About Us

Welcome to GSDA

The Project Agreement between International Development Association and Government of Maharashtra required that the State shall establish the Groundwater Agency, especially for the development of minor irrigation schemes based on groundwater. As per the agreement, the State Government has established the Groundwater Surveys & Development Agency ( G.S.D.A. ) during the year 1972.

The G.S.D.A. is engaged, in the exploration, development and augmentation of groundwater resources in the State through various schemes. This mainly includes, drilling of bore wells/tube wells under Rural Water Supply Programme, rendering technical guidance under minor irrigation programme by locating suitable dug well sites, strengthening of groundwater sources by water conservation measures, artificial recharge projects for induced groundwater, specific studies related to the periodic status of groundwater availability, protecting the existing groundwater resources through technical assistance under Groundwater Act etc.

Water plays an important role for the existence of mankind. The demand for water is rapidly increasing for drinking, irrigation and industrial uses. The increasing demand is also related to the increase in the population.

In India, Deccan Trap basaltic rock occupies about 500,000 Km2 area predominantly in Maharashtra and spreads to Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. It is also encountered in boreholes in West Rajasthan. Basaltic flows are off both vesicular and non-vesicular types, massive, horizontal in disposition with a low dip in some areas. The jointing/fracturing patterns and dyke intrusions control groundwater movement, dimension and intensity.

Large geographical area of Maharashtra State is occupied by hard rock. The hard rocks (Basalt + Metamorphic) occurs in the State covering an area of about 91%, put certain limitations o the availability and development of groundwater due to their adverse hydrogeological configuration.

About 1/3rd of the geographical area of the State comes under rain shadow and DPAP area which receives scanty rainfall and due to uneven distribution in space and time often brings a difficult situation of drought. The peculiar physiographic configuration of Maharashtra State, its undulating rugged topography also play an important role in controlling the occurrence and movement of groundwater. The secondary porosity developed as a result of weathering and structural features like joints/ fractures are the main components on which groundwater availability depends. In some of the areas, lineament and Dyke are also controlling factors. In basaltic rock, groundwater occurs under confined and semi-confined conditions. The shallow aquifer gets periodically recharged as evident from pre and post monsoon water level fluctuation.


Groundwater Surveys and Development Agency (GSDA) is a Government of Maharashtra organization, reputed at national level for exemplary work in the field of groundwater in Deccan Trap (Basalt). It is one of the nation’s leading institutions concerned with groundwater surveys, exploration, assessment, monitoring, development, management and regulation of groundwater resources for irrigation, drinking and industrial needs. It is also concerned with training, research and consultancy for the planning, development and management of groundwater. GSDA has authentic, voluminous and valuable historical data on groundwater resources in Deccan Trap, Metamorphic, Sedimentary and Alluvial formations for past 35 years.

Activities and Journey of GSDA

1972 :                Independent Directorate
1974 :              Village wise Systematic Hydrogeolgical Survey Started
1978 :              Drilling of Borewells for Drinking Water for Scarcity Mitigation
1983 :              Top Priority to supply drinking water during Scarcity
1986 :               Establishment of Research & Development Cell
1986 :               Establishment of Special Project Division
1993 :               Worked under Rural Development Department
1993 :               Worked under Water Conservation Department 
1994 :               Transferred to Water Supply and Sanitation Department 
1995 :               Role of Technical Officer Under Maharashtra Groundwater (Regulation for Drinking Water Purposes) Act, 1993 and Rules, 1995
1997 :                Hydrology Project Initiated 
2000 :                As per 73rd Amendment the Water Supply related activities transferred to Zilla Parishad
2002 :                Technical Service Provider and Participatory Rural Appraisal activity started
2003 :                Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activity started
2004 :                Village level Water Account activity initiated
2005 :                Initiation of Maharashtra Water Sector Improvement Project
2006 :                Hydrology Project Phase II initiated
2007 :                Survey and Implementation of Least cost measures in Quality affected villages

Offices of GSDA
1 Directorate – State Level at Pune
2.Deputy Director – At Regional Level – Pune, Konkan, Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati, Nagpur
3.Senior Geologist / Dy. Engineer Offices – District level



Traditionally, GSDA is entrusted with the mandate of developing and disseminating technologies, monitor and implement national and state policies for the scientific and sustainable development and management of groundwater resources. Importantly, GSDA conducts village wise systematic hydrogeological investigation under various institutionally financed and housing schemes. It also collects, evaluates, interprets, processes and disseminates data on water level and water quality to the end users. It also undertakes periodic ground water assessment in order to regulate the ground water use and guide ground water developmental activities on scientific basis. GSDA also works towards ensuring sustainability of ground water resources, on a long-term basis. It acts as a custodian, for the implementation of ground water legislation, within the State of Maharashtra.


GSDA has a fully equipped and trained multi-disciplinary manpower. It has a team of 2200 professional and support staff in various fields. Our manpower consists of Hydro-geologists specialized in remote sensing & GIS, chemists, cartographers, field surveyors with computer knowledge. GSDA has a separate Engineering wing and Geophysical expertise in groundwater development, management, protection and artificial recharge techniques. The data set compiled by GSDA includes groundwater and geological maps on 1:10,000 scales for 25,000 villages of Maharashtra. Digital database in forms of GIS layers are available for the entire State of Maharashtra. State-of-the-art Remote-sensing products and interpreted maps are available for most of the habited villages of the State. In addition, GSDA has got APT data to determine the aquifer parameter for 7,000 tests conducted in various rock formations of Maharashtra. A strong network of 4,000 observation wells and 1150 piezometers provides water level data that has been collected for over 32 years. Groundwater quality database is built around 70,000 samples, each analyzed for various parameters like pH, E.C., hardness, chloride, calcium, sodium, potassium, sulphate, nitrate and minor elements like fluoride and iron


GSDA is fortunate to have the best equipment possible in the field of water resources. GSDA has a fleet of D.T.H., Rotary and in-well rigs to carry out drilling in hard rocks, alluvium and in existing dugwells respectively. Besides these, hydro-fracturing unit to rejuvenate poor yielding bore wells are stationed at the six regional headquarters of the State. GSDA’s own Level II+ Chemical Lab in each of the 6 divisions of Maharashtra with sophisticated instruments caters to the ever-increasing quality issues. Latest generation computers and sophisticated dedicated software is available in all 33 districts and at state level. Sophisticated geo-physical instruments, which include resistivity meter, VLF wadi, seismic unit and digital logger are also available with GSDA

Role of GSDA.

Almost 80% of the drinking water sources are groundwater dependent and majority of these sources are within the recharge and storage areas. The groundwater resource being space, time and depth specific, the sustainability of groundwater dependent drinking water sources is of utmost importance for the State. Accordingly, Government has decided to give priority to the source sustainability. Hence the role of GSDA is very important in the drinking water of the State.

Since the last 36 years, G.S.D.A. is engaged in the development and management of groundwater resources in the State through various schemes. The main aim is to provide safe and potable drinking water to the community. The work pertaining to drinking work, carried out by GSDA includes following –

  1. Site selection for drilling of borewells/tubewells under Rural Water Supply scheme.
  2. Detailed hydrogeological surveys on village scale for ascertaining the area specific hydrogeological conditions and to delineate the groundwater  potential zones along with recharge worthy areas.
  3. Identification of source for Pipe Water Supply schemes and open dugwells under Rural Water Supply Programme.
  4. Survey for the drinking water source sustainability under Shivkalin Pani Sathwan Yojna.
  5. Implementation of unconventional measures, like hydrofracturing to increase the yield of poor yielding borewells, fracture seal cementation to arrest the sub-surface flow, bore blast techniques to improve and enhance the fracture porosity within the source area, for drinking water source sustainability under different plan schemes, like Shivkalin Yojna, Central Govt aided programmes, etc.
  6. Hydrogeological surveys for technical guidance and actual implementation of traditional water conservation and artificial groundwater recharge measures for strengthening groundwater resources along with the drinking water sources.
  7. To carry out survey in the water quality affected villages for providing the least cost solutions for source sustainability and to implement the GSDA related measures.
  8. To carry out survey for NC/PC villages and provide the least cost solutions for source sustainability and to implement the GSDA related measures.
  9. Monitoring and implementation of World Bank aided aquifer based groundwater management projects, which envisages supply of sustainable drinking water with community participation.
  10. In order to safeguard the drinking water sources, the Government of Maharashtra has introduced the Maharashtra Groundwater (Regulation for Drinking Water Purposes) Act, 1993 followed by Maharashtra Groundwater (Regulation for Drinking Water Purposes) Rule 1995. Various responsibilities like delineation of watersheds, preparation of technical report, and technical survey in notified areas etc. have been entrusted with GSDA as a technical officer under different sections of the Act.
  11. Periodic monitoring of groundwater levels and ground water quality within the State so as to assess the watershed wise groundwater potential and quality affected areas.
  12. In order to support the hydrogeological surveys and to improve the success of drinking water sources in the difficult terrain, geophysical surveys using latest equipments like WADI-VLF are being carrying out.
  13. The remote sensing studies along with the normal hydrogeological surveys are being undertaken by the Agency for resource development especially in critical/difficult areas. GIS maps are being used to locate the potential areas on macro level.
  14. During scarcity period, GSDA is carrying out the survey for suggesting the least cost measures for the supply of drinking water in the State.
  15. Under disaster management like landslides, earthquakes etc GSDA is carrying out the responsibility of survey and implementation of the measures pertaining to emergency drinking water.
  16. For ensuring the optimum recharge to the drinking water source, sand survey and recommendation is being done through GSDA.
  17. Watershed Development Project under DPAP, Osmanabad district.
  18. Implementation of watershed development project under Hariyali (Parbhani, Aurangabad, Washim, Jalna, Pune, etc.)
  19. Implementation of integrated watershed development projects and construction of bandharas in distress villages of Buldhana, Washim, Wardha etc.
  20. Implementation and monitoring of Village Water Account in 353 tahasils of the State since 2004

Research activities

  • R&D activities are directed towards the study of appropriate technology for development and management of ground water and various infrastructures in water sector.
  • Groundwater Assessment
  • Establishing hydro-meteorological stations and collecting hydrogeological parameters used in water balance studies.
  • The in-house research projects are handled by highly trained and expert scientists of the organizations, with supporting sophisticated instruments in the field of remote sensing, GIS & GPS applications and computer aided analysis.
  • Specialized DSS projects under Hydrology Project.
  • Village water account to determine the availability of water resources within a village and help informed decision making in ensuring sustainability of water resource at the village level.


The following partnerships/consultancies are presently being undertaken by GSDA:

  • The World Bank aided Aquifer water management Pilots under Jalswarajya Project in the 3 pilots of Pune, Aurangabad and Buldhana
  • The World Bank aided Maharashtra Water Sector Improvement Pilot Project in 4 pilot districts of Satara, Jalna, Beed, and Amravati.
  • NABARD aided watershed development project in Buldhana district.
  • Pune Municipal Corporation Project on quantity and quality of groundwater within urban limits.

Outstanding Works Done by GSDA

  • Estimation of groundwater on watershed basis since 1974. First ever agency in the country to complete the estimation of groundwater on watershed basis in March 2004.
  • Rejuvenation of drinking water borewells by using hydrofracturing technique along with the 6872 other unconventional measures completed in 4526 villages to augment the groundwater based drinking water sources. This helped in solving the drinking water problem in tanker fed villages.
  • Hydrological information system developed under World Bank aided Hydrology Project. Through Hydrological data users group through which revenue of around 18.00 lakh has been collected.
  • In 4443 villges 12078 different measures for strengthening of drinking water sources have been taken up under Shivkalin Pani Sathwan Yojana and 1048 villages have been made tanker free.
  • The traditional Villages water management concept has been revived trough villages water account in 353 villages and the success stories have been published at the hands of H’ble Minister, Water Supply and Sanitation Shri Ajit Dada Pawar on July 16, 2007. This has been circulated to all the Zilla Parishads for replicaton.
  • For adapting the innovative practices of groundwater augmentation by rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge through people’s participation in the targeted areas resulting in ensuring the sustainability of groundwater resources and development of adequate capacity amongst stakeholders has been developed by GSDA. Hence the first National Bhumijal Award for 2007 has been awarded to Village Hivre Bazar, Dist Ahmednagar. Similarly, under Municipal corporation Pravara-Deoloali Nagar Parishad and under NGO Dilasa Janvikas Pratishthan have been awarded the Bhumi Jal Award for 2007.
  • Intensive IEC activity has been initiated by GSDA with the support of UNICEF. Under this various worksops, exhibitions, processions etc were conducted at villages, district, State, National level to sensitize the community regarding groundwater development and management. Similarly gender sensitization workshops have been conducted especially for the capacity building of women.
  • GSDA is having prime role in Aquifer Water Management under Jalaswaraja and Maharashtra Water Sector Improvement Project. This project is being implemented with the World Bank Assistance in Pune, Satara, Aurangabad, Jalna, Beed, Buldhana and Amravati.
  • GSDA is carrying out the scarcity prediction work every year as Section 4 of the Maharashtra Groundwater (Drinking Water Purposes) Act 1993. Similarly the drinking water quality monitoring and providing least cost solutions to different quality affected drinking water sources, is being done by this organization. 
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