Isotope hydrology techniques solving water problems in India'

"In India, isotope techniques have been employed for a variety of hydrological problems with successful results. Isotope hydrology provides scientific information for judicious, well considered decision making in almost all such cases in solving the water problems,"
Banerjee said at the International Atomic Energy Agency's Scientific Forum on 'Water Matters: Making a Difference with Nuclear Techniques' during its 55th annual General Conference at Vienna yesterday.

"Even the academic fraternity has adapted isotope hydrology in the curriculum," he said.
Talking about the application of such techniques in the rejuvenation of drying springs in Gaucher area, Uttarakhand, Banerjee said environmental isotope techniques using isotopes of Oxygen and Hydrogen were employed to identify the recharge areas of springs in India, in order to construct artificial recharge structures for rainwater harvesting and groundwater augmentation for their rejuvenation.

"A model project was taken up in the mountainous region of Gaucher area, Chamoli District, Uttarakhand for this purpose in North India," he said.

The springs in this region are seasonal and are derived from seepage waters flowing
through the shallow weathered and fractured zone. The hydro-chemistry (major-ions, minor-ions) of high-altitude springs is similar to that of precipitation, whereas water-rock interactions contribute to increased mineralisation in low-altitude springs.

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