Groundwater monitoring: A pre-requisite for its management

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GROUNDWATER MONITORING: A PRE-REQUISTE FOR ITS MANAGEMENT

Ghulam Zakir-Hassan ,1, 3 * , Catherine Allan , Jehangir F. Punthakey 3,4 , Lee Baumgartner3
1. School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Albury 2640, NSW, Australia
2. Irrigation Research Institute (IRI), Government of the Punjab, Irrigation Department, Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
3. Institute for Land, Water and Society (ILWS), Charles Sturt University, Albury 2640, NSW, Australia
4. Ecoseal Pty Ltd, Roseville, NSW, Australia
* Correspondence author: zakirjg@gmail.com
Abstract:
Groundwater, a hidden resource, contributes almost 100% for drinking and about 40-50% of irrigation water requirements in Punjab. I am studying managed aquifer recharge (MAR) in the Vehari district, an important agricultural area in which groundwater is at risk. Accurate monitoring of any natural resource is key to its good management. The Punjab Irrigation Department (PID) has an historic network of piezometers to monitor the groundwater levels biannually for regional scale analysis, but this has gaps and inconsistencies. The literature suggests that redressal of gaps in groundwater monitoring can yield better datasets with improved reliability, frequency and accuracy. Therefore, I have conducted field visits to accurately measure groundwater levels and salinity and determined the exact locations and physical conditions of piezometers. I have also installed two auto-data loggers. The performance of newly installed auto-data loggers compared with previous monitoring reveals that frequency, accuracy, consistency, and reliability of data has increased. After confirming the sites, I have analyzed the field observations on groundwater levels for the past 15 years from 41 piezometers in the study area to depict the spatial and temporal trends. Results indicated that the average groundwater levels in the study area have dropped from 123 m to 115 m with an average decline of 0.5 m per year. The water table has declined by 15-25 m below the natural land surface. These data sets took effort to create, but their improved accuracy and precision provide confidence for future modeling of the complex aquifer system using MODFLOW.
Original languageEnglish
Pages43
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2020
EventResearch for a Changing World: ILWS Online Conference 2020 - Online
Duration: 26 Nov 202027 Nov 2020
https://news.csu.edu.au/latest-news/research-for-a-changing-world-an-online-conference
https://www.csu.edu.au/research/ilws/engagement/events/ilws-conference-2020 (program and abstracts)

Conference

ConferenceResearch for a Changing World
Period26/11/2027/11/20
OtherThe Institute’s first-ever on-line conference has been hailed as a “resounding success.” The free conference, which was held November 26 and 27, 2020, was an opportunity for members to share the results and conclusions from recent projects
and activities and to showcase the work of our strong research teams.

The presentations represented all categories of Institute membership – Full Member, Associate Member, Adjunct and Student. There were also two presentations by undergraduate students associated with the Institute.

The Conference is free and open to everyone.

The program reflects the multi and trans-disciplinary research ethos of ILWS.
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