Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Geoscience

First Advisor

Adam S. Ward

Abstract

The salinization of groundwater resources is a widespread problem in arid agricultural environments. In Mewat, the amount of solutes dissolved in the water has become too high to use for drinking or agriculture. The only fresh water recharge to this bowl-shaped region is through precipitation, which is focused at the foothills of the mountain. The freshest water is found closest to the mountains and the salinity of the groundwater increases as the distance from the mountains increase. The pumps that supply the region with fresh water are located in the shrinking freshwater zone. Locally-monitored wells show the movement of salinity in the region, as the saline water encroaches upon the freshwater. This study aims to answer the following questions: How long until the region runs out of fresh water? What would it take to have sustainable fresh water supplies? Is it even possible to have sustainable fresh water supplies in this environment? In order to answer these questions, we will quantify potential futures for an arid, groundwater-dependent location in rural India, using numerical groundwater modeling to quantify interactions between human water use, infrastructure, and climate. Outcomes of this modeling study will inform sustainable management of groundwater resources

Public Abstract

Water is the source of all life. The degradation of fresh water is threatens life and livelihood both locally and globally. Changes in climate exacerbate threats to water. The semi-arid district of Mewat, Haryana Province, India, is facing a major water crisis. The only source of fresh water, save for rain, is the region’s groundwater, which is fast becoming so saline to be undrinkable and unusable for agriculture.

The pumps that supply the region with fresh water are located in the shrinking freshwater zone. Locally-monitored wells show the movement of TDS in the region, as the saline water encroaches upon the freshwater. This study aims to answer the following questions: How long until the region runs out of fresh water? What would it take to have sustainable fresh water supplies? Is it even possible to have sustainable fresh water supplies in this environment? In order to answer these questions, I will quantify potential futures for an arid, groundwater-dependent location in rural India, using numerical groundwater modeling to quantify interactions between human water use, infrastructure, and climate. Outcomes of this modeling study will inform sustainable management of groundwater resources.

Keywords

publicabstract, Climate Change, Forecasting, Groundwater, India, Numerical Modeling

Pages

xi, 69 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 55-69).

Copyright

Copyright 2015 Mary C. Weber

Included in

Geology Commons

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