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Storage of Excess water: Solutions. Suggestions? Sholapura, Maharashtra

I have 10 acres of agricultural land in Kumbhari village south Sholapur, Maharashtra. Our average rainfall is around 500mm. In my farm about 1.5 feet of topsoil is there and after that it is cracked stones.After 25 feet under ground we have solid black rocks. My land is the lowest point in surrounding 100 acres. Well is now full and overflowing. Its depth is only 30 feet. However in April it runs dry. How do I tap the runoff water. So that the same can be stored and utilized when needed. Some suggest drilling 50 feet deep boreholes and blastin inside to create storage . Will this technique help? Or is there any other solution. End use of the stored water is in horticultural activity - pomo/keshar mango etc.

Bharat Jhawar




Dear Mr.Bharath,

Sholapur is part of Deccan Trap country.In Deccan Trap terrain ground water is found in intratrappean zones.In your well , to a depth of 30ft, water is available during rainy season.This is because rain water from upper reaches flow into your well, as runoff.In reality your well is working like a storage tank, as massive Basalt is present below 25 ft.

Please do the following

1)Increase the dia of your existing well so that you can store more quantity of water.

2)To the extent possible cover the well just after rainy season to avid evaporation loss.There is a chemical used as a surface film to avoid evaporation.This technique has been developed jointly by NGRI and IICTscientists of Hyderabad.You may please contact Dr.D.Muralidharan,Scientist,N.G.R.I,Hyderabad-500606 for specific details.

3)You can have couple of borewells down stream after detailed hydrogeological and resistivity surveys.These borewells could be utilised during summer season.

4)Storage of excess rain water in subsurface storage reservoirs is being done in different parts of the country.Construction of such reservoirs need expert handling / supervision as mere blasting doesnot help.Routine Blasting may lead to creation of fissures that may act as conduits for stored water to leak through.

5)Since you want water for horticulture purpose you can also have couple of overhead tanks to store water during rainy season and also store water from the successful borewells. These waters can be utilised judiciously through pot/drip irrigation of your garden crops.

Please select different options suggested above, keeping in view the required needs and expenses involved.Please avoid going in a big way and adopt step by step introduction of different measures.

Best of Luck.

Emeritus Scientist


Dear Bharat Jhawar,

The solution I can think of is:

Construction of one or several farm ponds, going down in depth up to the bedrock, if required. I would advise against drilling or blasting. The water stored in the pond(s) can be used for supplementary irrigation. Solapur comes in low rainfall area and so this measure should be useful. One can also rear fishes in the pond.

In addition, to storing the runoff water, the farm ponds will also act as a sink for the precious soil, which is being eroded every year, along with the run off. The soil can be scooped out before the next monsoon season and spread near the beds of the horticultural plants.

The farm ponds will provide transient storage, increase ground water recharge and effect soil conservation.


Ramesh Athavale
Formerly Director Grade Scientist
National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad & Emeritus Scientist
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research


Dear Bharat Jhawar,

1.You work out yours total water requirements (application through drips to the orchards) for the period April-June months. I assume that from July onwards rainy season sets in.

2. Add to these requirements normal evaporation losses in the region.

3. There can be two options now:

a) Go for sub-soil blasting below in the hard rock region so that an underground reservoir is created for storage of the surplus water during monsoon. Approx. capacity shall be equal to the estimated requirements. Results are always doubtful in this case.

b) Create a tiled/ cemented and covered underground storage tank close to the well and fill it through the overflow from the well etc. Capacity of this tank should be close to the water requirements worked out above.

For more detailed information/ advice you can approach Soil and Water Engineering Department of the College of Agricultural Engineering, MPKV, Rahuri.


Bharat R Sharma
Senior Researcher-I & Head
International Water Management Institute
New Delhi-110012

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