surface in pre-monsoon period is 9 SWL (Mts). In these
areas, there is acute shortage of water during the pre-monsoon
period. It is observed that a large number of wells are dry in the
most taluka of the district (Fig. 1.6 A.)

b) In the post-monsoon period, water table upto 4 meters is

observed in Seogaon taluka due to relatively higher rainfall. 4 to
6 meters water table is confined to the Paithan, Vaijapur,
Khuldabad, Kannad and Sillod during this period. The valley
comprises of deep watertable due to the presence of deep black
soil, watertable is more than 6 meter in Aurangabad and
Gangapur talukas. Post Monsoon District Average is 6 SWL (Mts.)
(Fig1.6 A)

c) The seasonal fluctuation in the watertable from per monsoon to

post-monsoon (May to October) is depicted in the Fig 1.6 (B) It is
observed that the seasonal fluctuation in watertable is high
particularly in Sillod taluka. Fluctuation in watertable is low in
Aurangabad, Paithan, Gangapur and Vaijapur and 3 to 5 Mts in
Kannad & Khuldabad taluka because recharge of water is limited
and the water withdrawals is also limited. The average
fluctuation of the watertable in the district is 7 Mts.

d) Groundwater recharge is a flow to groundwater storage from

precipitation, infiltration from surface streams and other sources.
Additional water to the zone of saturation in the aquifer is called
groundwater recharge (Singh, 1979).
The spatial pattern of annual groundwater recharge is
depicted on the map (Fig.1.7 A ). The recharge is high in Paithan
taluka. It is above ( 300 MCM.), In this part percolation of water
to sub-soil is more because of low laying land and the runoff is
also less. The recharge is moderate and low (100 MCM) to 200
MCM) mostly in Kannad and Sillod taluka. This is because of
high altitude. The rate of runoff is high which decreases the
percolation of water into the sub-soil. As a result.
e) Groundwater withdrawal is concerned mainly with the discharge
of water by wells in the district. Groundwater withdrawal in the
district is uneven, and is shown in the (Fig. 1.7 B). Aurangabad,
Khuldabad, Kannad, Soegaon, Phulambari talukas have much
withdrawal of groundwater as shown in Table. 1.2 Groundwater
is the only source of irrigation in these areas and so well
irrigation is dominant in these talukas. The withdrawal of water
is low, in Sillod, taluka therefore, discharge of water is also low.
In Paithan taluka, water recharge is high and water discharge is
low because of assured rainfall. The number of wells used for
irrigation purpose are relatively less in Paithan, Gangapur,
Vaijapur taluka than Kannad Soegaon, Khuldabad and
Aurangabad taluka.
The net recharge of groundwater in the district is 3106
MCM whereas the exploitation of groundwater is about 20 % of
the total recharge. The exploitation of groundwater is about 33 %
to the net recharge is found in Aurangabad Kannad, Soegaon,
Khuldabad and Phulambri. In Paithan, Gangapur and Vaijapur
talukas p.c. of groundwater is about 17 p.c. to total recharge.
Whereas in Sillod it is about 10 p.c. only. In the region where
surface irrigation facilities are not available, exploitation of
groundwater is high.

Table 1.2 Net recharge and percentage of groundwater

Exploitation in Aurangabad District.

Sr. Talukas Net Percentag

recharge e of
in MCM. exploitati
1 Aurangabad, Kannad, 1536.5 33
Soegaon, Khuldabad &
2 Paithan, Gangapur, 1433.2 17
3 Sillod 139.11 10

Aurangabad District 3108.81 20

Source: Groundwater Assessment Year 1981-82, G.S.D.A.,




Godavari.-The Godavari forms nearly the entire southern

boundary of the district from Dongaon about 3 kilometers above
Puntamba to Gunj Buzurg, a distance of nearly 230, kilometers.

The following are among the direct tributaries of the

Godavari: the Kol. nadi, the Narangi Nala, the Shivna, the Kham,
the Yelganga, the Shivbhadra, the Yelbhadra, the Galhati, the
Dhenda, the Dudna and the Musa.
Kol.-The first significant tributary of the Godavari after it enters
the district is the Kol. nadi, which has only a small part of its
lower course lying within the district.

Narangi Nala.-The Narangi rises on the southern slopes of the

water divide to the south of the Maniyad river a little above Naral
village and flows past Vaijapur. It has a fairly long south
southwesterly course before its point of entry into the Godavari is
carried a little down the latter. It is joined by the Chor nala from
the west and Kurla nala from the east. Actually the Narangi
continues the trend of the Kurla river after the latter’s

Narali.-The Narali nala is a small stream rising above

Jambargaon on a low divide and after passing by Virgaon joins
the Godavari at Dak Pimpalgaon.

Shivna.- Aurangabad districts above Kalanki village and has a

fairly long easterly course as far as Kannad town draining the
entire area lying between the Ajanta range on the north and the
Surpalnath range on the south. Near Kannad it is joined by
several streams draining the Ajanta range and the northern part
of the Ellora range, inclusive of the one which rises on the
Southern slopes of the Satmala hill. South of Kannad, the Shivna
after flowing beyond the eastern extremity of the Surpalnath
range, is relieved of the restrictive influence of the latter and
flows in a southwesterly direction as far as Baigaon, where it
turns and flows almost in a southerly course upto
Katepimpalgaon. Here it turns and flows in a south easterly
course to join the Godavari at Sawkheda.
Bori nala.-The westernmost significant tributary of the Shivna is
Bori nala which rises above HilaIpur on the low water divide
separating it from the Maniyad. Near Kolhi where the Shiyna
Vaijapur road crosses the Bori is located the Kolhi Project.

Dheku.-The Dheku. nala rises in the Gorakhnath and Kapilanath

hills of the Ajanta range above Dheku, village in Nasik district
and flows in a southerly course as Tunki, where it turns and
flows in southeasterly course. The Karali nala, a similar stream
following a little eastwards joins the Dheku. The headworks of
the Dheku Project are located below this confluence and
upstream of Bhatana village. Below Bhatana the river flows in a
more southerly course and after running nearly parallel to the
Shivna for more than 20 km., joins the latter upstream of

Khari-The Khari nala rises in the Ajanta range and after an initial
course in Nasik district enters this district. Soon it is joined by
the Chamandara nala and the combined stream flows
southeastwards and joins the Shivna near Bharagaon.

Gan -Among the left or east bank tributaries of the Shivna, the
most important one is the Gan nadi. Actually the main river
Shivna may be considered to join this river below Hatnur as the
combined river continues the trend of the Gan nadi.

Velganga.-Among the other several left bank tributaries, flowing

westwards from the Ellora range the more important one is the
Velganga which flows past Ellora or Verul village and the Khaki,
which flows by Kasabkheda. These two join just above Deogaon
and the combined river continues westwards to join the Shivna
opposite to Lakhni.

Lendi.-The Lendi nadi rises in the Verul hill and flows in a south
easterly course and then southwards to join the Shivna opposite
to Sirasgaon.

Nagjhari.-Several streams draining the southern slopes of the

Verul and Deogiri hills combine to form the Nagjhari and become
an appreciable river below Kasod. After flowing past Turkabad,
Limbe Jalgaon, Antapur and Dhamori Buzurg, it joins the Kaum

Kaum.-The Kaum river rises on the Southern slopes of the East

to West divide South of the Girja nadi and flows through
Aurangabad town in a general southwesterly course till it is
joined by the Nagjhari. Then, after a short southeasterly course,
it continues the trend of another tributary, the Buraguli
southwards and joins the Godavari near Jogeshwari.

Yelganaga.-The Yelganga nadi rises above Kasner and after an

initial Westerly course to southeast and south joins the Godavari.

Shivbhadra.-The Shivbhadra nadi rising in the same hill above

Dongaon flows past Pipalwadi and joins the Godavari a little
below the confluence of the Yelganga.

Yelbhadra -The Yelbhadra river rises in the same bill further east
near Daregaon and flows at first southwards and then
southeastwards to join the Godavari at Naugaon.

Purna.-The Puma river rises in the Ajanta range about 8 km.

northeast of the Satmala hill above Mehun village at a height of
about 775 metres and has the longest course of any river within
the district, before it leaves the district about a kilometre and a
half below Brainhapuri at a level of 518 metres. Next to the
Godavari, it is the most important river of the district. Along with
its several tributaries including the Dudna, the largest of them
but joining it outside the district, the Purna drains the entire
area between the Ellora range and Tapi-Godavari water divide.
The important tributaries of the Purna on the left or north bank
in the district are the Charna important tributaries of the Puma
on the left or north bank in the district are the Charna, the
Khelna, the Jui, the Dhamna and those on the right or south
bank are the Anjan, the Girja, the Jivrekha and the Dudna.

Khelna.-The headstreams of the Khelna lie within a short

distance (less that a kilometre) of those of the Charna in the
same Ajanta range.

Anjan.-The first significant long tributary of the Purna on the

right or south side is the Anjan river. Its source lies close to that
of the Purna on the South side of the Purna-Anjan divide. The
Anjan has a fairly long winding course eastwards passing by
Nimbhore, Vasri, Pishore, etc., and joins the Purna 2 kilometers
West of Dhanora.

Girja.-The Girja is the longest tributary of the Purna in the

district on the right bank. This river rises on the eastern slopes of
the Ellora range to the west of Takali and has unlike the more
northerly ones, a long general east-north-East course up to
Vadod Buzurg, after which it flows in an easterly and
southeasterly course past Hasnabad. Two kilometers downstream
of Sirasgaon it again resumes the Northeasterly course and joins
the Purna.

Nagjhari.-The next stream to join on the left is the Nagjhari which

has its source just East of that of the Banganga and has a
general southeasterly course passing by Babra, Loha and joins
the Girja a little north of Paithan.

Phulmasta.-The Phulmasta is the first significant right bank

tributary of the Girja. It rises in the hill to the north of
Khuldabad and flowing away eastwards of Khuldabad it assumes
a northeasterly and northerly course to join the Girja.

The Girja has several small tributaries joining from the south,
among which may be mentioned the one flowing past Phulambri,
and the Khatkali joining it at Hasnabad.

Dudna.-The largest tributary of the Purna is the Dudna which is

nearly as long as the main river up to the confluence point. The
Dudna rises above the Kankur village on the northern slopes of
the easterly trending off-shoot of the Ellora range forming the
divide between this stream and the Sukna and flows some 15
km. to the north of Aurangabad town. After an initial irregular
winding course it turns and flows in a southeasterly direction as
far as Akola. At Somthana above Akola the river is crossed by an
earthen dam providing the storage for the upper Dudna project.
Baldi.-The Baldi is a small stream rising a little above Anvi village
from the Dudna-Girja divide flowing in a general south-south-
westerly course to join the Dudna.

Sukna.-The Sukna rises to the west of the source of the Lahuki

above Kolthan village and has an initial course parallel to the
Kaurn river. The head streams of this river appear to have been
beheaded by the Kaum river. The Sukna flows southeastwards
past Chikalthana receiving a number of small streams on both,
sides and joins the Dudna at Sadesangvi.

Chite.-The Chite rises in the Satara Range above Sindhon village

and flows between two eastward trending parallel ridges of that
range and beyond their extremity at Chitepipalgaon, it turns
North wards to join the Sukna.

Bemla.-The Bemla is a small stream flowing parallel to the Chite

but farther South in a general easterly direction joining the
Sukna just west of Gharegaon. After the confluence the Sukna
continues the easterly trend of this river.


Gadadgad.-The Gadadgad nadi rises on the northeastern and

eastern slopes of the Satmala hill and flows Northwards leaving
the district below Nagad to join the Tittur river, a tributary of the

Rangarai.-The Rangarai is a sub-tributary rising to the northeast

of the headstreams of the Gadadgad on the Ajanta range and
joining this latter river, has only a short course within this
Another sub-tributary of Gadadgad rises in the Ajanta range east
of the Antur fort hill and Chipghat and flows northwards.

Hivra.-The next stream of importance is the Hivra nadi, whose

back-cutting action across the Ajanta range is even more severe.
Its principal headstream is well south of the line of the
escarpment flowing by Dudmal and the low existing divide
between this stream and the Purna is some 3 kilometers south of
the escarpment. It is quite probable that the present easterly
course of the headstream of the Hivra past Dudmal, might have
been the beheaded portion of a headstream of the Purna, whose
surviving lower remnant flows by Shendra, the wind gap being
located just South of Talner.

Sonad.-The Sonad river rises a little to the north of Ghatamri and

flows Northwards past Soegaon and after a kilometre forms the
district boundary for some distance and then goes outside the

Waghur.-The Waghur river is the most active of all the Tapi

streams of the district. The trenching of the escarpment face and
the backcutting action and the accompanying retreat of the water
divide is nowhere so remarkable as in the case of this river, one
of whose headstreams flow past Ajanta village and another past
the Ajanta caves.

Discharge of River Water

The district is characterized by fluctuation in the availability

of surface water. The river water discharge in the district varies
from place to place according to watersheds. Seasonal fluctuation
in water discharge is also a common phenomenon. In general,
river water discharge is more during the period from June to
September. Discharge of river water also depends upon the
rainfall. Hence annual variations are also observed. Annual
average water discharge for the year 1995 to 2000 of rivers of
Godavari basin is depicted in Fig No. 1.8. Shivana is the main
river of water discharge. The total annual average volume of
water discharge of the river is about 1,960.63 mcm. The water
discharge of Godavari River increases to southeastern part.
Purna, Dudhana, and Tapi are other important rivers, whose
annual average water discharge is more than 193 mcm. Most of
the rivers and tributaries are dry throughout the year except in
the monsoons. (Fig 1.8)


The most important soils of the district are the black clayey
soils on plains interspersed with occasional stretches of shallow
soils on ridges. In the north, the soils are shallow and poor, and
in the south, they are all derived from Deccan trap. The soils in
general in the district are alkaline in reaction, clay loam in
texture, and are high in the content of calcium carbonate. The
colloid complex is saturated with divalent bases, which account
for more than 90 per cent of the total exchangeable captions.
The soils are fairly well supplied with nitrogen, but low in
available phosphate and available potash

The growth of irrigation is also related to the physical and

chemical properties of the soils. The capacity to retain water in
the soil largely depends on its texture and porosity. The
agricultural importance of irrigation also depends on soil fertility,
therefore the knowledge of the water holding capacity of the soil
is essential for proper irrigation. The District is covered with
regur or black cotton soils. Derived from the Deccan trap. The
soils vary in texture and depth (Varade, 1976). Analysis of the
different kinds of soils at some location in the District is given in
the Table 1.3

Table 1.3 Soil analyses at some locations along Godavari river for
Exchangeable location.
Sr. Location Soil type Total


Ph value


m p.c.
1 Antapur Shallow soil
(Gangapur) (0 cm to 22.5 20.25 19.35 40.77 0.165 0.67 9.0
cm depth
2 Antarwali Medium deep
(Paithan) soil (22.5 to 47.30 16.40 30.66 0.230 0.94 8.1
45 cm)

Source: Soil Survey Department, Aurnagabad Division,


1.5.1 Soil Types

The following are the important types of soils in the District
(Fig. 1.9 A)
Shallow Soils
These soils are dark brown to dark yellowish brown in
colour and single grain to blocky in structure. The Ph. of the soil
is from 7.97 to 8.5 with total soluble salts of 0.2 to 0.3 p.c. and
the calcium carbonate is as much as 20 percent. The organic
matter varies from 0.32 to 0.93 p.c. The exchangeable calcium
varies from 39 to 48 m. c. percent, magnesium 5 m.c. percent of
and sodium and potassium together about 1 m.e. percent. The
percent of nutritious contents in shallow soils is very low.
Nitrogen varies between 0.02 and 0.05 percent. These soils
respond to all kinds of fertilizers. Shallow soils are found along
the hill slopes in Ajantha ranges most of the district is covered by
shallow soils. This type of soil will permit perennial irrigation and
when used for growing Kharif crops, will produce very good yields
(Department of Agriculture, 1995).

Medium Deep Soils

The soil has dark brown or black and is granular or blocky
in structure and sandyloam to clayey in texture. The Ph of the
soil varies from 8.2 to 8.7. The contents of calcium carbonate and
organic matter very widely from 3 to 20 p.c. and from 0.48 to
2.16 p.c. respectively. The base exchangeable capacity of the soil
is high with calcium from 22 to 54 m.e. percent and magnesium
from 11 to 25 m.e. percent and sodium and potassium together
from 1 to 2 m.e. percent. The soluble salts vary between 0.29 p.c.
to 0.51 p.c. and exchangeable NPK is high which should be taken
into consideration if the lands are to be irrigated. However, the
system of protective irrigation, these soils is expected to produce
very high yields (Dept. of Agriculture, 1995).
The some parts of Vaijapur, Gangapur, Paithan and Sillod
Taluka of the District are covered by medium deep soil. (Dept. of
Agriculture, 1994-95).

Deep soil

These soils are black in colour and clayey in texture. The

soils are alkaline in reaction and PH varies from 8.65 to 8.89. The
Base Exchange capacity is a little high with calcium varying from
22 to 42 m.c. percent, magnesium from 13 to 29 m.c. percent
and sodium and potassium together form 2 to 15 m.c. percent
(Table 2.4) the soils respond to nitrogenous and phospatic
fertilizers. Provision of drainage is necessary in the areas that are
proposed to be brought under irrigation because the total soluble
salts are high in the soils. The soil, which is soft, and deep that
makes easy to dig canals and distributaries at low cost
(Singh/Dhillon, 1982). This soil is found along the rivers and
streams in the District. The soils is found in some part of
Paithan,Vaijapur taluka being shallow and medium deep are
more alkaline in reaction and contain moderate amount of total
soluble salts, these soils have greater depth, high content and so
are liable to degradation if they are subjected to perennial

1.5.2 Fertility status and NPK pattern

The present work is concerned with the irrigation growth

and its impact, hence the study of NPK is of prime importance.
The fertility status of the soils varies from one part of the
taluka to another. This status depends upon the Nitrogen (N),
Phosphorus (P) and Potash (K) contents in the soil. Phosphorus
and potash contents of the soil in Soegaon,Khuldabad,Gangapur
and Paithan are quite satisfactory but the organic carbon
contents which measures availability of Nitrogen is found to be
Nitrogen in the soil is medium to high in the District.
Phosphorus is Low in the soil of all talukas of the district. Potash
in the soil is high to very high particularly in all taluka of the
district. The area spread of NPK in the District is shown in Fig.
1.9 B.

1.5.3 Problems of Soils

In Sillod, Kannad taluka hilly, areas, the velocity of water
runoff is greater which results in high erosion in this part. Soil
erosion is taking place in Aurangabad,Khuldabad taluka because
marginal bunds for protecting the farms are absent. Soegaon,
Kannad, Vaijapur taluka have shallow soils where high sheet
erosion is found. This is due to exposure of the rocks and
disintegration of murum

The Salinity and Alkalinity of the Soils

The salinity and alkalinity characteristics are considered
with reference to the irrigated area. ‘Saline soils content excess
naturals soluble salts, chiefly chlorides and sulfates of sodium,
calcium and magnesium. Salt affected soils are formed wherever
excess salts accumulate in an area. The primary source of all
soluble salts is the weathering of soil minerals’ (Abrol and Rao,
1985). Plant growth in saline land is adversely affected due to the
soluble salts. Therefore, this factor must be taken into
consideration before bringing the land under irrigation.
Table 1.4. shows the damaged land in different command
areas of the canal in the District. The percentage of damaged area
is high in the command area of R.B.C canal than other canal
areas because in irrigable command area, the soil is black and
the duration of irrigation to the land is relatively longer than the

Table .1.4 Damaged land in different canal command area in

Aurangabad District

Sr. Canal Damaged area in Irrigable P. C. of

hect. command damaged
Water Salt area in area
logged affected hectare
1 Paithan 2,947 1,054 142,000 2.27
Canal L.B.C.
2 Paithan 137 60 42,000 0.45
canal R.B.C.
Total 3084 1114 18000 2.72

Source: ‘Sinchan’ March-April 1996, Magazine published by

Department of Irrigation, Govt. of Maharashtra.

The remedial measures aim at making the degraded lands
economically productive. Crop selection, cultural practices, and
drainage are important measures of degraded lands. Drainage is
a highly efficient technology for land reclamation and for
sustaining the productivity of good land. It is observed that the
farmers are aware of this fact and they have adopted drainage for
excess of water. Salt and alkali tolerant crops are selected in
such areas because such crops are not damaged due to excess of
water. In other method, the land surface is given a shape in such
a way that relatively salts free zones are created. This other
method to solve the problem of salinity is to induce chemical
process (Abrol and Rao, 1986).

Irrigation development not only depends upon physical

environment but also on demographic factors of the district.
Whether to accept and apply irrigation methods to develop
agriculture is a decision-making factors of the man who practices
agriculture. Therefore, man’s role in the irrigation development is
of great importance. Hence an attempt has been made to assess
rural population, land tenure system, size of holdings in relation
to cultivated area in general and irrigated area in particular.

1.6.1 Rural Population

According to the Cencus the total population of Aurangabad

district is 2,213,779. Thus, Aurangabad has 2.80 % of State
population. The rural area recorded hardly 151 persons per Sq.
Kilometer. These averages for the district are below the state
average of 4904 and 161 respectively.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the rural population
in the District. As such to analyze the pressure of rural
population on the land, an attempt is made to correlate it with
per 100 hectares of the cultivated and the irrigated land.
The average density of the rural population in the District is
282.5 hectares of cultivated land. The distribution of rural
population is uneven (Fig. 1.10) The Paithan, Gangapur,
Vaijapur, Soegaon, Kannad, Khuldabad taluka is taluka have low
density, because these areas belong to low rainfall zone.
Aurangabad, Sillod taluka have assured rainfall and black soil
that favors the relative high concentration of population.

1.6.2 Density of rural population and irrigated area

Rural population is correlated to the irrigated area to

analyze the population pressure on irrigated land. The District’s
average rural population is 3850.0 persons per 100 hect. of
irrigated land. Aurangabad, Sllod talukas have heavy density
This is because, the land under cultivation is rainfed having
relatively moderate to high rainfall. Paithan, Gangapur and
Vaijapur taluka have low pressure of rural population in
irrigated lands. In these parts canal irrigation has developed and
Paithan,Gangapur talukas of this areas have well irrigation.

Density of Rural population in 2001 District as a hole has

184 percentage of rural people per sq. km. High density of rural
population is in Gangapur, Sillod and Aurangabad Taluka which
is above 200 hectors per sq. kms. It is moderate in Khuldabad
Kannad Paithan, Raining between 170 to 200 where as density
of rural population is low in Vaijapur and Soegaon taluka and it
is below 170 persons per sq. km.

1.6.3 Cultivators

The total population of the cultivators in 2001 was 365178.

It contributes 37.5 percent of the States total percent of
cultivators. About 41.91 percent of the total rural population of
the District is cultivators. The average density of cultivators is
46.37 per 100 hectares of cultivated land. The density is high in
Aurangabad, Sillod taluka.(Fig. 1.11A.). The density is moderate
in Khuldabad and Kannad talukas. It is about 45 to 55. This part
has favorable conditions regarding soil and rainfall. The lowest
density of cultivators is found in Paithan taluka. The low density
is the result of scarcity condition.

Cultivators and Irrigated areas.

The highest density of cultivators is found in Paithan and
Gangapur taluka of the District. It is about 20 percent.. The
density of cultivators in relation to irrigated area is uneven. The
density of cultivators is low in Vaijapur, Kannad, and Soegaon,
Sillod taluka of the District where canal and well irrigation is
developed. The average density of cultivators to irrigated area is
18.5 % . (Fig 1.11 A)

1.6.4 Agriculture Labourers

The person who works on land for wages, in money or share

should be regarded as an Agricultural Labourer. Agricultural
Labourers are essential to work in the field particularly during
the peak period of the season. Shortage of agricultural labourer
may adversely affect the agricultural proportion. The total
number of agricultural Labourers is 289765 It contributes about
26.81 p.c. of the States total of agricultural Labourers. The
average density of agricultural Labourers in the District is 33.12
per 100 hectares of cultivated land. There are considerable
variations between different talukas with respect to the
proportion of agricultural Labourers. In the Aurangabad Soegaon,
Paithan taluka the proposition of agricultural Labourers is noted
to be particularly high. This area forms a part of the Godavari-
Purna-Dudhana valley and is endowed with black soils. The
larger land under cultivation and greater extent of double
cropping appears to be responsible for the higher demand for
agricultural Labourers. The density of agricultural Labourers is
about 35. In Khuldabad and Kannad taluka. The density of
agricultural Labourer is low (below 30 per 100 hectare). In Sillod,
Gangapur,Vaijapur taluka agriculture is carried out by the
members of the family only (Fig.1.11 B).

Agricultural Labourers and Irrigated Area

The average density of agricultural Labourers per 100
hectares of the irrigated area is 25.37. But Paithan, Gangapur
and Vaijapur taluka have very high density it is about 30% and
above, Aurangabad, Soegaon have low density which is below 20
%. Hence there is no need of more number of agricultural
Labourers (Fig.1.11 B).

1.6.5 Land ownership, Tenure and size of Holding

Table 1.5 reveals that the owners cultivate about 91.06 percent
of cultivated land. About 2.62 % of the total cultivated land on
rental basis and only 6.32 percent land is cultivated under
supervision of the owners, as shown in
Table 1.5 Tabel Holding By Tenure

Tenure Aurangabad
Wholly Owned 91.06
Wholly Rented 02.62
Partly Owned 06.31
Total 100.00

Source: - Socio-Economic review and district statically

abstracts of all districts of Aurangabad divisions (1975-

a) Size of Holding
“The size of holding is an important element in augmenting
agricultural proportion by applying modern farm implements. In
theory, the size of the holding is fixed by socio-economic
condition in accordance with the type of family practiced”,
(Singh,1976). In the District, marginal size of holding is
preordered and about 22.27 percent are marginal size holding i.e.
1.0 to2.0 hectare. The small size holding (2.0 to 4.0 hectare)
account for 32.58 %, whereas medium size holding (4 to 10
hectare) contributes 31.17 % (Table 1.6 ). About 7.66 percent
labourers worked on land holding of size above 10.0 to 20.0
Tabel 1.6Percentage of number of holding.
Sr. Size of Percentage
No. Cultivated of holding
01 1.0 to 2.0 22.27
02 2.0 to 4.0 32.58
03 4.0 to 10.0 31.17
04 Above 10.0 7.66
to 20.0

Source: Socio-economic review & District Statistical

Abstracts of all Districts of Aurangabad Division (1975-76 to
b) Size of holding and irrigation area
Table 1.7 shows the percentage of the wholly irrigated and wholly
unirrigated land holdings. The intensity of irrigation is relatively
higher where the size of holding is small or moderate than the
large sized holdings. The percentage of wholly irrigated holdings
of small size is about 05 to 60 percent. The percentage of
irrigated lands decreases with increase in size of holding. The
percentage of wholly unirrigated holdings is high. The percentage
of unirrigated holdings increases with increase in size of holding.
The scope to develop irrigation and to use modern agriculture
equipments is larger where size of holding is above 5 hectares.
Table.17. Land holdings and area operated
Sr. Size of classes in Wholly irrigated Wholly unirrigated
% of % of area % of hold. % of area
1 Below 1 hect. 57.22 7.12 13.03 2.18
2 1 to 3 hect.
31.65 45.04 38.30 21.94
3 3 to 5 hect.`
7.56 22.58 24.07 27.38
4 Above 5 hect. 3.56 25.24 24.58 48.49
TOTAL 100.00 100.00 100.00 100.00
Source: Data compiled from socio-Economic Review and District
Statistical Abstracts of Aurangabad Districts (1975 to 2000).

Physical factors of the Region influence the development of

irrigation and agriculture. Elevated hilly and plateau areas of the
Aurangabad, Khuldabad, Kannad and Phulambri taluka seem to
be dominated by well irrigation, whereas central tract is
conducive to the growth of canal irrigation. The climatic
conditions are hot and dry throughout the year barring the brief
Southwest monsoon season in which relative humidity is
moderate to high. The rainfall is uneven and uncertain. The
annual co-efficient of variability of rainfall is more than 26
percent, which is indicative of the need of irrigation in both the
seasons. The district Aurangabad is divided into two agro-
climatic zones. The central and the Western parts receive scanty
rainfall and are often affected by drought. This clearly underlines
the needs of irrigation.
Ground water is an important source of irrigation, but
seasonal fluctuation in water table affect the scope of well
irrigation. The river Godavari, and its tributaries are important
sources of surface water, which have facilitated the construction
of irrigation projects. The soils characteristics also influence the
development of irrigation as the moisture holding capacity of it
varies according to their texture and structure. The shallow soils
permit perennial irrigation whereas the drainage if it is to be
irrigated in general, the soils of the District are fertile and if
irrigation facilities were made available agricultural yield would
be increased.
The density of rural population in relation to the cultivated
area is analyzed and it leads to the conclusion that density of
rural population is moderate to high in the Aurangabad and
Sillod taluka where the soils is fertile with high pressure on the
land. In Soegaon, Kannad, Khuldabad, Phulambri taluka the
rural density is low. Rural population is also considered in
relation to irrigated land and it is found that that rural
population is high in the Aurangabad taluka, being low in
Vaijapur and Gangapur taluka. The same holds through about
cultivators in relation to the cultivated and irrigated land. In the
district Aurangabad where intensity of irrigation is moderate to
high, The density of agricultural labourers is high. The
Aurangabad, Paithan have high density. In Vaijapur and
Gangapur talukas the density of agricultural labourers is low to

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 (http://www irrigation\rainfall.htm)