This paper examines vulnerability assessment of water resources in a semi-arid basin using the 4-step approach. The vulnerability assessment framework is developed to study the water resources vulnerability which includes the creation of GIS-based vulnerability maps. These maps represent the spatial variability of the vulnerability index. This paper introduces the 4-step approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a new set of indicators. The approach is demonstrated using a framework composed of a precipitation data for (1975–2010) period, temperature data for (1965–2010) period, hydrological model outputs and the water resources GIS data base. The vulnerability assessment is a function of three components such as exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. The current water resources vulnerability is assessed using GIS based spatio-temporal information. Rainfall Coefficient of Variation, monsoon onset and end date, rainy days, seasonality indices, temperature are selected for the criterion ‘exposure’. Water yield, ground water recharge, evapotranspiration (ET) are selected for the criterion ‘sensitivity’. Type of irrigation and storage structures are selected for the criterion ‘Adaptive capacity’. These indicators were mapped and integrated in GIS environment using overlay analysis. The five sub-basins, namely Arjunanadhi, Kousiganadhi, Sindapalli-Uppodai and Vallampatti Odai, fall under medium vulnerability profile, which indicates that the basin is under moderate stress of water resources. The paper also explores prioritization of sub-basinwise adaptation strategies to climate change based on the vulnerability indices.
India holds 17.5% of the world’s population but has only 2% of the total geographical area of the world where 27.35% of the area is categorized as wasteland due to lack of or less groundwater. So there is a demand for excessive groundwater for agricultural and non agricultural activities to balance its growth rate. With this in mind, an attempt is made to find the groundwater potential zone in Gomukhi Nadhi sub basin of Vellar River basin, TamilNadu, India covering an area of 1146.6 Sq.Km consists of 9 blocks from Peddanaickanpalayam to Virudhachalam in the sub basin. The thematic maps such as Geology, Geomorphology, Lineament, Landuse and Landcover and Drainage are prepared for the study area using IRS P6 data. The collateral data includes rainfall, water level, soil map are collected for analysis and inference. The digital elevation model (DEM) is generated using Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) and the slope of the study area is obtained. ArcGIS 10.1 acts as a powerful spatial analysis tool to find out the ground water potential zones in the study area by means of weighted overlay analysis. Each individual parameter of the thematic maps are ranked and weighted in accordance with their influence to increase the water level in the ground. The potential zones in the study area are classified viz., Very Good, Good, Moderate, Poor with its aerial extent of 15.67, 381.06, 575.38, 174.49 Sq.Km respectively.