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Title: Semi Impervious Subsurface Barrier for Water Conservation in Lateritic Formations
Authors: Udayakumar, G.
Mayya, S.G.
Issue Date: 2014
Citation: Journal of The Institution of Engineers (India): Series A, 2014, Vol.95, 3, pp.151-156
Abstract: The coastal districts of Karnataka in west coast of India experience acute shortage of drinking water during dry season in spite of heavy monsoon rains. Though sufficient recharge of ground water takes place, depletion of water table is very quick, once the rain recedes. It is mainly attributed to the presence of porous and highly permeable laterites and lateritic soils. The hydraulic conductivity of these soils varies in the range of 10?4 to 10?5 cm/s. The conventional water harvesting methods fail to solve the problem. It is necessary to explore innovative method to regulate the lateral subsurface flow and maintain a high water table over a prolonged period of time. The present work is an attempt to explore the possibility of using semi impervious Subsurface Barrier (SSB) to regulate and control the lateral flow of water in the unconfined aquifer in lateritic formations. Appropriate barrier material is arrived at using the locally available soil and the required properties are established. A SSB is built in a suitable location in an identified microwatershed using lateritic soil and the composite soil prepared by mixing requisite percentage of lateritic soil and clay. The hydraulic conductivity of these soils is maintained in the range of 10?6 to 10?7 cm/s so as to behave as semi impervious. The performance analysis is carried out by observing water levels in selected open observation wells before and after the construction of the barrier. The results have shown the successful performance of SSB in maintaining a high water table over a prolonged period of time during summer months, both in u/s and d/s of the barrier. 2014, The Institution of Engineers (India).
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