AbstractIn India in recent decades, groundwater has emerged as a principal source for meeting drinking and irrigation needs. As a result, groundwater depletion and overextraction are acknowledged as a major concern. Different policy interventions are being explored to augment the management of aquifers. Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) is one such intervention that is becoming popular among government agencies, developmental actors, and even farmers for recharging and recovering water from aquifers. However, the selection of a suitable location and appropriate aquifer for recharge is challenging. The main objective of this study was to classify site selection criteria for ASR installations in different types of aquifers in North India. In this study, both scientific indicators (i.e., rainfall, elevation, soil and aquifer characteristics, surface and groundwater quality) and social characteristics (tacit knowledge, land ownership, willingness to participate) were evaluated to create an integrated ASR site selection criterion. The results indicated that ASR sites could not be appropriately identified solely based on available metrological, geospatial, and geohydrological data. Socioeconomic parameters should be an integral part of the decision-making process for the site selection for ASR. Based on these scientific indicators and social characteristics, a total of seven potential ASR sites (three in the village of Nekpur and four in the village of Meyar) were selected at Rajgir, Nalanda, Bihar, India. Although this integrated site-assessment framework was designed based on 12 indicators in the context of the marginal alluvial plains for the mid-Ganga regions in this study, the general principles adopted in this study can be applicable to other regions.

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