National Geographic : 2009 Nov
A B PROFILE SHOWN BELOW 75°E 20°N MAHARASHTRA DECCAN BASALTS WESTERN GHATS INDIA Arabian Sea Warm, moist air (summer) Bhima Mumbai (Bombay) Khandarmal Shirdi Pandharpur Pune Satichiwadi Darewadi Yethewadi Gunjalwadi 5,400 ft 1,646 m (STATE BOUNDARY) EUROPE ASIA AFRICA INDIAN OCEAN EQUATOR New Delhi AREA ENLARGED INDIA 0mi 100 0km 100 In the dry season the farms of Satichiwadi broil under the relent- less sun (below, left). When the monsoon rains arrive, between June and September, a verdant carpet freshens tilled fields and pastures. Deep aquifers underlie the Deccan basalts. Composed of compact basalt with low porosity, they take years to refill from rainfall. MAP: VIRGINIA W. MASON, NG STAFF. SOURCES: GROUNDWATER SURVEYS AND DEVELOPMENT AGENCY, GOVERNMENT OF MAHARASHTRA; CLIMATIC RESEARCH UNIT, UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA INDIA'S RAIN SHADOW Monsoon rains skip a large part of several Indian states. Clouds loaded with moist sea air deluge the western side of coastal mountains (map). When they reach the area of the Deccan basalts, they're mostly wrung out and offer only a drizzle (graphs) to farmers. RAINFALL 40 80 in A B ELEVATION WESTERN GHATS Satichiwadi 2,000 4,000 ft A B 90 40 3525 AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL 1991-2000, in inches Villages with falling water tables. In many places more water is drawn from wells than the monsoon replenishes, leaving less for irrigation and drinking.