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Water Resources Planning

The Planning of a water-resources development project involves
systematic consideration of the original statement of purpose,
evaluation of alternatives and the final decision.
It forms the basis for the decision to accept or to reject a
particular project.
It involves a thorough study of various alternatives, selecting the
best alternative and the methods for the implementing the same
to achieve the optimum benefits.

Water-resources engineering is concerned with the utilisation

of water, control of water, and water quality management.

Water is utilized for various beneficial purposes such as

irrigation, water supply, hydropower and navigation.
Water is controlled and regulated for a variety of purposes such
as flood control, land drainage, sewerage and bridges so that it
does not cause damage to property, inconvenience to the
public, or loss of life.
Water-quality management or pollution control is also an
important phase of water resources engineering to maintain the
required quality of water for municipal and irrigation uses and
to preserve the environment and ecological balance.

The planning of a water-resources development

project generally consists of the following steps:
(1) Statement of objectives
(2) Collection of data
(3) Future projections
(4) Project formulation
(5) Project evaluation
(6) Environmental considerations

Various Purposes of Planning :

Main purposes :
1. Irrigation: The objective of irrigation is to increase the
agricultural production. Various works required for
irrigation are dams, reservoirs, wells, canals, distribution
systems, drainage facilities, farmland grading, etc.
2. Hydroelectric powers: The objective of hydroelectric
power development is generation of electric powers for
economic development and improving living standards.
The works include forebay, penstocks, turbines,
generators, transformers, transmission lines, etc.

3. Flood control: Flood control works are required for prevention or

reduction of flood damage, protection of areas, river regulation,
recharging of water, etc. The various works and measures include
dams, storage reservoirs, levees, flood walls, channel improvements,
flood ways, flood-plain zoning, flood forecasting, etc.
4. Domestic and industrial water supply: The objective to be
achieved is to provide safe and adequate water for domestic,
industrial, commercial, municipal and other uses. The various works
and measures adopted are dams, reservoirs, wells, conduits, pumping
plants, treatment plants, distribution systems, etc.
5. Navigation: Inland navigation facilities are provided for
transportation of goods and passengers. The various works and
measures adopted are dams, reservoirs, canals, locks, channel
improvement, harbour improvement, etc.

Secondary purposes :
1. Recreational: The objective is to provide recreational facilities for
the health and welfare of the people. Various works and measures
include reservoirs, swimming pools, facilities for boating and water
sports, preservation of scenic beauty, etc.

2. Fish and wild life: The objectives in this case are improvement of
habitat for fish and wild life, prevention of loss of fish and wild life,
enhancement of sport facilities, expansion of commercial fishing, etc.
The various works and measures are wild life refuges, fish hatcheries,
fish ladders, reservoirs, regulation of stream flows, pollution control,
land management, etc.

3. Drainage control: The objectives of drainage control are better

agricultural production, urban development, protection of public
health, prevention of waterlogging and salinity, etc. The various works
and measures are ditches, tile drains, levees, pumping stations, etc.
4. Watershed management: The various objectives of the watershed
management are conservation and improvement of soil, sediment
reduction, runoff retardation, forest and grass land improvement, etc.
The various works and measures include soil-conservation practices,
forest and range management practices, debris detention dams, small
reservoirs and farm ponds.
5. Sediment control: The objectives are reduction or control of silt load
in streams, prevention of silting of reservoirs, preservation of fertility
of soil, etc. The various works and measures adopted include soil
conservation, afforestation, desilting works, revetment works, bank
stabilisation, check dams, special reservoir operation, etc.

6. Salinity control: The objective is abatement or prevention of contamination

of agricultural, industrial and municipal water supplies by different salts.
The various works and measures include reservoirs for augmentation of low
stream flows, barriers, ground water recharge, coastal jetties, etc.
7. Pollution abatement: The objectives is protection or improvement of quality
of water supplies for municipal, domestic, industrial and agriculture, aquatic
life and recreation. This includes treatment facilities, reservoirs for
augmenting low flows, sewage-collection systems, legal measures to control
pollution, cleaning of polluted rivers, etc.
8. Insect control: The objective is protection of public health, recreational
values, forests, crops, and land. This includes drainage, extermination
measures, proper design and operation of reservoirs and associated works.
9. Artificial precipitation: The objective is to induce artificial precipitation
within meteorological limits of the basin. The various works and measures
include cloud-seeding equipment, meteorological instrumentation, etc.

Miscellaneous Purposes:
1. Employment: The objective is to provide employment and
other sources for increased income in backward areas having a
lot of unemployment and underdevelopment.
2. Acceleration of public works: The objective is to accelerate the
construction of various public works for the development of
region. Sometimes, the projects are planned that they may be
executed on cost-sharing basis among various agencies, such as
central government, state government, local bodies and private
organisation, to accelerate the development.
3. Development of new water resources policies: The objective is
to initiate new policies for the development, composition,
formulation and execution of the water-resources projects.

Stages in WR Planning :

Stage 1. The Project initiation stage :

It begins with the

statement of needs and includes preliminary planning, feasibility
and field investigations.

Stage 2. The data collection stage : Detailed data are gathered

for analysis and decision-making.

Stage 3. Project configuration stage :

A large number of
alternatives are investigated and a small number of promising
alternatives are selected for detailed analysis.

Stage 4. Detailed planning stage : The design parameters,

operation rules, costs, benefits etc. of the alternatives selected in
stage 3 are determined, and the final project configuration is
selected. Actually, this phase represents a detailed form of stages 2
and 3.

Stage 5. The Design stage : The final configuration is

translated into detailed structural design.

Types of Projects
The water-resources development projects are usually
classified on the basis of the number of purposes serves:
(1) Single purpose projects: These projects are designed and
operated to serve only one basic purpose.
(2) Multipurpose projects: These projects are designed and
operated to serve two or more purposes

It may be noted that a project which is designed for single purpose but
which incidentally also serves other purposes is not a multipurpose project.
Most of the major water-resources development projects in India are
multipurpose projects.
These projects are designed to serve a number of purposes to make
effective use of water resources of the country.
Although water resources are quite abundant but because the population is
also increasing at a fast rate, it is desirable that the maximum use shall be
made of the available water resources by developing multipurpose projects.
Moreover, multipurpose projects are generally more economically viable
because the increase in costs is often not proportional to the increase in

Water Requirements of Multipurpose Projects

The purposes usually served are irrigation, hydropower, flood
control, water supply, navigation, recreation, fish and wild life and
The water requirements for these functions are quite different. The
successful use of stored water in a multipurpose project can be
made for various purposes after studying the various requirements.
If these requirements are compatible, the stored water is used more
effectively because it would simultaneously serve more than one


Irrigation: Water requirements for irrigation in India are mostly


.The maximum demand of water for irrigation is during the winter

months for Rabi crops.
. However, there is usually a small demand of water for Kharif crops
during the summer months just prior to the onset of the monsoon.
.Water requirements for irrigation are generally higher in a year of low
.But the average demand does not vary greatly from year to year if the
irrigated area remains the same.

2. Hydropower: Water requirements for hydropower depend upon the type

of area served.
The power demand generally has a marked seasonal variation.
Moreover, hydropower production does not make consumptive use of
water as the water released for hydropower can serve other purposes.
Water released for irrigation and water supply may be used to produce
However, when irrigation demands are low in the rainy season, water has
to be released only for hydropower.
If the power production is limited only during the period when irrigation
demand exists, the load factors for the plant will go down and there will
be a loss in overall efficiency.

3. Flood control: The basic requirement for flood control is that

there should be a lot of empty space in the reservoir so that the
flood water can be stored.
The flood control use is, therefore, not compatible with other uses
which require that adequate water should be stored in the
However, the flood control requirement is seasonal as it is only
during the rainy season.

4. Water supply: Requirements for domestic water supply are more

or less constant throughout the year.
The demand is somewhat more during the summer months.
With an increase in population, the water demand increases from
year to year, and this factor should be considered while planning a
water supply project.
Adequate reserve should be maintained to avoid water shortage
during the periods of drought.

5. Navigation: Requirements for inland navigation are that there

should be adequate flow in the river to maintain the required
water depth.
Water is released from a storage reservoir to sustain downstream
flow for navigation.
There is a marked seasonal variation in the demand.
Generally, peak releases are required during the summer months
when the natural flow is low.

6. Recreation: The basic requirements for recreation is that the

reservoir should remain nearly full during the recreation season to
permit boating, fishing, swimming and other water sports.
Moreover, there should not be sudden large drawdowns which may
create several problems.
However, reservoirs are seldom designed to serve recreation alone.
The reservoirs designed for other purposes may have recreation as
an incidental purpose.

7. Fish and wild life: For protection of fish, there should not be large
and rapid fluctuations in water level of the reservoir, particularly
during the spawning period.
Moreover, the flow of water of downstream of the dam should not
be completely stopped, as it would lead to the destruction of fish
and wild life.
Fish ladders or other suitable arrangements are required at the
dams to permit migratory fish to travel upstream as well as
However, the construction of a reservoir causes a major change in
habitat for existing fish and wild life, and there may be a decrease
or an increase in species of fish and wild life.

8. Sanitation: The requirement for proper sanitation is that there

should be adequate flow downstream of the dam.
Sanitation requirements are compatible with other uses as these can
be easily combined with the release of water for other uses.
Sometimes there is another requirement in some areas that the
reservoir should be operated such that there is less mosquito
This is usually achieved by causing rapid fluctuations of water

Project Formulation
Once the basic data and the projections of future conditions are
assembled, actual formulation of the project can commence.
This is a phase of planning where imagination and skill are required.
The important first consideration is the compilation of a list of
The planning process should be an evaluation of all possible
alternatives with respect to project features and water use.
Planning should consider alternative and competing uses for water as
well as the various possibilities for control and delivery of the water.

The first step in project formulation is the definition of the

boundary conditions that restrict the project. For eg :
1. One or more aspects of water development can be eliminated on
the basis of physical limitations ,i.e. no navigation on torrential
mountain streams.
2. Maximum land areas usable for various purposes may be
definable. This does not exclude possibility of alternative uses for
a given parcel of land.
3. A policy decision may reserve certain lands for specific purposes,
i.e. Parks and recreational areas.
4. Legal constraints may reserve certain lands or prohibit certain
activities or actions.

Studies Required
1. Purpose and Scope of project.
2. National Objective of the project.
3. State and Local Concerns.
4. Alternative Plans.
5. Accounts.
6. Period of Analysis.
7. Risk and Uncertainty.
8. Cost Allocation.

Water Resources Management

Water Supply Management
Water Excess Management
Environmental Restoration

1. Biological sciences
2. Engineering
3. Physical sciences
4. Social sciences

Biological Sciences:
1. Ecology
2. Entomology
3. Fisheries
4. Food technology
5. Forestry
6. Horticulture
7. Limnology
8. Marine science
9. Microbiology
10. Plant science
11. Public health
12. zoology

Engineering :
1. Agriculture
2. Chemical
3. Civil
4. Environmental
5. Industrial
6. Mechanical
7. Systems

Physical Sciences :
1. Chemistry
2. Climatology
3. Computer Science
4. Geology
5. Hydrology
6. Mathematics
7. Meteorology
8. Oceanography
9. Physics
10. Soil Science
11. statistics

Social Sciences :
1. Economics
2. Education
3. Geography
4. History
5. Law
6. Planning
7. Political Science
8. Public Administration
9. Resource Development
10. Sociology

Generalized WRE Models

Generalized Model

Model Developer

KYPIPE Pipe Network Analysis

University of Kentucky

EPANET Pipe Network Water Quality


Environmental Protection Agency

HEC-RAS River Analysis System

Hydrologic Engineering Centre

FLDWAV Flood Wave Model

National Weather Service

HEC-FFA Flood Frequency Analysis

Hydrologic Engineering Centre

HEC-HMS Hydrologic Modelling System

Hydrologic Engineering Centre

SWMM Stormwater Management Model

Environmental Protection Agency

SWAT Soil & Water Assessment Tool

Agricultural Research Service

MODFLOW Modular Groundwater Flow


U.S. Geological Survey

HEC-FDA Flood Damage Analysis

Hydrologic Engineering Centre

HEC-RESSIM Reservoir Simulation


Hydrologic Engineering Centre

HEC-5 Flood Control & Conservation


Hydrologic Engineering Centre

WRAP Water Rights Analysis Package

Texas A&M University

MODSIM River Basin Network Flow


Colorado State University

RiverWare Reservoir and River Operations USBR, TVA, CADSWES

Projects Implementation
Public participation in planning: Planning agencies are
required to seek participation of interested members of the public in
the planning process.
Public hearings in which proposed plans are discussed and in which
opportunity is provided for the public to ask questions and voice
opinions are legally required in many instances.
A citizen advisory body is appointed to sensitize planners and
citizens to project impacts.

Project evaluation: When the alternatives have been defined,

the planners task is to provide data which aids in the choice among
Each alternative must be specified in sufficient detail so that costs
can be reliably estimated.
All costs, including

those induced by the project, should be

The methods used for both cost and benefit estimate should assure
that the resulting values for the various alternatives are truly

Financial considerations in planning: A project that cannot

be financed is useless. Hence an important element in planning of a
water project is consideration of the means by which the project
will be financed.
Local agencies are required to provide land, easements, and rightof-way and are required in many instances to pay for maintenance
and operation of the project.
The federal government has various grant programs that serve as
incentives for local agencies to undertake certain type of projects.

Some projects are sponsored by the federal government; some

by the individual states; some by irrigation, water conservation
and flood-control districts formed under state law; and others by
counties, cities and special districts.
Local governmental bodies finance projects in a variety of ways:
through taxes, special assessments, revenues collected for
services received and bond issues.
Input from financial specialists is essential in order to develop a
good plan for financing, a prime requisite for the successful
implementation of a project.

Environmental considerations in planning: Uncontrolled

population growth combined with an increased per capita production
of waste products threaten severe pollution of air, water and land with
attendant damage to flora and fauna and possible danger to man.
Population growth and technologic capability combine to drastically
alter the natural landscape with cities, highways, dams and other
engineering works.
Water projects needed to maintain public health and safety and the
accepted amenities will be included in the public works.

The growing environmental concern poses a dilemma for engineers

faced at one extreme by demands that all construction cease and at
the other extreme by pressure to get on with building as rapidly as
A new set of social values-moral, philosophic, and aesthetic- joint
technical standards and economic evaluation as decision factors in
the planning process.
The basic problem of population control will be met, either by man
or nature, but the water-resources planner of the future must give
more thought to environmental problems.

Social & Environmental Aspects

Consequences of water-resources projects might include:

1. Degradation of downstream channel or coastal beaches by loss of
sediment trapped in a reservoir.
2. Loss of unique geological, historical, archaeological, or scenic
sites flooded by a reservoir.
3. Flooding of spawning beds for migratory fish preventing their
reproduction or destruction of spawning gravel by channel
dredging or lining.

4. Change in stream water temperature as a result of a reservoir leading

to changes in aquatic species in the stream.
5. Release of reservoir bottom water that may be high in dissolved salts
or low in oxygen resulting in a change in aquatic species.
6. Drainage of swamps, potholes, etc; decreasing the opportunity for
survival of aquatic or amphibious animals or waterfowl.
7. Creation of a barrier to normal migration routes of land animals by a

8. Change in water quality as a result of drainage from an irrigation

project which may encourage growth of algae in the receiving water
or lead to a change in aquatic species as salinity of the receiving body
9. Damage to higher species by reason of toxic materials discharged to a
stream and concentrated in the food chain.
10. Damage to fish by passage through pumps or turbines or over the
spillways of high dams.
11. Damage to stream-bank vegetation by alteration of flow patterns in a

Conflict Resolution
Conflicts last longer and are more deeply rooted than disputes.
They tend to arise over non-negotiable issues such as fundamental
human needs, intolerable moral differences, or high-stakes
distributional issues regarding essential resources, such as money,
water, or land.
To truly resolve a conflict, the solution must go beyond just
satisfying the parties' interests as occurs in dispute settlement.
To end or resolve a long-term conflict, a relatively stable solution
that identifies and deals with the underlying sources of the conflict
must be found..

This is a more difficult task than simple dispute settlement,

because resolution means going beyond negotiating interests to
meet all sides' basic needs, while simultaneously finding a way to
respect their underlying values and identities .
True conflict resolution often requires a more analytical,
problem-solving approach than dispute settlement.
The main difference is that resolution requires identifying the
causal factors behind the conflict, and finding ways to deal with

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