A study was conducted to delineate the groundwater potential zones of Nawada district of Southern Bihar using satellite-derived information layers, namely, elevation, slope, drainage density, land use, fractional impervious surface (FIS) and also using existing thematic maps (lithology, soil, pre- and post-monsoon water level) based on the weighted linear combination method. On the basis of the relative contribution of each datum towards groundwater potential, the weight of each thematic map has been computed. The normalized weights of the individual themes and their different features were obtained through Saaty's analytical hierarchy process. Results showed that zones of ‘very high’ and ‘high’ groundwater potential are present in the central and northeastern part of the study area. ‘Very low’ and ‘low’ groundwater potential zones are found in the southeastern and very small pockets of the eastern corner of the district. Thus surface investigation of groundwater has proved that an integrated approach involving remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) technique can be successfully used in identifying potential groundwater zones in a short time and at low cost, while the yield could be ascertained with some sample ground truth ‘test drillings’.

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