Optimization of a Groundwater Monitoring Network for a Sustainable Development of the Maheshwaram Catchment, India
Groundwater is one of the most valuable resources for drinking water and irrigation in the Maheshwaram Catchment, Central India, where most of the local population depends on it for agricultural activities. An increasing demand for irrigation and the growing concern about potential water contamination makes imperative the implementation of a systematic groundwater-quality monitoring program in the region. Nonetheless, limited funding and resources emphasize the need to achieve a representative but cost-effective sampling strategy. In this context, field observations were combined with a geostatistical analysis to define an optimized monitoring network able to provide sufficient and non-redundant information on key hydrochemical parameters. A factor analysis was used to evaluate the interrelationship among variables, and permitted to reduce the original dataset into a new configuration of monitoring points still able to capture the spatial variability in the groundwater quality of the basin. The approach is useful to maximize data collection and contributes to better manage the allocation of resources under budget constrains.
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