Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of the RWTH Aachen University

My Work Theme: Urban Groundwater Recharge Modeling for Hyderabad

For the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) initiated program “A new passage to India”, we four Ph. D. scholars- Kilian, Jasmin, Shikhar and me are working on project theme named “Urbanization and its effect on water resources”. In this regard, we have chosen fast growing urban areas like Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bhubneshwar etc. for our study about different topics. Such as, Kilian is studying about interaction between water management and informal processes; Jasmin is working on impact of urban lifestyle on water resources in India; Shikhar is interested in analysis of groundwater quality in Hyderabad and Varanasi and I am studying about effect of urbanization on groundwater recharge in Hyderabad. It’s been almost two years since we are working and helping each other in our work and its really nice experience to know about their view and observations about India.
I choose Hyderabad as my study area because; it is the 6th most populous urban agglomeration of India with population of 7.7 million according to census data of 2011. The urban growth had severely affected the surface as well as groundwater resources in this region. The bedrock of the city is a granite-gneiss that weathers to a thick veneer of sand as a result of the tropical monsoon climate (Gumma et. al., 2011). So it would be interesting to study ground water recharge and effect of ground sealing due to urbanization and its effect on groundwater recharge process in Hyderabad city. Also the city has to face many challenges today concerning sustainable infrastructure systems such as (Taubenböck 2007)
– Lack of effective public transport system
– Poor infrastructure maintenance
– Water supply restricted to 2 hours a day on alternate day
– Unbalanced spatial development – neglecting the inner city
– Unreliable electricity supply
– High pollution – water, air, noise

My work mostly involves analysis of urban growth in Hyderabad using remote sensing and GIS techniques for various aspects and to find out the changes in surface as well as ground water resources during this urbanization process to forecast the future trend of these changes and effects on environment by using numerical model. In the first step, the urban growth in last 20 years is analyzed using remote sensing and GIS techniques. From this study, the pattern of urban growth in Hyderabad is identified and the loss of surface water bodies during this urbanization process is assessed. It is found out that total urban built-up area adding low and high density area has grown since 1989 to 2011 by 436.07 km2 in my study area. Agriculture and open land area are the most affected category by this urban growth. During the period 1989 to 2011, the low density urban area has always contributed to the growth of high density urban area. Many surface water bodies are lost since 1989 and most of the remaining water bodies showed reduction in surface area. Such loss of surface water resources is also one of the reasons in widening a gap between supply and demand of water in the region. Also, it has been found that the process of urbanization, has affected other land use classes with different intensities. By studying the spatial trend of urban growth, it has been found that the urban growth is proceeding in all direction but the regions with more dynamic activities of transformation into urban area are found to be located in the North-west and southern parts of the city. In the second step, it is planned to analyze the effect of urbanization process on groundwater recharge in this region. In this study, it is planned to identify the contribution by urban recharge resources as well as natural groundwater recharge. And then a conceptual and numerical model will be prepared by combining recharge by natural and urban means. Also, the model will be validated and evaluated for sensitivity of the parameters. So it will be useful to find out the actual effect on overall groundwater recharge process and its future trend in this region. Hopefully, I will finish my study in time with good results.



Gumma R. K., Rao P. N., Varadaraj N., Praveen Kumar G. (2011): Ground water scenario in major cities of India. Report by Central Ground Water Board, India.

Taubenböck H., Pengler I., Schwaiger B., Cypra S., Hiete M., Roth A. (2007) A multi-scale urban analysis of the Hyderabad metropolitan area using remote sensing and GIS. Urban Remote Sens Joint Event, Paris, 2007: 1-6.

Hemant Wakode
PhD Student, Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen. (GERMANY). Email: See all posts from Hemant Wakode

    Dear Hemant, your research area and the analysis is much more interesting. please forward us the results and statistics to sensitize the Hyderabad officials and the people on water management. Best wishes, Sterzy Rajan, Input Editor, Gemini News, Hyderabad


    best wishes

  3. Thank you very much for your interest in my work. I have submitted one article about urban growth analysis in Hyderabad in one of the research journal and it is under review process. So currently, I cannot provide you any definite results of the work. But, if you need any other information, then you can inform me and I will try my best to answer your queries.

  4. Dear Hemant, your research area and your analysis is very interesting. Actually I was looking out for suitable areas for renting a 2 BHK flat or so. In that process I came across your site while searching for water problem prone areas. Now I am sure I have contacted the best person to know the ground reality. All I want from you is, can you suggest me a few places surrounding Khairatabad (my work place 5-15km radius) which would not have water problem for next few years at the least. I mean non polluted water. Our’s is a small family (Me,my wife and our cute baby boy – just 9 months).

    Best wishes for your research. Hope you are not facing any political pressures in this research.

  5. Dear Hemanth,

    please forward us the results.

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