The Balasore coastal groundwater basin in Orissa, India is under a serious threat of overdraft and seawater intrusion. The overexploitation resulted in abandoning many shallow tubewells in the basin. The main intent of this study is the development of a 2-D groundwater flow and transport model of the basin using the Visual MODFLOW package for analyzing the aquifer response to various pumping strategies. The simulation model was calibrated and validated satisfactorily. Using the validated model, the groundwater response to five pumping scenarios under existing cropping conditions was simulated. The results of the sensitivity analysis indicated that the Balasore aquifer system is more susceptible to the river seepage, recharge from rainfall and interflow than the horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivities and specific storage. Finally, based on the modeling results, salient management strategies are suggested for the long-term sustainability of vital groundwater resources of the Balasore groundwater basin. The most promising management strategy for the Balasore basin could be: a reduction in the pumpage from the second aquifer by 50% in the downstream region and an increase in the pumpage to 150% from the first and second aquifer at potential locations.
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