Volume No. 10 Issue No.: 1 Page No.: 175-186 July-September 2015




Deshpande Ajinkya*, Patel Dhruvi, Patel Drashti, Jadeja Jalpa and Desai Khushali

Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara (INDIA)


Received on : March 10, 2015




The city of Vadodara, India is prone to frequent floods and the most severe floods were received in 1994, 1996, 2005 and 2014 in the recent past. The city has an area of 159 km˛ and a population of 1.6 million according to the 2010–11 census. Vadodara receives an average rainfall of 1020 mm. Vadodara sits on the banks of the River Vishwamitri, fed by the Ajwa Reservoir. The width of the river decreases as it flows through the city and is subjected to the drainage of the city's sewage and effluents from nearby industries. Alterations of its banks and human encroachment have reduced its width further. A large number of wetlands have been reclaimed and construction has been carried out over them. The number of slums has also increased by a great extent from 192 slums in 1972 to 397 in 2013. The stormwater drainage network in the city is also inadequate. The study aims at highlighting the role of change in land use pattern, unplanned development, depletion of water bodies and building of slums along the river banks in causing frequent and severe floods in the city using GIS. The annual rainfall data of the city was obtained and subjected to graphical and statistical operations which revealed that heavy rainfall is not the only factor causing floods in the city. The low lying zones were identified and the direction of the flow of rainwater was determined using an elevation map. This also gave the reasons for severe waterlogging in some areas of the city. The historic LANDSAT images of the city from 1991 to 2014 were obtained from the USGS Global Visualization (GloVis) Viewer. The images were analysed under different band combinations using the Integrated Land and Water Information System (ILWIS 3.4). The results show the continuous increase in the urban sprawl, increase in construction throughout the city, especially in the Western parts and increase in the density of buildings. The area of the existing water bodies is also decreasing due to dumping of wastes and construction along the banks. The presence of slums has increased by a great extent throughout the city, especially along the banks of Vishwamitri river reducing the width of the river and causing frequent floods. Unplanned construction has been carried out in the low lying zones, obstructing the flow of water into the sinks to cause water logging in these areas.


Keywords : Urban floods, Vishwamitri, Land use pattern, GIS, Water bodies