An Assessment of Ground Water Potential for state of Kerala, India: A Case Study
The southern state of Kerala in India, known as ‘God’s Own Country’, is blessed with plenty of water resources that include chains of backwater bodies, rivers, reservoirs, lakes, ponds, springs and wells. Although, the state receives abundant rainfall throughout the year, the region’s topography and soil characteristics, combined with rapid urbanization are causing significant stress to its ground water level. Therefore, it has become imperative for researchers, scientists, administrators, and policy-makers to analyze the present ground water situation of the state. Among the various globally used techniques for Ground Water (GW) research methods viz: traditional method of monitoring ground water level (GWL) of observatory wells, remote-sensing techniques using satellites, correlation techniques, this paper primarily uses GIS (Geographic Information System) technique& bivariate analysis to identify the ground water potential and risks in different districts of Kerala. The work entails an analysis of the Ground Water (GW) potential assessed through dependent outcome variables Ground Water Resource Quantity (MCM) and Percentage Development. Factors affecting the above variables for the state are rainfall, population, soil characteristics, and progression of wetlands. The analysis of Water Resource Quantity (MCM) for two decades (1989, 1999 and 2009) reveals the identification of three ‘critical’ districts—Kannur, Idukki, and Wayanad. The percentage development mapped for the same period (1989, 1999 and 2009) identifies Kasaragod district as the region that faces intense ground water issues. This paper undertakes a detailed assessment of the ground water scenario in Kerala using bivariate analysis in order to arrive at the factors affecting the outcome variables. A list of possible interventions has been discussed to effectively mitigate the risks.