The western boundary of the Pune district is defined by the Western Ghats from where many peninsular rivers originate. These rivers flow along a south-easterly direction almost across the entire Indian peninsula, eventually flowing out into the Bay of Bengal to the east. One of these rivers is Krishna. As a matter of fact, there are many smaller rivers that actually originate from various parts of the Western Ghats to confluence with Krishna river. Bhima is one such river that is part of the Krishna river basin. All the district’s rivers such as Pushpavati, Krishnavati, Kukadi, Meena, Ghod, Bhama, Andhra, Indrayani, Pavna, Mula, Mutha, Ambi, Mose, Shivganga, Kanandi, Gunjavni, Velvandi, Nira, Karha and Velu flow into the Bhima or its tributaries.
When it comes to Pune city (Urban area), the city is drained by Mula and Mutha rivers and their tributaries. Mulshi dam is the major dam on Mula river while Temghar and Khadakwasla dam is built on the Mutha river. Khadakwasla dam is one of the main sources of water for Pune city and its suburbs. Just a few kilometers upstream on Ambi and Mose river that ultimately discharge their water into the Mutha river, lies the twin dams of Panshet and Varasgaon respectively which feed water into Khadakwasla dam. In addition to this there are many lakes located in the Pune city, some of them are Katraj lake, Pashan lake, Mastani talav etc.
It may seem surprising as to why a study of groundwater resources has been undertaken within Pune district and that too in the core city of Pune; where there are a number of rivers draining the district and the city and having many large surface water structures on them. Firstly, urban water management approaches in India have often underplayed the important component of groundwater resources at the expense of focusing on surface water hydrology, with an even greater focus on developing surface water resources and the water delivery system through ‘mega project’.
Despite larger surface water structures, large parts of the Pune district and the city that are underlain by basalt rocks of the DVP, are dependent on groundwater resources. In fact, most of the habitations, including settlements in core city have large-diameter dug wells and / or bore wells, the surface water provisions notwithstanding. As per ACWADAM’s latest estimates nearly 5 to 6 TMC of annual groundwater is extracted in Pune city!