Sustainable conjunctive use of groundwater for additional irrigation

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Currently millions of private wells in the Punjab are pumping groundwater as an additional source for irrigation to compensate for irregular surface water supply. Since the 1990s, most of them are skimming wells that aim to reduce the salinity of the pumped groundwater. However, salinization continues to rise over time, often above acceptable limit, which threatens food production. This thesis aims to develop a solution to make groundwater use for additional irrigation sustainable, i.e., to limit the salinity of pumped water in the long run. Based on a model analysis, it was shown that skimming technologies cannot prevent salinization, irrespective of parameters of subsurface, for which some unique pumping tests were analyzed and geophysical measurements were carried out in the Punjab. Sustainability is sought in balancing both water and salt on the scale of field or farm. Both analytical and numerical models were used to show that the adopted concepts will work.