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Water resources survey – Water resources of India and Tamilnadu –

Description of water
resources planning – Economics of water resources planning, physical and
socio economic data
– National Water Policy – Collection of meteorological and hydrological data
for water resources

Engineering economy in water resources planning:

All Water Resources projects have to be cost evaluated.
This is an essential part of planning.
Since, generally, such projects would be funded by the respective State
Governments, in which the project would be coming up it would be helpful
for the State planners to collect the desired amount of money, like by
issuing bonds to the public, taking loans from a bank, etc.
Since a project involves money, it is essential that the minimum amount is
spent, under the given constraints of project construction.
Hence, a few feasible alternatives for a project are usually worked out. For
example, a project involving a storage dam has to be located on a map of
the river valley at more than one possible location, if the terrain permits.
In this instance, the dam would generally be located at the narrowest part
of the river valley to reduce cost of dam construction, but also a couple of
more alternatives would be selected since there would be other features
of a dam whose cost would dictate the total cost of the project.
For example, the foundation could be weak for the first alternative and
consequently require costly found treatment, raising thereby the total
project cost.
At times, a economically lucrative project site may be causing
submergence of a costly property, say an industry, whose relocation cost
would offset the benefit of the alternative.
On the other hand, the beneficial returns may also vary.
For example, the volume of water stored behind a dam for one alternative
of layout may not be the same as that behind another.
Hence, what is required is to evaluate the so-called Benefit-Cost Ratio
defined as below:
The annual cost and benefits are worked out as under.

The investment for a project is done in the initial years during

construction and then on operation and maintenance during the
project's lifetime. The initial cost may be met by certain sources like
borrowing, etc. but has to be repaid over a certain number of years,
usually with an interest, to the lender. This is called the Annual
Recovery Cost, which, together with the yearly maintenance cost would

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give the total Annual Costs. It must be noted that there are many non -
tangible costs, which arise due to the effect of the project on the
environment that has to be quantified properly and included in the
annual costs.

water resourcesdevelopment.
Instructional Objectives
On completion of this lesson, the student shall be able to know:
1. Principle of planning for water resource projects
2. Planning for prioritizing water resource projects
3. Concept of basin – wise project development
4. Demand of water within a basin
5. Structural construction for water projects
6. Concept of inter – basin water transfer project
7. Tasks for planning a water resources project

Utilisation of available water of a region for use of a community has
perhaps been practiced from the dawn of civilization. In India, since civilization
flourished early, evidences of water utilization has also been found from ancient
times. For example at Dholavira in Gujarat water harvesting and drainage
systems have come to light which might had been constructed somewhere
between 300-1500 BC that is at the time of the Indus valley civilization. In fact,
the Harappa and Mohenjodaro excavations have also shown scientific
developments of water utilization and disposal systems. They even developed an
efficient system of irrigation using several large canals. It has also been
discovered that the Harappan civilization made good use of groundwater by
digging a large number of wells. Of other places around the world, the earliest
dams to retain water in large quantities were constructed in Jawa (Jordan) at
about 3000 BC and in WadiGarawi (Egypt) at about 2660 BC. The Roman
engineers had built log water conveyance systems, many of which can still be
seen today, Qanatsor underground canals that tap an alluvial fan on mountain
slopes and carry it over large distances, were one of the most ingenious of
ancient hydro-technical inventions, which originated in Armenia around 1000BC
and were found in India since 300 BC.

Although many such developments had taken place in the field of water
resources in earlier days they were mostly for satisfying drinking water and
irrigation requirements. Modern day projects require a scientific planning strategy
due to:
1. Gradual decrease of per capita available water on this planet and
especially in our country.
2. Water being used for many purposes and the demands vary in time and

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3. Water availability in a region – like county or state or watershed is not

equally distributed.
4. The supply of water may be from rain, surface water bodies and ground

Water resources project planning

 The goals of water resources project planning may be by the use of
constructed facilities, or structural measures, or by management
and legal techniques that do not require constructed facilities.
 The latter are called non-structural measures and may include
rules to limit or control water and land use which complement or
substitute for constructed facilities.
 A project may consist of one or more structural or non-structural
 Water resources planning techniques are used to determine what
measures should be employed to meet water needs and to take
advantage of opportunities for water resources development, and
also to preserve and enhance natural water resources and related
land resources.
 The scientific and technological development has been
conspicuously evident during the twentieth century in major fields
of engineering.
 But since water resources have been practiced for many centuries,
the development in this field may not have been as spectacular as,
say, for computer sciences.
 However, with the rapid development of substantial computational
power resulting reduced computation cost, the planning strategies
have seen new directions in the last century which utilises the best
of the computer resources.
 Further, economic considerations used to be the guiding constraint
for planning a water resources project.
 But during the last couple of decades of the twentieth century there
has been a growing awareness for environmental sustainability.
 And now, environmental constrains find a significant place in the
water resources project (or for that matter any developmental
project) planning besides the usual economic and social

Priorities for water resources planning

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Water resource projects are constructed to develop or manage the

available water resources for different purposes. According to the National Water
Policy (2002), the water allocation priorities for planning and operation of water
resource systems should broadly be as follows:
1. Domestic consumption
This includes water requirements primarily for drinking, cooking,
bathing, washing of clothes and utensils and flushing of toilets.

2. Irrigation
Water required for growing crops in a systematic and scientific
manner in areas even with deficit rainfall.
3. Hydropower
This is the generation of electricity by harnessing the power of
flowing water.
4. Ecology / environment restoration
Water required for maintaining the environmental health of a

5. Industries
The industries require water for various purposes and that by
thermal power stations is quite high.
6. Navigation
Navigation possibility in rivers may be enhanced by increasing the
flow, thereby increasing the depth of water required to allow larger vessels
to pass.
7. Other uses
Like entertainment of scenic natural view.

This course on Water Resources Engineering broadly discusses

the facilities to be constructed / augmented to meet the demand for the
above uses. Many a times, one project may serve more than one purpose
of the above mentioned uses.
Basin – wise water resource project development
 The total land area that contributes water to a river is called
a Watershed, also called differently as the Catchment, River
basin, Drainage Basin, or simply a Basin.
 A watershed may also be defined as a geographic area that
drains to a common point, which makes it an attractive
planning unit for technical efforts to conserve soil and
maximize the utilization of surface and subsurface water for
crop production.
 Thus, it is generally considered that water resources
development and management schemes should be planned
for a hydrological unit such as a Drainage Basin as a whole
or for a Sub-Basin, multi-sectorially, taking into account
surface and ground water for sustainable use incorporating
quantity and quality aspects as well as environmental
 Let us look into the concept of watershed or basin-wise
project development in some detail

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 The objective is to meet the demands of water within the

Basin with the available water therein, which could be
surface water, in the form of rivers, lakes, etc. or as
 The source for all these water bodies is the rain occurring
over the Watershed or perhaps the snowmelt of the glacier
within it, and that varies both temporally and spatially.
 Further due to the land surface variations the rain falling
over land surface tries to follow the steepest gradient as
overland flow and meets the rivers or drains into lakes and.
 The time for the overland flows to reach the rivers may be
fast or slow depending on the obstructions and detentions it
meet on the way.
 Part of the water from either overland flow or from the rivers
and lakes penetrates into the ground and recharge the
ground water.
 Ground water is thus available almost throughout the
watershed, in the underground aquifers. The variation of the
water table is also fairly even, with some rise during rainfall
and a gradual fall at other times.
 The water in the rivers is mostly available during the rains.
When the rain stops, part of the ground water comes out to
recharge the rivers and that results in the dry season flows
in rivers.

Surface and Ground Water Resources

Instructional Objectives
After completion of this lesson, the student shall know about
1. Hydrologic cycle and its components
2. Distribution of earth‟s water resources
3. Distribution of fresh water on earth
4. Rainfall distribution in India
5. Major river basins of India
6. Land and water resources of India; water development potential
7. Need for development of water resources

Water in our planet is available in the atmosphere, the oceans, on land
and within the soil and fractured rock of the earth‟s crust Water molecules from
one location to another are driven by the solar energy. Moisture circulates from
the earth into the atmosphere through evaporation and then back into the earth
as precipitation. In going through this process, called the Hydrologic Cycle water
is conserved – that is, it is neither created nor destroyed.It would perhaps be
interesting to note that the knowledge of the hydrologic cycle was known at least
by about 1000 BC by the people of the Indian Subcontinent. This is reflected by
the fact that one verse of Chhandogya Upanishad (the Philosophical reflections

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of the Vedas) points to the following: “The rivers… all discharge their waters into
the sea. They lead from sea to sea, the clouds raise them to the sky as vapour
and release them in the form of rain…” The earth‟s total water content in the
hydrologic cycle is not equally distributedThe oceans are the largest reservoirs of
water, but since it is saline it is not readily usable for requirements of human
survival.Again, the fresh water distribution is highly uneven, with most of the
water locked in frozen polar ice caps.
The hydrologic cycle consists of four key components
1. Precipitation
2. Runoff
3. Storage
4. Evapotranspiration
These are described in the next sections.
 Precipitation occurs when atmospheric moisture becomes too great
to remain suspended in clouds.
 It denotes all forms of water that reach the earth from the
atmosphere, the usual forms being rainfall, snowfall, hail, frost
and dew.
 Once it reaches the earth‟s surface, precipitation can become
surface water runoff, surface water storage, glacial ice, water for
plants, groundwater, or may evaporate and return immediately to
the atmosphere.
 Ocean evaporation is the greatest source (about 90%) of
 Rainfall is the predominant form of precipitation and its distribution
over the world and within a country. India has a typical monsoon
 At this time, the surface winds undergo a complete reversal from
January to July, and cause two types of monsoon.
 In winter dry and cold air from land in the northern latitudes flows
southwest (northeast monsoon), while in summer warm and humid
air originates over the ocean and flows in the opposite direction
(southwest monsoon), accounting for some 70 to 95 percent of the
annual rainfall.
 The average annual rainfall is estimated as 1170 mm over the
country, but varies significantly from place to place.
 In the northwest desert of Rajasthan, the average annual rainfall is
lower than 150 mm/year. In the broad belt extending from Madhya
Pradesh up to Tamil Nadu, through Maharastra, parts of Andhra
Pradesh and Karnataka, the average annual rainfall is generally
lower than 500 mm/year.
 At the other extreme, more than 10000 mm of rainfall occurs in
some portion of the Khasi Hills in the northeast of the country in a
short period of four months. In other parts of the northeast (Assam,
Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, etc.,) west coast
 and in sub-Himalayan West Bengal the average annual rainfall is
about 2500 mm.

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 Except in the northwest of India, inter annual variability of rainfall in

relatively low. The main areas affected by severe droughts are
Rajasthan, Gujarat (Kutch and Saurashtra).

The year can be divided into four seasons:

• The winter or northeast monsoon season from January to
• The hot season from March to May.
• The summer or south west monsoon from June to
• The post – monsoon season from October to December.
 The monsoon winds advance over the country either from
the Arabian Sea or from the Bay of Bengal.
 In India, the south-west monsoon is the principal rainy
season, which contributes over 75% of the annual rainfall
received over a major portion of the country.
 The normal dates of onset of monsoon rains provide a
rough estimate of the duration of monsoon rains at any

 Runoff is the water that flows across the land surface after a storm
 As rain falls over land, part of that gets infiltrated the surface as
overland flow.
 As the flow bears down, it notches out rills and gullies which
combine to form channels.
 These combine further to form streams and rivers.
 The geographical area which contributes to the flow of a river is
called a river or a watershed.
 The following are the major river basins of our country, and
thecorresponding figures, as obtained from the web-site of the
Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India is mentioned
alongside each.
1. Indus
2. Ganges
3. Brahmaputra
4. Krishna
5. Godavari
6. Mahanandi
7. Sabarmati
8. Tapi
9. Brahmani-Baitarani
10. Narmada
11. Pennar
12. Mahi
 Portion of the precipitation falling on land surface which
does not flow out as runoff gets stored as either as surface

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water bodies like Lakes, Reservoirs and Wetlands or as

sub-surface water body, usually called Ground water.
 Ground water storage is the water infiltrating through the
soil cover of a land surface and traveling further to reach the
huge body of water underground.
 Asmentioned earlier, the amount of ground water storage is
much greater than that of lakes and rivers.
 However, it is not possible to extract the entire groundwater
by practicable means. It is interesting to note that the
groundwater also is in a state of continuous movement –
flowing from regions of higher potential to lower.
 The rate of movement, however, is exceptionally small
compared to the surface water movement.
 The following definitions may be useful:

Lakes: Large, naturally occurring inland body of water

Reservoirs: Artificial or natural inland body of water used to store water to
meet various demands.
Wet Lands: Natural or artificial areas of shallow water or saturated soils
that contain or could support water–loving plants.

 Evapotranspiration is actually the combination of two terms –
evaporation and transpiration.
 The first of these, that is, evaporation is the process of liquid
converting into vapour, through wind action and solar radiation and
returning to the atmosphere.
 Evaporation is the cause of loss of water from open bodies of
water, such as lakes, rivers, the oceans and the land surface.
 It is interesting to note that ocean evaporation provides
approximately 90 percent of the earth‟s precipitation.
 However, living near an ocean does not necessarily imply more
rainfall as can be noted from the great difference in the amount of
rain received between the east and west coasts of India
 Transpiration is the process by which water molecules leaves the
body of a living plant and escapes to the atmosphere.
 The water is drawn up by the plant root system and part of that is
lost through the tissues of plant leaf (through the stomata).
 In areas of abundant rainfall, transpiration is fairly constant with
variations occurring primarily in the length of each plants growing
 However, transpiration in dry areas varies greatly with the root
 Evapotranspiration, therefore, includes all evaporation from water
and land surfaces, as well as transpiration from plants.
Water resources potential
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Surface water potential:

 The average annual surface water flows in India has been
estimated as 1869 cubic km.
 This is the utilizable surface water potential in India.
 But the amount of water that can be actually put to beneficial use is
much less due to severe limitations posed by Physiography,
topography, inter-state issues and the present state of technology
to harness water resources economically.
 The recent estimates made by the Central Water Commission,
indicate that the water resources is utilizable through construction
of structures is about 690 cubic km (about 36% of the total).
 One reason for this vast difference is that not only does the whole
rainfall occur in about four months a year but the spatial and
temporal distribution of rainfall is too uneven due to which the
annual average has very little significance for all practical
 Monsoon rain is the main source of fresh water with 76% of the
rainfall occurring between June and September under the influence
of the southwest monsoon.
 The average annual precipitation in volumetric terms is 4000 cubic
 The average annual surface flow out of this is 1869 cubic km, the
rest being lost in infiltration and evaporation.
Ground water potential:
 The potential of dynamic or rechargeable ground water resources
of our country has been estimated by the Central Ground Water
Board to be about 432 cubic km.
 Ground water recharge is principally governed by the intensity of
rainfall as also the soil and aquifer conditions.
 This is a dynamic resource and is replenished every year from
natural precipitation, seepage from surface water bodies and
conveyance systems return flow from irrigation water, etc.
 The highlighted terms are defined or explained as under:
Utilizable surface water potential:
This is the amount of water that can be purpose fully used, without
any wastage to the sea, if water storage and conveyance structures
like dams, barrages, canals, etc. are suitably built at requisite sites.
Central Water Commission:
 Central Water Commission is an attached office of Ministry
of Water Resources with Head
Quarters at New Delhi. It is a premier technical organization in the
country in the field of water resources since 1945.The commission is
charged with the general responsibility of initiating, coordinating and
furthering, in consultation with the State Governments concerned,
schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources
throughout the country, for purpose of flood control, irrigation, navigation,
drinking water supply and water power development.

Central Ground Water Board:

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 It is responsible for carrying out nation-wide surveys and

assessment of groundwater resources and guiding the
states appropriately in scientific and technical matters
relating to groundwater.
 The Central Ground Water Board has generated valuable
scientific and technical data through regional hydro
geological surveys, groundwater exploration, resource and
water quality monitoring and research and development.
 It assists the States in developing broad policy guidelines
for development and management of groundwater
resources including their conservation, augmentation and
protection from pollution, regulation of extraction and
conjunctive use of surface water and ground water
 The Central Ground Water Board organizes Mass
Awareness Programmes to create awareness on various
aspects of groundwater investigation, exploration,
development and management.
Ground water recharge:
 Some of the water that precipitates, flows on ground surface
or seeps through soil first, then flows laterally and some
continues to percolate deeper into the soil.
 This body of water will eventually reach a saturated zone
and replenish or recharge groundwater supply.
 In other words, the recuperation of groundwater is called the
groundwater recharge which is done to increase the
groundwater table elevation.
 This can be done by many artificial techniques, say, by
constructing a detention dam called a water spreading dam
or a dike, to store the flood waters and allow for subsequent
seepage of water into the soil, so as to increase the
groundwater table.
 It can also be done by the method of rainwater harvesting in
small scale, even at individual houses.
 The all India figure for groundwater recharge volume is
418.5 cubic km and the per capita annual volume of
groundwater recharge is 412.9 cubic m per person.

Development of water resources

 Due to its multiple benefits and the problems created by its
excesses, shortages and quality deterioration, water as a
resource requires special attention.
 Requirement of technological/engineering intervention for
development of water resources to meet the varied
requirements of man or the human demand for water, which
are also unevenly distributed, is hence essential.
 The development of water resources, though a necessity, is
now pertinent to be made sustainable.
 The concept of sustainable development implies that
development meets the needs of the present life, without

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compromising on the ability of the future generation to meet

their own needs.
 This is all the more important for a resource like water.
 Sustainable development would ensure minimum adverse
impacts on the quality of air, water and terrestrial
 The long term impacts of global climatic change on various
components of hydrologic cycle are also important.
 India has sizeable resources of water and a large cultivable
land but also a large and growing population to feed.
 Erratic distribution of rainfall in time and space leads to
conditions of floods and droughts which may sometimes
occur in the same region in the same year. India has about
16% of the world population as compared to only 4% of the
average annual runoff in the rivers
 With the present population of more than 1000 million, the
per capita water availability comes to about 1170 m3 per
person per year.
 Here, the average does not reflect the large disparities from
region to region in different parts of the country. Against this
background, the problems relating to water resources
development and management have been receiving critical
attention of the Government of India.

 The country has prepared and adopted a comprehensive

National Water Policy in the year 1987, revised in 2002
with a view to have a systematic and scientific development
of it water resources.
Some of the salient features of the National Water
Policy (2002) are as follows:
 Since the distribution of water is spatially uneven, for water
scarce areas, local technologies like rain water harvesting in
the domestic or community level has to be implemented.
 Technology for/Artificial recharge of water has also to be
 Desalination methods may be considered for water supply
to coastal towns.
National Policy For Water Resources Development
Instructional Objectives
On completion of this lesson, the student shall be able to:
1. Appreciate the policy envisaged by the nation to develop water
resources within the country
2. Conventional and non-conventional methods in planning water
resources projects
3. Priorities in terms of allocation of water for various purposes
4. Planning strategies and alternatives that should be considered
while developing a particular project

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5. Management strategies for excess and deficit water imbalances

6. Guidelines for projects to supply water for drinking and irrigation
7. Participatory approach to water management
8. Importance of monitoring and maintaining water quality of
surface and ground water sources.
9. Research and development which areas of water resources
engineering need active
10. Agencies responsible for implementing water resources
projects in our country
11. Constitutional provision guiding water resource development in
the county
12. Agencies responsible for monitoring the water wealth of the
country and plan scientific development based on the National
Policy on water
Water, though commonly occurring in nature, is invaluable! It supports all
forms of life in conjunction with air. However, the demand of water for human use
has been steadily increasing over the past few decades due to increase in
population. In contrast, the total reserve of water cannot increase. Hence each
nation, and especially those with rapidly increasing population like India, has to
think ahead for future such that there is equitable water for all in the years to
come. This is rather difficult to achieve as the water wealth varies widely within a
country with vast geographical expanse, like India. Moreover, many rivers
originate in India and flow through other nations (Pakistan and Bangladesh)
andthe demands of water in those counties have to be honored before taking up
a project on such a river. Similarly there are rivers which originate form other
counties (Nepal, Bhutan and China) and flow through India. All these constraints
have led to the formulation of the national water policy which was drafted in 1987
keeping in mind national perspective on water resource planning, development
and management. The policy has been revised in 2002, keeping in mind latest
objectives. It is important to know the essentials of the national policy as it has
significant bearing on the technology or engineering that would be applied in
developing and managing water resources projects. This section elucidates the
broad guidelines laid own in the National Water Policy (2002) which should be
kept in mind while planning any water resource project in our country.
Water Resources Planning
Water resources development and management will have to be planned
for a hydrological unit such as a drainage basin as a whole or a sub-basin. Apart
from traditional methods, non-conventional methods for utilization of water should
be considered, like
• Inter-basin transfer
• Artificial recharge of ground water
• Desalination of brackish sea water
• Roof-top rain water harvesting

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Inter-basin transfer:
Basically, it's the movement of surface water from one river basin into
another. The actual transfer is the amount of water not returned to its source basin.
The most typical situation occurs when a water system has an intake and
wastewater discharge in different basins. But other situations also cause transfers.
One is where a system's service area covers more than one basin. Any water used
up or consumed in a portion of the service area outside of the source basin would be
considered part of a transfer (e.g. watering your yard). Transfers can also occur
between interconnected systems, where a system in one basin purchases water
from a system in another basin.
Artificial recharge of ground water:
Artificial recharge provides ground water users an opportunity to increase
the amount of water available during periods of high demand--typically summer
months. Past interest in artificial recharge has focused on aquifers that have
declined because of heavy use and from which existing users have been unable
to obtain sufficient water to satisfy their needs.
Desalination of brackish sea water:
Water seems to be a superabundant natural resource on the planet earth.
However, only 0.3 per cent of the world's total amount of water can be used as
clean drinking water. Man requires huge amounts of drinking water every day
and extracts it from nature for innumerable purposes. As natural fresh water
resources are limited, sea water plays an important part as a source for drinking
water as well. In order to use this water, it has to be desalinated. Reverse
osmosis and electro dialysis is the preferred methods for desalination of brackish
sea water.
Roof-top rain water harvesting:
In urban areas, the roof top rain water can be conserved and used for
recharge of ground water. This approach requires connecting the outlets pipe
from roof top to divert the water to either existing well/tube wells/bore wells or
specially designed wells/ structures. The Urban housing complexes or
institutional buildings have large roof area and can be utilized for harvesting the
roof top rain water to recharge aquifer in urban areas.

One important concept useful in water resources planning is Conjunctive

or combined use of both surface and ground water for a region has to be planned
for sustainable development incorporating quantity and quality aspects as well as
environmental considerations. Since there would be many factors influencing the
decision of projects involving conjunctive use of surface and ground water,
keeping in mind the underlying constraints, the entire system dynamics should be
studied to as detail as practically possible.
The uncertainties of rainfall, the primary source of water, and its variability
in space and time has to be borne in mind while deciding upon the planning
It is also important to pursue watershed management through the following
Soil conservation
This includes a variety of methods used to reduce soil erosion, to prevent
depletion of soil nutrients and soil moisture, and to enrich the nutrient status of a
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Catchment area treatment

Different methods like protection for degradation and treating the
degraded areas of the catchment areas, forestation of catchment area.
Construction of check-dams
Check-dams are small barriers built across the direction of water flow on
shallow rivers and streams for the purpose of water harvesting. The small dams
retain excess water flow during monsoon rains in a small catchment area behind
the structure. Pressure created in the catchment area helps force the impounded
water into the ground. The major environmental benefit is the replenishment of
nearby groundwater reserves and wells. The water entrapped by the dam,
surface and subsurface, is primarily
intended for use in irrigation during the monsoon and later during the dry season,
but can also be used for livestock and domestic needs.
Water allocation priorities
While planning and operation of water resource systems, water allocation
priorities should be broadly as follows:
• Drinking water
• Irrigation
• Hydropower
• Ecology
• Industrial demand of water
• Navigation

Drinking water:
Adequate safe drinking water facilities should be provided to the entire
population both in urban and in rural areas. Irrigation and multipurpose projects
should invariably include a drinking water component, wherever there is no
alternative source of drinking water. Drinking water needs of human beings and
animals should be the first charge on any available water.
Irrigation is the application of water to soil to assist in the production of
crops. Irrigation water is supplied to supplement the water available from rainfall
and ground water. In many areas of the world, the amount and timing of the
rainfall are not adequate to meet the moisture requirements of crops. The
pressure for survival and the need for additional food supplies are causing the
rapid expansion of irrigation throughout the world.
Hydropower is a clean, renewable and reliable energy source that serves
national environmental and energy policy objectives. Hydropower converts kinetic
energy from falling water into electricity without consuming more water than is
produced by nature.
Ecology: The study of the factors that influence the distribution and abundance
of species.
Industrial demand of water:
Industrial water consumption consists of a wide range of uses, including
product-processing and small-scale equipment cooling, sanitation, and air
conditioning. The presence of industries in or near the city has great impact on
water demand. The quantity of water required depends on the type of the

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industry. For a city with moderate factories, a provision of 20 to 25 percent of per

capita consumption may be made for this purpose.
Navigation is the type of transportation of men and goods from one place
to another place by means of water. The development of inland water transport
or navigation is of crucial importance from the point of energy conservation as
Planning strategies for a particular project
 Water resource development projects should be planned and
developed (as far as possible) as multi-purpose projects .
 The study of likely impact of a project during construction and later
on human lives, settlements, socio-economic, environment, etc.,
has to be carried out before hand.
 Planning of projects in the hilly areas should take into account the
need to provide assured drinking water, possibilities of hydropower
development and irrigation in such areas considering the physical
features and constraints of the basin such as steep slopes, rapid
runoff and possibility of soil erosion.
 As for ground water development there should be a periodical
reassessment of the ground water potential on a scientific basis,
taking into consideration the quality of the water available and
economic viability of its extraction.
 Exploitation of ground water resources should be so regulated as
not to exceed the recharging possibilities, as also to ensure social
 This engineering aspect of ground water development has been
 Planning at river basin level requires considering a complex large
set of components and their interrelationship.
 Mathematical modelling has become a widely used tool to handle
such complexities for which simulations and optimization
techniques are employed.
 One of the public domain software programs available for carrying
out such tasks is provided by the United States Geological Survey.
• Ground Water
• Surface Water
• Geochemical
• General Use
• Statistics & Graphics

There are private companies who develop and sell software packages.
Amongst these, the DHI of Denmark and Delft Hydraulics of Netherlands provide
comprehensive packages for many water resources applications.

Guidelines for drinking and irrigation water projects

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The general guidelines for water usage in different sectors are given
Drinking water
Adequate safe drinking water facilities should be provided to the entire
population both in urban and rural areas. Irrigation and multi -purpose projects
should invariably include a drinking water component wherever there is no
alternative source of drinking water. Primarily, the water stored in a reservoir has
to be extracted using a suitable pumping unit and then conveyed to a water
treatment plant where the physical and chemical impurities are removed to the
extent of human tolerance. The purified water is then pumped again to the
demand area, that is, the urban or rural habitation clusters. The source of water,
however, could as well be from ground water or directly from the river. The
aspect of water withdrawal for drinking and its subsequent purification and
distribution to households is dealt with under the course Water and Waste Water
Engineering. The following books may be useful to consult.
Irrigation planning either in an individual project or in a basin as whole
should take into account the irrigability of land, cost of effective irrigation options
possible from all available sources of water and appropriate irrigation techniques
for optimizing water use efficiency. Irrigation intensity should be such as to
extend the benefits of irrigation to as large as number of farm families as
possible, keeping in view the need to maximize production.
Water allocation in an irrigation system should be done with due regard to
equity and social justice. Disparities in the availability of water between head-
reach and tail-end farms and (in respect of canal irrigation) between large and
small farms should be obviated by adoption of a rotational water distribution
system and supply of water on a volumetric basis subject to certain ceilings
and rational water pricing.

Concerned efforts should be made to ensure that the irrigation potential

created is fully utilized. For this purpose, the command area development
approach should be adopted in all irrigation projects.

Irrigation being the largest consumer of freshwater, the aim should be to get
optimal productivity per unit of water. Scientific water management, farm
practices and sprinkler and drip system of irrigation should be adopted
wherever possible.

Water allocation:
Research on institutional arrangements for water allocation covers three
major types of water allocation: public allocation, user-based allocation, and
market allocation. This work includes attention to water rights and to the
organizations involved in water allocation and management, as well as a
comparative study of the consequences of water reallocation from irrigation to
other sectors. A key aspect of this research is the identification of different
stakeholders' interests, and the consequences of alternative institutions for the
livelihoods of the poor.
Rotational water distribution system: Water allocated to the forms one after
the other in a repeated manner.
Volumetric basis: Water allocated to each farm a specified volume based on the
area of the farm, type of crop etc.
Irrigation Potential:
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Irrigation is the process by which water is diverted from a river or pumped

from a well and used for the purpose of agricultural production. Areas under
irrigation thus include areas equipped for full and partial control irrigation, spate
irrigation areas, equipped wetland and inland valley bottoms, irrespective of their
size or management type. It does not consider techniques related to on-farm
water conservation like water harvesting. The area which can potentially be
irrigated depends on the physical resources 'soil' and 'water', combined with the
irrigation water requirements as determined by the cropping patterns and climate.
However, environmental and socioeconomic constraintsalso have to be taken
into consideration in order to guarantee a sustainable use of the available
physical resources. This means that in most cases the possibilities for irrigation
development would be less than the physical irrigation potential.
Command area development:
The command area development programme aims mainly at reducing the
gap between the potential created for irrigation to achieve higher agriculture
production thereof. This is to be achieved through the integrated development of
irrigated tracks to ensure efficient soil land use and water management for
ensuring planned increased productivity.
Sprinkler irrigation:
Sprinkler irrigation offers a means of irrigating areas which are so irregular
that they prevent use of any surface irrigation methods. By using a low supply
rate, deep percolation or surface runoff and erosion can be minimized. Offsetting
these advantages is the relatively high cost of the sprinkling equipment and the
permanent installations necessary to supply water to the sprinkler lines. Very low
delivery rates may also result in fairly high evaporation from the spray and the
wetted vegetation. It is impossible to get completely uniform distribution of water
around a sprinkler head and spacing of the heads must be planned to overlap
spray areas so that distribution is essentially uniform.
The drip method of irrigation, also called trickle irrigation, originally
developed in Israel, is becoming popular in areas having water scarcity and salt
problems. The method is one of the most recent developments in irrigation. It
involves slow and frequent application of water to the plant root zone and
enables the application of water and fertilizer at optimum rates to the root system.
It minimizes the loss of water by deep percolation below the root zone or by
evaporation from the soil surface. Drip irrigation is not only economical in water
use but also gives higher yields with poor quality water.
Participatory approach to water resource management
Management of water resources for diverse uses should incorporate a
participatory approach; by involving not only the various government agencies
but also the users and other stakeholders in various aspects of planning, design,
development and management of the water resources schemes. Even private
sector participation should be encouraged, wherever feasible.
In fact, private participation has grown rapidly in many sectors in the
recent years due to government encouragement. The concept of “Build-Own-
Transfer (BOT)” has been popularized and shown promising results. The same
concept may be actively propagated in water resources sector too. For example,
in water scarce regions, recycling of waste water or desalinization of brackish
water, which aremore capital intensive (due to costly technological input), may be
handed over to private entrepreneurs on BOT basis.

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Water quality
The following points should be kept in mind regarding the quality of water:
 Both surface water and ground water should be regularly
monitored for quality.
 Effluents should be treated to acceptable levels and standards
before discharging them into natural steams.
 Minimum flow should be ensured in the perennial streams for
maintaining ecology and social considerations.
 Since each of these aspects form an important segment of water
resources engineering, this has been dealt separately in course
under water and waste water engineering.
 The technical aspects of water quality monitoring and remediation
are dealt with in the course of Water and Waste – Water
 Knowledge of it is essential for the water resources engineer to
know the issues involved since, even polluted water returns to
global or national water content.
 Monitoring of surface and ground water quality is routinely done by
the Central and State Pollution Control Boards.
 Normally the physical, chemical and biological parameters are
checked which gives an indication towards the acceptability of the
water for drinking or irrigation.
 Unacceptable pollutants may require remediation, provided it is
cost effective.
 Else, a separate source may have to be investigated.
 Even industrial water also require a standard to be met, for
example, in order to avoid scale formation within boilers in thermal
power projects hard water sources are avoided.
 The requirement of effluent treatment lies with the users of water
and they should ensure that the waste water discharged back to
the natural streams should be within acceptable limits.
 It must be remembered that the same river may act as source of
drinking water for the inhabitants located down the river.
 The following case study may provoke some soul searching in
terms of the peoples‟ responsibility towards preserving the quality
of water, in our country:
 Under the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) initiated by the government to
clean the heavily polluted river, number of Sewage Treatment
Plants (STPs) have been constructed all along the river Ganga.
 The government is also laying the main sewer lines within towns
that discharge effluents into the river.
 It is up to the individual house holders to connect their residence
sewer lines up to the trunksewer, at some places with government
subsidy. However, public apathy in many places has resulted in
only a fraction of the houses being connected to the trunk sewer
line which has resulted in the STPs being run much below their

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 Lastly, it must be appreciated that a minimum flow in the rivers and

streams, even during the low rainfall periods is essential to
maintain the ecology of the river and its surrounding as well as the
demands of the inhabitants located on the downstream.
 It is a fact that excessive and indiscriminate withdrawal of water
has been the cause of drying up of many hill streams, as for
example, in the Mussourie area.
 It is essential that the decision makers on water usage should
ensure that the present usage should not be at the cost of a future
sacrifice. Hence, the policy should be towards a sustainable water
resource development.
Flood control and management
 There should be a master plan for flood control and management
for each flood prone basin.
 Adequate flood-cushioning should be provided in water storage
projects, wherever feasible, to facilitate better flood management.
 While physical flood protection works like embankments and
dykes will continue to be necessary, increased emphasis should
be laid on non-structural measures such as flood forecasting and
warning, flood plain zoning, and flood proofing for minimization
of losses and to reduce the recurring expenditure on flood relief.
Drought prone area development

 Drought-prone areas should be made less vulnerable to drought

associated problems through soil conservation measures, water
harvesting practices, minimization of evaporation losses, and
development of ground water potential including recharging
and transfer of surface water from surplus areas where feasible
and appropriate.
 Flood cushioning: The reservoirs created behind dams may be
emptied to some extent, depending on the forecast of impending
flood, so that as and when the flood arrives, some of the water gets
stored in the reservoir, thus reducing the severity of the flood.
 Embankments and dykes: Embankments & dykes also known as
levees are earthen banks constructed parallel to the course of river
to confine it to a fixed course and limited cross-sectional width. The
heights of levees will be higher than the design flood level with
sufficient free board. The confinement of the river to a fixed path
frees large tracts of land from inundation and consequent damage.
 Flood forecast and warning: Forecasting of floods in advance
enables a warning to be given to the people likely to be affected
and further enables civil-defence measures to be organized. It thus
forms a very important and relatively inexpensive nonstructural
flood-control measure. However, it must be realized that a flood
warning is meaningful if it is given sufficiently in advance. Also,
erroneous warnings will cause the populace to loose faith in the
system. Thus the dual requirements of reliability and advance
notice are the essential ingredients of a flood-forecasting system.
 Flood plain zoning: One of the best ways to prevent trouble is to
avoid it and one of the best ways to avoid flood damage is to stay
out of the flood plain of streams. One of the forms of the zoning is
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to control the type, construction and use of buildings within their

limits by zoning ordinances. Similar ordinances might prescribe
areas within which structures which would suffer from floods may
not be built. An indirect form of zoning is the creation of parks
along streams where frequent flooding makes other uses
 Flood proofing: In instances where only isolated units of high
value are threatened by flooding, they may sometimes by
individually flood proofed. An industrial plant comprising buildings,
storage yards, roads, etc., may be protected by a ring levee or
flood wall. Individual buildings sufficiently strong to resist the
dynamic forces of the flood water are sometimes protected by
building the lower stories (below the expected high-water mark)
without windows and providing some means of watertight closure
for the doors. Thus, even though the building may be surrounded
by water, the property within it is protected from damage and many
normal functions may be carried on.
 Soil conservation measures: Soil conservation measures in the
catchment when properly planned and effected lead to an all-round
improvement in the catchment characteristics affecting
abstractions. Increased infiltration, greater evapotranspiration and
reduced soil erosion are some of its easily identifiable results. It is
believed that while small and medium floods are reduced by soil
 conservation measures, the magnitude of extreme floods are
unlikely to be affected by these measures.

Water harvesting practices:

Technically speaking, water harvesting means capturing the rain where it
falls, or capturing the run-off in one‟s own village or town. Experts suggest
various ways of harvesting water:
 Capturing run-off from rooftops;
 Capturing run-off from local catchments;
 Capturing seasonal flood water from local streams; and
 Conserving water through watershed management.

 Apart from increasing the availability of water, local water

harvesting systems developed by local communities and
households can reduce the pressure on the state to provide all the
financial resources needed for water supply. Also, involving people
will give them a sense of ownership and reduce the burden on
government funds.
 Minimization of evaporation losses: The rate of evaporation is
dependent on the vapour pressures at the water surface and air
above, air and water temperatures, wind speed, atmospheric
pressure, quality of water, and size of the water body. Evaporation
losses can be minimized by constructing deep reservoirs, growing
tall trees on the windward side of the reservoir, plantation in the
area adjoining the reservoir, removing weeds and water plants

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from the reservoir periphery and surface, releasing warm water and
spraying chemicals or fatty acids over the water surface.
 Development of groundwater potential: A precise quantitative
inventory regarding the ground-water reserves is not available.
Organization such as the Geographical Survey of India, the Central
Ground-Water Board and the State Tube-Wells and the Ground-
Water Boards are engaged in this task. It has been estimated by
the Central Ground-Water Board that the total ground water
reserves are on the order of 55,000,000 million cubic meters out of
which 425,740 million cubic meters have been assessed as the
annual recharge from rain and canal seepage. The Task Force on
Ground-Water Reserves of the Planning Commission has also
endorsed these estimates. All recharge to the ground-water is not
available for withdrawal, since part of it is lost as sub-surface flow.
After accounting from these losses, the gross available ground-
water recharge is about 269,960 million cubic meters per annum. A
part of this recharge (2,460 million cubic meters) is in the saline
regions of the country and is unsuitable for use in agriculture owing
to its poor quality. The net recharge available for ground-water
development in India, therefore, is of the magnitude of about
267,500 million cubic meters per annum. The Working Group of the
Planning Commission Task Force Ground-Water Reserves
estimated that the usable ground-water potential would be only 75
to 80 per cent of the net ground-water recharge available and
recommended a figure of 203,600 million cubic
 meters per annum as the long-term potential for ground-water
development in India.
 Recharging: Artificial recharge provides ground water users an
opportunity to increase the amount of water available during
periods of high demand--typically summer months. Past interest in
artificial recharge has focused on aquifers that have declined
because of heavy use and from which existing users have been
unable to obtain sufficient water to satisfy their needs.
 Transfer of surface water: Basically, it's the movement of surface
water from one river basin into another. The actual transfer is the
amount of water not returned to its source basin. The most typical
situation occurs when a water system has an intake and
wastewater discharge in different basins. But other situations also
cause transfers. One is where a system's service area covers more
than one basin. Any water used up or consumed in a portion of the
service area outside of the source basin would be considered part
of a transfer (e.g. watering your yard). Transfers can also occur
between interconnected systems, where a system in one basin
purchases water from a system in another basin.
Implementation of water resources projects
 Water being a state subject, the state governments has primary
responsibility for use and control of this resource.
 The administrative control and responsibility for development of
water rests with the various state departments and corporations.

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 Major and medium irrigation is handled by the irrigation / water

resources departments.
 Minor irrigation is looked after partly by water resources
department, minor irrigation corporations and zillaparishads /
panchayats and by other departments such as agriculture.
 Urban water supply is generally the responsibility of public health
departments and panchayatas take care of rural water supply.
 Government tube-wells are constructed and managed by the
irrigation/water resources department or by the tube-well
corporations set up for the purpose.
 Hydropower is the responsibility of the state electricity boards.
 Due to the shared responsibilities, as mentioned above, for the
development of water resources projects there have been
instances of conflicting interests amongst various state holders.

Central agencies in water resources sector

Some of the important offices working under the Ministry of Water Resources,
Government of India which plays key role in assessing, planning and developing the
water resources of the country are as follows:
• Central Water Commission (CWC)
• Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)
• National Water Development Agency (NWDA)
• Brahmaputra Board
• Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS)
• Central Soil and Materials Research Station (CSMRS)
• National Institute of Hydrology (NIH)
• Ganga Flood Control Commission (GFCC)
• Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) ltd (WAPCOS)
• National Projects Construction Corporation ltd (NPCC)

Detailed activities of the above departments may be obtained from the Ministry of Water
Resources web-site.
Although not directly under the ministry of water resources, the National Hydropower
Corporation (NHPC) as well as Rail India Technical Engineers Services (RITES) also actively
participate in water resources development projects.
Precipitation And Evapotranspiration
Instructional Objectives
On completion of this lesson, the student shall learn:
1. The role of precipitation and evapotranspiration with the
hydrologic cycle.
2. The factors that cause precipitation.
3. The means of measuring rainfall.
4. The way rain varies in time and space.
5. The methods to calculate average rainfall over an area.

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6. What are Depth – Area – Duration curves.

7. What are the Intensity – Duration – Frequency curves.
8. The causes of anomalous rainfall record and its connective
9. What are Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) and Standard
Project Storm (SPS).
10. What are Actual and Potential evapotranspiration.
11. How can direct measurement of evapotranspiration be made.
12. How can evapotranspiration be estimated based on
climatological data.
Precipitation is any form of solid or liquid water that falls from the
atmosphere to the earth‟s surface. Rain, drizzle, hail and snow are examples of
precipitation. In India, rain is the most common form of precipitation.
Evapotranspiration is the process which returns water to the atmosphere and
thus completes the hydrologic cycle. Evapotranspiration consists of two parts,
Evaporation and Transpiration. Evaporation is the loss of water molecules from
soil masses and water bodies. Transpiration is the loss of water from plants in the
form of vapour. We proceed on to discuss precipitation, and its most important
component in India context, the rainfall.
Causes of precipitation
For the formation of clouds and subsequent precipitation, it is for necessary
that the moist air masses to cool in order to condense. This is generally
accomplished by adiabatic cooling of moist air through a process of being lifted to
higher altitudes. The precipitation types can be categorized as.

Frontal precipitation
This is the precipitation that is caused by the expansion of air on ascent along
or near a frontal surface.
Convective precipitation
Precipitation caused by the upward movement of air which is warmer than its
surroundings. This precipitation is generally showery nature with rapid
changes of intensities.
Orographic precipitation
Precipitation caused by the air masses which strike the mountain barriers and
rise up, causing condensation and precipitation. The greatest amount of
precipitation will fall on the windward side of the barrier and little amount of
precipitation will fall on leave ward side.

For the Indian climate, the south-west monsoon is the principal rainy
season when over 75% of the annual rainfall is received over a major portion of
the country. Excepting the south-eastern part of the Indian peninsula and Jammu
and Kashmir, for the rest of the country the south-west monsoon is the principal
source of rain.
From the point of view of water resources engineering, it is essential to
quantify rainfall over space and time and extract necessary analytical information.

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Measurement of rainfall
 One can measure the rain falling at a place by placing a measuring
cylinder graduated in a length scale, commonly in mm.
 In this way, we are not measuring the volume of water that is stored in the
cylinder, but the „depth‟ of rainfall.
 The cylinder can be of any diameter, and we would expect the same
„depth‟ even for large diameter cylinders provided the rain that is falling is
uniformly distributed in space. Now think of a cylinder with a diameter as
large as a town, or a district or a catchment of a river.
 Naturally, the rain falling on the entire area at any time would not be the
same and what one would get would be an „average depth‟.
 Hence, to record the spatial variation of rain falling over an area, it is
better to record the rain at a point using a standard sized measuring
 In practice, rain is mostly measured with the standard non-recording
rain gauge the details of which are given in Bureau of Indian Standards
code IS 4989: 2002.
 The rainfall variation at a point with time is measured with a recording
rain-gauge, the details of which may be found in IS 8389: 2003.
 Modern technology has helped to develop Radars, which measures
rainfall over an entire region. However, this method is rather costly
compared to the
 conventional recording and non-recording rain gauges which can be
monitored easily with cheap labour.
Variation of rainfall
 Rainfall measurement is commonly used to estimate the amount of water
falling over the land surface, part of which infiltrates into the soil and part
of which flows down to a stream or river.
 For a scientific study of the hydrologic cycle, a correlation is sought,
between the amount of water falling within a catchment, the portion of
which that adds to the ground water and the part that appears as
 Some of the water that has fallen would evaporate or be extracted from
the ground by plants.

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