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SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE

Evaluation of check-dam recharge through water-table response in


ponding area
Precipitation is the principal source of The experimental site falls over a However, the hydrographs were not sub-
replenishment of moisture in the soil granite terrain and a second-order stream ject to tidal correction as we have only
through the infiltration process and sub- generating from a closed high mound is studied the long-term (monthly) records.
sequent recharge to the groundwater harvested through a mini-check dam hav- The rain gauge station placed about
through deeper percolation. The amount ing a storage capacity of 150 cubic m. Site 200 m away from the experimental site
of infiltrated moisture that will eventu- selection for the check dam was done was utilized for monitoring daily rainfall
ally reach the water table is accounted as with the help of cadastral and drainage during the rainy season and run-off col-
the natural groundwater recharge. The maps of NGRI, followed by geophysical lection at the check dam.
natural recharge depends on intensity, survey to ascertain the thickness of the Specific yield of the phreatic aquifer is
duration, amount of rainfall, infiltration weathered zone. Long-duration infiltra- an important parameter for evaluating
capacity of the topsoil zone, antecedent tion test was conducted prior to construction percolation efficiency from an artificial
soil moisture conditions and water-table of the check dam to ascertain the hydrau- recharge site. Specific yield of 3.9% was
depth1. The natural recharge takes place lic nature of the ponding area. The test estimated for the phreatic aquifer at the
in pulses in semi-arid regions as the area yielded an infiltration rate of 400 mm/h. NGRI campus using moisture-influx
experiences monsoonal rainfall in The check dam was constructed to har- measurement and water-level change
pulses. In the ponding condition, water vest the run-off water from an area of observed over several monsoon years 1.
is continuously available till the pond 350 sq. m and a borehole was drilled to a Studies4 on determining the specific yield
becomes dry, making infiltration and depth of 40 m within the ponding area to of the water-table aquifer in Aurepalli
percolation active till the availability of monitor the response of water level to watershed located in a similar granitic ter-
water in the pond. It is therefore ex- storage. The transient changes in water rain and hydrogeological conditions situ-
pected that the responses of the water level were monitored continuously using ated 50 km away from the study area
table in ponding and non-ponding areas an automatic water-level recorder (IN- using long-duration pumping tests on
are to be different and the comparative SITU, Minitroll water-logger), installed dug wells and shallow boreholes, yielded
analysis will yield accrued recharge due at a depth of 15 m below the water level an average specific yield of 2.6%. An
to artificial recharge structure. Here, we (water level at the time of installation average specific yield of 3.2% from these
have attempted to evolve a method to was 7.54 m below ground level). The aq- two methods was therefore considered
account for the efficiency of a check uifer zone met in the borehole is at a depth for calculation of ponded infiltration re-
dam in recharging the groundwater system of 12 m beyond which the borehole did charge at the check dam site. Daily rain-
and evaluate the increase in quantum of not encounter any other aquifer zone. fall events ≥15 mm of the 2005 monsoon
groundwater recharge by comparing Daily rainfall data were collected from year were considered and the ponding re-
with natural rainfall recharge. As the the NGRI rain gauge station maintained charge computed using water-level rise
monitoring process had to be of con- within the campus. Water-level data were after the rainy day from the water-level
tinuous mode, a site within the National retrieved from the logger at the end of recorder data and average specific yield
Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) the monsoon. Cyclic water-level change of 3.2%. The computed recharge due to
campus, Hyderabad was selected, as was prominently seen in the records, ponding for different rainfall day events
shown in Figure 1. showing the effect of semi-diurnal TIDES2,3. is presented in Table 1.

Figure 1. Location map of the study site with check dam and observation bore well.

1350 CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 92, NO. 10, 25 MAY 2007


SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE
Table 1. Rainy days with daily rainfall and consequent water-level changes and estimated percolation rate using time lapse and ponding recharge

Rainfall Total rainfall Water-level Specific yield Ponding recharge Time lapse* Percolation rate
Rainy day (mm) (mm) fluctuation (mm) (%) (mm) (h) (mm/h)

8 September 2005 60.4 60.4 695 3.2 22.24 24:00 28.95


21 September 2005 41.6 41.6 348 3.2 11.14 16:00 21.75
14 October 2005 27 27 345 3.2 11.04 30:00 11.5
17 October 2005 31.4 71.4 822 3.2 26.65 27:00 30.44
19 October 2005 40
26 October 2005 16.4 16.4 201 3.2 6.43 8:00 25.13
29 October 2005 87 87 2340 3.2 74.9 29:00 80.69

*Time lapse: Time interval between rainfall event and maximum water-level rise.

Figure 2. Hydrograph of bore well for September–November 2005 along with rainfall.

The study area experiences monsoonal sults in significant rise in water level due terrain through check dams with smaller
rainfall from June to October every year, to recharge from storage. catchments. The described attempt on re-
with an average annual rainfall of 650 mm. Also, an attempt has been made to relate charge evaluation through water-level
Five to six daily rainfall events which the percolation rate estimated from pond- response is a simple method for evalua-
generated run-off to the artificial re- ing recharge and the resultant water-level tion of pond recharge. The recharge esti-
charge structure were considered to investi- rise. A linear relationship was observed mated by this method yielded values
gate the response of the aquifer to ponding indicating that repeated filling of the similar to those of percolation tank re-
during the study period. Recharge from check dam enhances groundwater recharge charge evaluated using injected tritium
the check dam storage and subsequent from storage. The linear relation obser- and environmental chloride methods 8,9.
water-level change were critically ana- ved is similar to the relationship establi- However, careful site selection through
lysed by selecting time window-frames shed between natural recharge and water- scientific investigations and harvesting in
from continuous water-level record. The table fluctuations 5,6. The natural recharge a cascading manner along a drainage
hydrograph for the period from 8 Sep- estimated using the tritium technique channel would result in high efficiency
tember to 3 November 2005 exhibiting over several granitic watersheds revealed in groundwater recharge through artifi-
water level in pulse mode rise with re- that only 5–8% of rainfall contributes cial recharge methods.
spect to rainfall is shown in Figure 2. An towards recharge7. However, when we
attempt on correlating the rainfall amount calculate the percentage of recharge due
and subsequent rise in water level yielded to cyclic ponding with respect to rainfall, 1. Rolland Andrade, Muralidharan, D. and
an exponential relation indicating that it varied from 27 to 40%, showing the Rangarajan, R., Curr. Sci., 2005, 89, 677–
daily rainfall exceeding 40 mm/day re- advantage of ponded recharge in granitic 681.

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 92, NO. 10, 25 MAY 2007 1351


SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE
2. Marechal, J. C., Sharma, M. P., Ahmed, S. on Artificial Recharge of Groundwater, work was carried out as part of CSIR (Task
and Lachassange, P., Curr. Sci., 2002, 83, New Delhi, 15–16 December 1998, pp. Force) Network project on groundwater.
61–64. IV89–97.
3. Palumbo, A., J. Atmos. Sol.-Terr. Phys., 9. Sukhija, B. S., Reddy, D. V., Nagabhusha-
1998, 60, 279–287. nam, P. and Nandakumar, M. V., J. Geol. Received 9 January 2006; revised accepted 3
4. Muralidharan, D., Ph D thesis, Karnataka Soc. India, 2005, 66, 95–104. January 2007
University, 1991, p. 190.
5. Athavale, R. N., Ramesh Chand and Ranga- D. M URALIDHARAN*
rajan, R., J. Hydrol. Sci., 1983, 28, 525–538. ROLLAND ANDRADE
6. Athavale, R. N., Rangarajan, R. and Murali- ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank the
R. RANGARAJAN
dharan, D., J. Geol. Soc. India, 1992, 39, Director, NGRI, Hyderabad for encourage-
235–244. ment to promote rainwater harvesting prac-
7. Rangarajan, R. and Athavale, R. N., J. Hy- tices within the campus and for support in the National Geophysical Research Institute,
drol., 2000, 234, 38–53. scientific evaluation studies. We also thank Hyderabad 500 007, India
8. Muralidharan, D. and Venugopalan Nair, our colleagues for timely support in the field- *For correspondence.
R., In Proceedings of the National Seminar work and for their useful suggestions. This e-mail: muralidharan@ngri.res.in

Psilorhynchus amplicephalus, a new species from Balishwar river of


Assam, India
Fishes of the genus Psilorhynchus collections made during an ichthyological meristic characters of the holotype and
McClelland are known to occur primarily survey in Balishwar river of Barak river paratypes are given in Table 1.
in the Gangetic drainage of southern Asia1. basin at Malidor village (24°14′24.1″N, Body elongate with arched back and a
Distribution of this genus is restricted to 92°32′40.1″E), Silchar, Assam had a flat bottom. Head depressed at the ante-
lowland and high gradient streams of the small collection of fishes belonging to rior region and gradually raising towards
Ganga–Brahmaputra drainage and streams the genus Psilorhynchus that has not occiput gives a triangular shape from
of India in Manipur along the India– been described so far, which after a de- side view. Hump-like structure in the
Myanmar border 2. Most ichthyologists tailed study is reported here as new to predorsal region. Mouth small, trans-
recognize this genus under a separate science. The holotype (F. 7601; 56.8 mm verse and ventrally placed. Deep rostral
family Psilorhynchidae 2,3. At the same standard length) was deposited in the grooves separate the ventral surface of
time, few authors have retained this Zoological Survey of India, Southern snout from lateral surface. Upper lip
group in the family Cyprinidae4,5. Psi- Regional Station, Chennai and the para- joined to lower lip at corner of mouth by
lorhynchidae has been considered as a types kept preserved at Manonmaniam a prominent folded flap of skin. Upper
distinct family, as it differs from the cyprinid Sundaranar University Museum of Natu- lip rigid and lower lip thick, fleshy and
family in having variation in the arrange- ral History, Alwarkurichi. Morphometric papillated. Papillae globular in shape, of
ment of pharyngeal teeth and number of measurements and meristic counts were varying size found up to chin. Eye large,
simple rays in paired fins (pectoral and as given by Rainboth2. The name ampli- placed in the upper half of the head. Abdo-
pelvic fins) 6,7. Six species, namely Psi- cephalus (ampli – wide, broad; cephalic – men naked, the scaleless region extends
lorhynchus balitora McClelland 1839, P. head) has been chosen for it having a from below the head to a little before the
homaloptera Hora and Mukherji 1935, relatively broad head. base of the pelvic fin (Figure 1). Scale
P. pseudechensis Menon and Datta 1964, The new species can be easily diag- and fin counts of the new species are as
P. sucatio Hamilton 1822, P. gracilis nosed by the spindle-shaped, subcylin- given below.
Rainboth 1983 and P. microphthalamus drical body and anteriorly compressed Lateral line scales 32–36 (scales along
Viswanath and Manojkumar 1995 are de- head. Further, it can be identified by fea- the lateral line), predorsal scales (mid-
scribed. P. homaloptera rowelyi Hora tures like scale-less abdomen, horizon- dorsal scales anterior to dorsal fin) 9–11,
and Misra 1941, a subspecies described tally placed pectoral and pelvic fins and circumferential scales (scale rows around
from Chindwin river, is one of the two also by the presence of 35–36 scales the part of the body where it is highest at
species of this genus from Burma2. P. along the lateral line series. These fishes the dorsal fin origin) 17–19, circumpe-
gracilis described from streams/rivers of have dark brownish spots in the predor- duncular scales (scales around narrowest
Chittagong hill tracts may also be dis- sal region and also along the sides of the part of tail region before caudal fin) 10,
tributed in the river drainages in the body. The relatively bigger head, deeper lateral transverse scale rows (above lat-
adjoining Indian states, namely West body and smaller mouth distinguish it eral line up to dorsal origin and below
Bengal and Assam. Most of the species from other species of this genus. A lateral line up to pelvic origin) 4/3, anal
are found to inhabit shallow streams with hump-like shape found in the predorsal scale rows (scale rows between anus and
pebbles and sandy bottom, except P. region of bigger specimens is also a dis- anal fin) 9–11.
homaloptera that prefers high gradient tinct feature that has not been reported in Paired fins (pectoral and pelvic fins)
streams with rocky bed substrate. Recent any other species. The morphometric and are inserted horizontally like wings of a

1352 CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 92, NO. 10, 25 MAY 2007