AbstractThe present study investigates the spatiotemporal variabilities of long-term (1950–2016) rainfall and regional groundwater levels for annual and seasonal periods over the west coast of India. The study area is a narrow strip of land between Western Ghats (mountainous terrain) and the Arabian Sea, extending over 1,500 km from south to north. The Mann Kendall (MK) and Sen’s slope estimator established the long-term trend and magnitude of rainfall and groundwater. The nature of trends in the time series of hydroclimatic variables was identified through singular spectrum analysis (SSA). The SSA extracted nonlinear trends along with the shape for both increasing and decreasing trends. Annual and southwest monsoon rainfall exhibited prominent decreasing trends. The percentage departure analysis of rainfall revealed that earlier decades (1950–1980) were the wettest, followed by the drier decades (1980–2016) for Periyar, Varrar, and Netravati and vice versa for Vasishti and Bhatsol. The wavelet spectra for rainfall indicated short- and long-term modulations. The long-term groundwater level trends of 725 wells on the entire west coast showed a significant decline in 13% of wells, and 6% of wells indicated increasing trends. The Monte Carlo–based numerical investigations on the modified MK (mMK) test power indicated the influence of parent distributions on trend detection. The field significance of trends at a 5% significance level was examined using the bootstrap test. The precipitation data were then compared with groundwater level variation at each site, and correlations were established. The declining southwest monsoon rains and their uneven spatial distribution could be attributed to a subsequent decline in the region’s postmonsoon groundwater levels.

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