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Project Title:

Development of Decision Support System for Land and Water Management of Upper Gandheswari Sub-basin of Bankura District, West Bengal

Thematic Area:

Integrated watershed management through land, water and weather system analysis for drought assessment and management


  • Latitude: 230214"N - 230031'24" N 
  • Longitude: 86053'27"E - 86059'30" E 


To develop a database for management of land and water resources of the upper part of Gandheswari sub-basin through study of:

  • Land use/land cover
  • Seasonal cropping pattern
  • Soil parameters and properties
  • Physiography and geology
  • Time series weather data 
  • Time series stream/river flow
  • Groundwater condition
  • Pan evaporation
  • Quantification of water consumption for various purposes.


Bankura is known as a drought prone district. During operation of groundwater resources management project it was understood that hard rock areas comprising the northwestern and southwestern parts suffer more due to water scarcity during summer. Upper part of the Gandheswari river basin was selected because the entire area is rocky and thickness of weathered residuum varies widely. Physiography, degree of weathering and nature of bedrock adversely affect groundwater recharge. High rates of surface runoff and soil erosion tend to reduce fertility of cultivable plots. Air, soil, water and solar radiation constitute the environmental continuum. To curb the drought effects interdisciplinary study was needed. The main objectives are furnished below.

(i) Data generation and documentation of land and water available resources

(ii) Availability of water resources in different seasons

(iii) Quantification of soil loss

(iv) Land and water resource utilization planning.

(v) Drought management


Undulating and rolling topography of the area is the main reason for high surface runoff. Soil erosion is intensive mainly due to deforestation in upland areas and poor land husbandry practices. Hydrogeologically, the area is unsuitable for irrigation through intensive groundwater exploitation. Interestingly, precipitation during monsoon period is good. So, to manage drought effects and for economic development rainwater has to be judiciously managed by way of constructing percolation & percolation cum irrigation tanks, field/contour bunding, construction of small check weirs across nala and river sections at suitable locations. In the process, soil erosion will also be reduced. During rabi season, on gently sloping lands seepage is considerably high. Second crop cultivation is possible at such places where shallow dugwell/field ponds can be constructed to collect subsurface and base flow waters. Degraded lands should be used for afforestation.

Data used:

  • Base layer (river, water bodies and other units of land cover)
  • Time series data generation on weather parameters (rainfall, humidity, wind speed and wind direction, temperature and evaporation)
  • Time series data generation on surface runoff of untreated catchment (Dhajajhor Nala) and partially treated catchment (Gandheswari river)
  • Time series data generation on sediment load
  • Monthly water level was monitored from 40 network stations
  • Pump tests carried out for understanding aquifer properties
  • Infiltration test, soil and water analysis were performed
  • Most of the data were generated in field through a field observation centre set up at Susunia.


Rainfall and loss of water through surface runoff have been quantified. Groundwater recharge and availability in different seasons have been quantified. A reasonable estimate of water resource presently available in the area has been worked out. Surface water storage area presently available and changes to be brought about due to intervention have been worked out. Landuse/land cover changes for curbing the drought effects have been quantified. A series of maps have been generated on soil and water quality as well as on monthly changes in groundwater level and water table fluctuation of the study area using Arc View software.

Date of Project completion:
31st Dec, 2001.

Total cost of project: Rs. 14,55,610/-+ 5,00,000/- (for extended period of one year from 01.01.2001 to 31.12.2001)=19,55,610/-

Project Investigator:

Hony. Secretary
Center for Study of Man & Environment,
Parivesh Kendra, CK-11, Sector-2, Salt Lake, 
Kolkata-700 091
E-Mail: csme[at]vsnl[dot]net
Phone: (033) 23210861, 23590781