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Proceedings of National Conference : Advanced Structures, Materials And Methodology in Civil Engineering

(ASMMCE – 2018), 03 - 04th November, 2018


A Review of Rainfall and Ground Water Level Trends of Kurukshetra,


Mridula Sharma1#and Arun Goel2*

M.Tech Student, Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, Haryana-136119:
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, Haryana-136119;


This paper aims at synthesizing the literature, taking note of spatio-temporal variations in rainfall and ground water
levels so that the response of groundwater systems to climatic stresses in the region can be understood. A single
district, Kurukshetra in the Indian state of Haryana has been taken in order to avoid spatial heterogeneity of trends
due to large area consideration. A sharp decline in ground water level and a mildly decreasing trend in precipitation
of the region is observed, however, no clear increasing or decreasing precipitation pattern was observed on national-

KEYWORDS: Ground Water; Rainfall; Climate change; Trend.


The Rainfall trends across the globe are altered due to change in the behaviour of hydrologic and climatic variables
which are not invariantly spread throughout the region but have a distinctive localized pattern which along with
hydro-geological parameters and land-use pattern have a profound impact on groundwater level and quality. This
inter-relationship must be studied for better and sustainable planning of the resources. For such a study, smaller area
consideration may prove to be more vital in terms of practical usability. Moreover, localized analyses are important
for a country as vast as India since, one region may be undergoing floods while some other region may be facing
drought – all veiled in a national-scale investigation and furthermore, without trend setting innovations for
considering inter-basin transfer of water, regional shortages and abundances cause devastation harming the
agricultural economy. Moreover, poor section of society is especially susceptible, being more dependent on local
water, food supplies and other climate-sensitive resources.
Appreciable work has been done for both ground water level fluctuation and rainfall trends analysis and predictions
separately but a combined study would be of greater vitality. Also, in order to avoid unclear trends and precise
understanding, smaller study areas should be preferred. Therefore, in the present study Kurukshetra district of
Haryana is being considered in terms of both rainfall and ground water level variability.


Goyal et al (2010) studied the changes in depth to water table below ground (bgl) in accordance with rainfall and
groundwater development from 1987 to 2007 in agrarian district, Kaithal (adjoining Kurukshetra) of Haryana state

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in India. It was noticed that profoundity to subterranean water level in fresh water zones of the district (Kaithal,
Pundri and Gulha blocks) declined in the range of 10 m to 23 m. However, In Kalayat and Rajaund i.e. saline water
blocks, the levels were seen to sway in a comparitively limited scope of 4– 9 m. Also, it was stated that during
1997–2007, the rate of depletion was more compared to the preceding decade. This extreme deterioration of ground
water resource was accredited to heedless extraction for irrigation purpose and reduction in precipitation since 1998.
In order to manage resources sustainably, the study suggested changes in methods of irrigation and cropping pattern.

Tirkey et al (2012) analyzed groundwater level changes in accordance with precipitation considering, Palamu, a
drought-stricken district in Jharkhand, India and concluded that however, there is ample precipitation in the south
eastern area of the district where the water table is close to surface conditions during August, the average depth to
water table below ground increases by the month of May because of the hard rock terrain present in the locale that
disallows water to reach deep into the aquifer zones, and hence most of the water escapes in the form of runoff and
some amount of it gets absorbed into the ground to sustain shallow aquifers. They therefore stated that these areas
are more vulnerable to drought like conditions because of a consistent decline in the water level and suggested
augmentation of subterranean water by making small water harvesting structures particularly at the places which are
at elevation below 300m.


Haryana, an inland state situated in north India between 74°28' and 77°36' E longitude and 27°39' to 30°35' N
latitude covering a territory of 44,212 sq. km. The two major rivers that drain the land of Haryana are Ghaggar and
Yamuna. Out of 22 districts of Haryana, Kurukshetra (as shown in Fig.1) is a holy district between East longitudes
76°26’27” and 77°07’57” and North latitudes 29°53’00” and 30°15’02”. Its eastern regions fall under the Upper
Yamuna Basin and western regions fall under the Ghaggar basin. Major drainage in the area is provided by the river
Markanda. Around 90% of geographical area of the district is cultivable and irrigation is done by both ground water
and surface water. Also, the vital role of rainfall cannot be under-estimated. The meteorological conditions of
Haryana are categorised as semiarid tropical to subtropical and yearly precipitation ranges from under 300 mm to
more than 1000 mm, mean being 704 mm. Approximately, 75– 80% of the precipitation happens amid June and
September. Significant harvests developed around there incorporate rice, wheat, mustard, maize, and certain fodder
crops (Ground water information booklet, 2013).

Fig. 1 Location of study area

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Mooley and Parthasarathy (1984) studied summer monsoon (June to September) precipitation of India for the time
span between 1871 and 1978 and did not find any exact overall decreasing or increasing pattern in average annual
rainfall across the country. This homogeneity in rainfall trends could be attributed to high variability over time and
space [Lal M, 2001]. Krishnamurthy and Shukla (2000) investigated intra-seasonal and inter-annual variation in
precipitation over India and stated that amid the dynamic stage, the rainfall was more than typical in central India
whereas it was less than normal in northern and southern parts of India, however, this trend got altered in the break

Sarker & Thapliyal (1988) studied rainfall variation in Ganga basin for hundred year data (1901-2000) and realized
the need of some sub-basins’ and districts’ wise strategies in order to deal with the problems regarding the climate

Singh and Sontakke (2002) explored Climatic Fluctuations over the Indo-Gangetic Plains and derived that there has
been a westbound move in precipitation exercises over the district and credited these spatial changes in precipitation
exercises to a worldwide temperature alteration and related variations in the Indian summer rainstorm course and the
general large-scale air movement that distributes heat on the surface of the earth.

Kothyari et al. (1997) reported declining declining precipitation incline over the Ganga basin, starting during the
latter half of the 1960s. Bisht et al (2017) studied the trends across Indian river basins and observed that dominant
part of the basin demonstrated a decrease in post-monsoonal precipitation amid 1971– 2015 for the vast majority of
north India, which may prompt diminished yield creation hampering agrarian exercises. Additionally, Ganga basin
was observed to be one of the most noticeably bad influenced basins because of decreased seasonal and yearly
precipitation, aside from pre-storm. The catchment region of Yamuna adds up to 40.2% of the territory of Ganga
Basin. Rai et al (2010) contemplated climatic parameters of Yamuna basin and noticed a general falling pattern in
the yearly precipitation, monsoon precipitation, yearly rainy days and monsoon rainy days.
Kumar et al (2010) examined month to month, seasonal and yearly patterns of precipitation utilizing month to month
precipitation information of 135 years (1871– 2005) for 30 sub-divisions (sub-districts) in India and expressed that
regarding level of mean per 100 years, Punjab and Haryana saw a huge escalating pattern in yearly precipitation.
Krishan et al (2015) conducted the trend detection analysis of rainfall for 17 districts of Punjab including Patiala,
Sangrur and Mansa which fall in ghaggar basin and indicated an increasing rainfall trends in annual, monsoon, pre-
monsoon and post-monsoon seasons.

Fig. 2 Rainfall trend in Kurukshetra district as noted by Soni and Singh (2017)

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However, Kumar V. et al (2015) divided Haryana state into three zones and stated that the yearly typical precipitation
value differed from 389.4 to 815.0 mm and noted an apparent diminishing pattern in precipitation from north east to
south west Haryana. Also, as per, Rainfall Statistics of India-2016 (2017), both Haryana and Punjab remained in
Deficient/ Large Deficient category of rainfall at least for three of the seasons as well as annually.

A local study conducted in Hisar district of Haryana showed a general increasing trend of 2.3mm/year and the seasonal
pattern study uncovered a huge increment in precipitation amid pre-monsoon season but no major change during the
post-monsoon period (Sharma et al, 2016). Similarly, in adjoining Fatehabad district also, in a study analyzing 113
years of rainfall trends, precipitation was found to increase for all seasons except winters. Also, it was noted that
deficient and excess rainfall occurred with almost same frequency during study period (Rainfall Statistics of India –

In a study aimed at analysing Spatial and transient distribution of monthly precipitation in Haryana for the period 1970-
2011, significant decrease in annual and monsoon rainfall was noticed at Thanesar (Kurukshetra). (Nain 2016)
Soni and Singh (2017) undertook a study to gauge the variation in climatic parameters of Kurukshetra district including
rainfall, from 2000 to 2013 and observed a negative trend in rainfall with a rate of reduction of −12.00%. as shown in
Fig. 2.


Rodell et al (2009) examined the perceptions from NASA's GRACE i.e. Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment
and observed that subterranean water was declining at a mean rate of 4.0 ± 1.0 cm/year proportional stature of water
(17.7 ± 4.5 km3 yr-1) in the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and capital, Delhi and more than 109 km3 of
ground water vanished during August 2002 and October 2008, double the volume of India's biggest surface water
repository, the Upper Wainganga in Madhya Pradesh. Inspite of the fact that there were no unordinary drifts in
precipitation. Another examination combined satellite GRACE’s information with hydrological models for excluding
common variations and inferred that the area lost ground water at a rate of 54± 9km3/year during April, 2002 and June,
2008. It is expected to be the biggest rate of groundwater depletion in any approximately similar-sized locale of the
world. Its plausible commitment to sea level ascent is probably comparable to that due to melting of Alaskan ice sheets.
This pattern, if continued to sustain, will prompt a noteworthy water emergency in the area when this exhaustible asset
gets depleted.

According to, Groundwater data booklet Kurukshetra (CGWB 2007), the groundwater development stage in
Kurukshetra area was 166%. Examination of groundwater table profundity for past 24 years demonstrated a decreasing
pattern in the locale at a rate fluctuating from 0.98 to 1.16 m/year (Tiwari, 2009).

As indicated by Groundwater scenario of India (2009– 10), amid the most recent 40 years, groundwater wells and tube
wells have expanded multiple times, primarily in arid and semi-arid areas of the nation. In numerous blocks of Haryana,
the ground water development stage is over 100% which demonstrates that the ground water extraction is more than
recharge per year. (CGWB 2009)

Afterward, according to, Ground Water Information Booklet, Kurukshetra, (2013), the profundity of water level in the
region ranges from 20.18 m to 32.64 m subterranean level in pre storm period and 21.80m to 34.41 m subterranean
level amid post rainstorm period 2011. The profundity to water table map demonstrates that in huge parts of the area
water table is over 30 m bgl and spreads in Ladwa, Babain, Shahabad blocks and portions of Thanesar block. The
shallow ground water, in the profoundity range of 20 to 25 m bgl spreads in south and west territories of the area
covering Pehowa and Thanesar Blocks. It is likewise noticed that amid post monsoon period the region amid 20 m to
25m bgl gets diminished and the zone in which water table is 30 m bgl increases signifying stress on ground water
resource to fulfil the agrarian interest amid both monsoon and non-monsoon period.

A general declination in water levels in the region is shown by net change in water levels varying from 1.14 m/yr to
1.71 m/yr amid the period 2000-2011. The highest rate of decrease in ground water level was noted in piezometer at
Shahabad. It is additionally relevant to notice that the rate of declination was discovered to be much more than 1.0
m/yr. In the region, height of the water table lies in the range of 205 m to 240 m above mean sea level. General gradient
of the ground water level is approximately 1.08 m/km. All inclusive, the flow of ground water is in the south- west

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Patle et al (2016) did mathematical modelling of declining ground water levels in Kurukshetra utilizing Auto
Regressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) model and expressed that the stochastic investigation of groundwater
depths completed utilizing the most appropriate models ARIMA (2, 1, 1) and ARIMA (0, 1, 2) showed that by the year
2020, normal groundwater depths in the pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons in the locale are relied upon to
decrease by 5.63 and 5.72 m respectively, over the base year 2010, if the groundwater extraction proceeds at a similar
Afterwards, Singh et al (2017) conducted a GIS-based spatial and temporal analysis of groundwater level changes over
Haryana in 2017 and observed the yearly normal decrease in groundwater in Haryana to be over 32cm/year, with
strongest decline of 108.9cm/year in Kurukshetra District.


It is inferred from past studies that there is a clear and alarming declination in ground water levels in the region and
although some decrease in local rainfall trends is also observed but decline in rainfall is not the only and prominent
cause of such a sharp decline in ground water level. It is likely to be attributed to indiscriminate pumping of ground
water for irrigation and other demands. Therefore, a need to explore rainfall vis-a-vis ground water trends in greater
detail is felt since, such a study is expected to pave way for estimation of sustainable pumpage of ground water and
play a vital role in accessing the scope of artificial groundwater recharge structures for mitigating the adverse impact
of rainfall variability on groundwater.


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