Volume No. 6 Issue No.: 2 Page No.: 303-311 Oct-Dec 2011




Manisha Rani*, Anubha Kaushik1 and Aman Sharma2

1. Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar, Haryana (INDIA)
2. Centre for Environment, WAPCOS, Gurgaon, Haryana (INDIA)


Received on : July 22, 2011




There is increasing water demand with increasing industrial growth and agricultural expansion. Irrigation systems for long have supported the development of agricultural production. However, their long term sustainability depends upon their environmental accountability. Indira Gandhi Nahar Project (IGNP) has proved to be a major factor for transforming the ecology of Thar desert, thereby replacing subsistence rainfed farming by commercial irrigated cash crops. However, it is extremely important to examine the environmental impacts of this canal from long term sustainability consideration. The present study aims at examining the temporal changes in the water table of central Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan expanded over 750 Km2 covering about 56 villages, over a period of 10 years (1994-2003). Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan is found to face a serious problem of environmental degradation due to water logging and soil salinity caused by, besides other factors, seepage from Rajasthan canal system. Rises of 0.3-1 m per year in water table has been observed in many villages of Hanumangarh district. Out of the 56 villages in the study area about 23 villages show the rising trend of water table during 1994-2003. Three villages (chak) namely 13 BPM, 7 DWD and 8 KWD are going to be potential sensitive in near future which were prior safe areas. About 5 villages are going to be critical which were prior potential sensitive. And also, about 7 villages are going to be water logged which were prior critical. Due to over irrigation water logged area has been increasing gradually over the last decade showing average of 10.2 in 1994 to 8.67 meter below ground level (mbgl) in 2003. Based on the water table rising trends it may be recommended that irrigation water should be spread more evenly and water supply to susceptible areas be reduced in order to prevent water logging. A management plan for reduction of seepage losses from canal irrigation system, reduction in water allowance, better drainage along with conjunctive use of surface and ground water resources may lead to better water management and less risk of water logging and salinity.


Keywords : IGNP, Water logging, Water table, Peizometer, Agriculture expansion