For sustainable groundwater management plan (SGMP), a study has been taken up in Madharam watershed (95 km2) in drought prone affected mahabubnagar district of Telangana state, India with integrated approach including remote sensing, hydro-meteorological, hydrological, hydrogeological, geophysical and hydro-chemical studies. Geologically the watershed is underlain by granites with intrusive dykes (hard rocks) and characterized by semi-arid conditions with annual normal rainfall of 618 mm. Remarkable changes in land use pattern, have led to substantial impact on the groundwater recharge to the aquifers as ~97% of irrigation is based on groundwater. The productive phreatic aquifer due to high density of wells (14 wells/km2) is desaturated forcing to tap the groundwater from deeper aquifers of 100 m depths leading to deeper groundwater levels (>20 meter below ground level) at places and 4 hydrographs out of 10 are showing declining in water level trends in both seasons. Water table varies from 455-535 m a msl with groundwater flows towards central part of the basin. The transmissivity varies from 45-190 m2/day and specific yield from 0.35 to 1.3%. The recharge due to rainfall varies from 2 to 15% and from irrigation return flow from 8 to17.4 %. Overall the stage of groundwater development (GD) varies from 44% to 120% in the area with average of 79%. The average concentration of fluoride, nitrate and electrical conductivity is 1.7ppm, 66 ppm and 820 micro siemens/cm and 1.67 ppm, 68 ppm and 724 micro siemens/cm during pre and post-monsoon season respectively and 50 % of samples are unfit for human consumption and it is also observed that F concentration is high in structurally controlled areas during post-monsoon season and it reduces marginally along the pumping period. Out of 12 water stress periods (3 years), only 3 shown a positive balance in volumetric balance with 45m3/day/cell and in other it was -61 to -987 m3/day/cell.
For suggesting zone-wise sustainable groundwater management plan, potential surface runoff of 0.83 MCM is considered and suggested 38 site specific artificial recharge structures (ARS) in 13 mini-watersheds, cultivation of irrigated dry (ID) crops, adaptation of micro irrigation techniques along with provision for alternate source of drinking water. Desilting of existing tanks and participatory groundwater management, creating various awareness activities along with strict implementation of regulatory measures. The approach and the outcome of the study will go a long way for upscaling in similar hydrogeological environs of the country.