Environmental Engineering Reference
district are affected by the water stressed problem due to the undulating topography
and seasonal rainfall. Ausgram blocks I & II are agricultural (paddy) potential zones
in Burdwan district, West Bengal. Recent agriculture researches suggest that water
demand in rice fields can be substantially reduced through implementation of new
management techniques (Tuong et al. 2005 ).
Water harvesting involves the storage of runoff and rainwater, so that it can be
channelled onto targeted land areas when needed, thereby improving agricultural
cultivation. The potential of surface water harvesting is a function of geomorphol-
ogy, rainfall frequency and cropping potential. Maps, based on Geographical
Information Systems (GIS) and models, can give a clear idea of the areas where the
surface water can be effectively harvested at the community level.
In all past studies, geomorphic analysis of the concerned drainage basin was the
key aspect for the study. In almost all the cases the unit of study was river basin but
seldom the drainage basin confined within the administrative region and hence it
becomes difficult for the administrators for implementation of the developmental
plans. Present geomorphic analyses have been done in an administrative region for
identification of the surface water harvesting potential zones. Present surface water
harvesting potential study considered Ruggedness Index (RI), Relative Relief (RR),
Drainage Density (DD), Slope and Frequency of Surface Water Bodies (FSWB) of
Ausgram Blocks I and II of Burdwan district, West Bengal as geomorphic resources.
The geomorphic resources have been evaluated and the potentiality of surface water
in this administrative region is identified and further suggestions are made for the
suitable zones for water storing or harvesting. Existing geomorphic resources and
surface water bodies are measured and analysed using Survey of India (SOI) topo-
graphical maps. The zones can be used to store excess rainfall for the use in the drier
periods. The present study identified and mapped the existing geomorphic and sur-
face water resources to propose surface water harvesting zones in Ausgrm blocks
through overlay method using GIS techniques.
The study area, Ausgram blocks I and II are located in the central part of Burdwan
district. The blocks are surrounded by Birbhum district in the north, Mangalkote
and Bhatar blocks, Galsi block and Kanksa blocks of Burdwan district in the west,
south and east (Fig. 1 ). Its geographical area is distributed between 23°21′47″
N-23°37′04″ N latitude and 87°28′57″ E-87°47′07″ E longitude, covering 493 sq.
km of area. Total population of the block is 2,43,113 as per Census of India (2001).
Agriculture is main economic activity of the region. The altitude varies between 40
and 60 m above MSL. Slope gradually decreases from south west to north east. Its
maximum area is covered with clay with caliche concretion, laterite and clay alter-
nating with silts and sand as another extensive soil cover of the region. The blocks
experience a climate which is transitional between CWg3 and AW1 types, where
'C' stands for 'warm temperate rainy climates with mild winter', 'W' for 'dry win-
ter not compensated for by total rain in the rest of the year', 'g3' for 'eastern