Cleaning of Canal System in Alappuzha Town

Srikumar Chattopadhyay Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram

Why Cleaning Alappuzha Canals?
• Canal systems in Alappuzha town are degraded, utrificated, lost ecological functions and turned into environmental hazardous sites and carriers of urban wastes to Kuttanad area, rice bowl of Kerala • To restore ecological functions of the canal so that ecological services (provisioning, regulating, cultural and supporting) are ensured for development of the society, both onsite and offsite • To help ameliorate/ enhance land quality of parts of Kuttanad by improving water quality of the canals

Why cleaning Alappuzha canal
Weed infested canal Stagnated water No penetration of sun light Nutrient enriched possibly through discharge of sewage and Urban effluents

Why Cleaning canals? Polluted water Loss of organic life Creates onsite and offsite problem

Polluted section of Vada canal

Restoration of ecological services Regulating-Hydrological functions Provisioning-Fishing, transport Cultural-Aesthetic, tourism Supporting-Aquatic life,
Vada canal lined on both sides. Water free of weeds but polluted

How to clean?
• Measure-I Mechanical removal of weeds and degraded organic materialsFound not effective • Measure-II Letting sea water inflow into the canal- Present proposal

Salient features of the project proposed by Irrigation Department, Alappuzha
• Installation of two iron pipes of 1m diameter and 150m into the sea 1.2m below the sea level • Construction of a concrete chamber at Uppootti canal with shutters to control sea water inflow into the canal system • Construction of another concrete chamber near NH bypass to connect pipe lines linking sea in the west and the chamber in the Uppootti canal and regulated through a vulve • Expected quantity of sea water inflow into the canal is 1.5m3/s in normal climatic conditions • Water will enter into the canal by gravity flow and the system will be operated only during summer season • There will be provision to drain out excess water in canal to the sea during rainy season • There will be provision to maintain pipe lines in case of chocking by sand movement during monsoon

Recommendation of Technical Feasibility Study (CET, Thiruvananthapuram)
• With 1-0m diameter pipe, the discharge will be 2.75m3/s and the velocity of flow will be 5cm/s. • With 1.5m diameter pipe, the discharge will be 6.89m3/s and the velocity of flow will be 12cm/s • Proposed plan for sea water entry into the canal system is technically feasible and can be implemented, however physical modeling is required to assess sand deposits in the pipe system

EIA of Sea water inflow into the canal
• Impact of sea water inflow into the canal • Impact of salt water inflow on rice fields along the eastern boundary where the canals are emptying into Kuttanad deltaic ecosystem • Study is in two parts: (i) Understanding the larger settings and the canal system and (ii) Impacts • EIA Method used: Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM)

Understanding the system
• • • • Physical parameters of canal Water quality Aquatic plants Paddy fields along the eastern boundary

Vembanad lake

Satellite view of Alappuzha town and surroundings

Alappuzha Town

Environmental settings of Alappuzha and surroundings
• • • • • • • • • Geologically recent landscape formed during last couple of thousand years Well known for mud bank formation in the sea side during monsoon months and thereby wave energy is moderated resulting promotion of fish aggregation Low lying sandy coastal ecosystem, bordered by clay belt (Kuttanad) along the eastern boundary Sandwiched between Lakshadweep sea and Vembanad lake Interconnected canal system, drained through the Vembanad lake Topography near flat, very gently sloping towards east Once an important sea port served by water ways connecting hinterlands through canals, rivers and back water systems Shallow subsurface water High population density [Alappuzha district is the most densely populated (1489 persons/ sq. km) district in Kerala]

Monthly rainfall in Alappuzha
Average rainfall from 1995 to 2005

Month J F M A M J JLY A S O N D Total

Rainfall in mm 20.5 31 46.7 156.3 289.8 542.2 433.4 336.9 291.9 378.6 168.8 58.6 2754.7

% to total rainfall 0.74 1.13 1.70 5.67 10.52 19.68 15.73 12.23 10.60 13.74 6.13 2.13 100

600.0

500.0

Average rainfall in mm

400.0

300.0

200.0

1 00.0

0.0 J F M A M J J LY
Month

A

S

O

N

D

Average monthly rainfall (1995-2005)

State of Canal system in Alappuzha town *Canals in Alappuzha town to serve as Three canals: Uppootti canal, Vada canal and Commercial canal *Three cross canals connecting Vada canal and Commercial canal *Average width: 17m to 20m, only Murinjipuzha canal is 8m wide

Gradient of Commercial canal-0.011% Gradient of Vada canal-0.037%

Canal system in Alappuzha town and its surroundings

Longitudinal Profile of Com m ercial Canal 0 0 -0.5 Depth (m) 1 2 3 4

-1

-1.5

-2 Length (Km )

Longitudinal Profile of Vada Canal 0 0 -0.5 Depth (m) -1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 Lenth (Km ) 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3

C/S of Vada Canal West End
0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 Depth (m) -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1 -1.2 -1.4 Distance (m) -1 0 5 10 15 20 Depth (m) 0 0 2 0.5

C/S of Vada Canal Middle Portion

4

6

8

10

12

14

-0.5

Width (m)

C/S of Vada Canal East End
0.5 0 0 -0.5 Depth 5 10 15 20 25 30

-1 -1.5 -2 -2.5 Width

C/S of Uppootti Canal
0.5 0.5

C/S of Commercial Canal West End

0 0 Depth (m) 5 10 15 20 25 Depth (m)

0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

-0.5

-0.5

-1

-1

-1.5 Width (m)

-1.5 Width (m)

C/S of Commercial Canal East End
0.5 0.5

C/S of Commercial Canal Middle Portion

0 0 Depth (m) -0.5 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 Depth (m)

0 0 -0.5 2 4 6 8 10 12

-1

-1

-1.5

-1.5

-2 Width (m)

-2 Width (m)

Water quality analysis
• Quality of canal water has been compared with sea water and well water to understand present condition of the canals and expected quality improvement • Well water was tested to assess linkage between well water and canal water

Well - pH 6.58 6.56 6.54 pH 6.52 pH 6.5 6.48 6.46 6.44 3 8 Location 17

Comm ercial Canal-pH 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location
Vada canal - pH 7.2 7.1 7 6.9 6.8 pH 6.7 6.6 6.5 6.4 6.3 6.2 1 Location 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

9

10

12

11

Sea w ater - pH 9 8 7 6 pH 5 4 3 2 1 0

Well - Conductivity 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 3 8 Location 17 Conductivity ( µS/cm) Conductivity (µS/cm)

Com m ercial canal Conductivity 2500 2000

1500 1000

500 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

Sea w ater- Conductivity 60000 50000 40000 30000 20000 10000 0 1 Location

Vada canal - Conductivity

900 800 Conductivity (µS/cm) 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Conductivity (µS/c)

Well - DO 5 4.5 4 3.5 DO (mg/l) DO (mg/l) 3 8 Location 17 3 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0

Com m ercial Canal - DO 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

Sea water - DO
8 7 6 DO (mg/L)

Vada canal - DO

4 3.5 3 DO (mg/l) 1 Location 2.5 2 1.5 1 0.5 0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

5 4 3 2 1 0

Well - Turbidity 12 10 Turbidity (NTU) 8 6 4 2 0 3 8 Location 17

Com m ercial canal - Turbidity 60 50 Turbidity (NTU) 40 30 20 10 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location Vada canal - Turbidity 9 10 12 11

Sea water - Turbidity
14 12 Turbidity (NTU) Turbidity (NTU) 10 8 6 4 2 0 1 Location

35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Well - Salinity 0.12 0.1 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0 3 8 Location 17

Comm ercial canal - Salinity 1.2 1 Salinity (ppt) 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

Salinity (ppt)

Sea w ater - Salinity 35 30 25 Salinity (ppt) Salinity (ppt) 1 Location 20 15 10 5 0

Vada canal - Salinity 0.2 0.18 0.16 0.14 0.12 0.1 0.08 0.06 0.04 0.02 0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Well - TSS 12 10 8 TSS (mg/l)
TSS (mg/l) Com m ercial canal - TSS
50 45 40 35

6 4 2 0 3 8 Location 17

30 25 20 1 5 1 0 5 0 2 4 5 6 7 9 1 0 1 2 1 1

Location

Sea w ater - TSS 180 160 140 120 TSS (mg/l) 100 80 60 40 20 0 1 Location
TSS (mg/l)

Vada canal - TSS 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 22 21 20 19 18 16 Location 15 14 13

Well - Hardness 154 152 150 Hardness (mg/l) Hardness (mg/l) 148 146 144 142 140 138 136 134 3 8 Location 17

Com m ercial canal - Hardness 450 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

Sea water - Hardness
7000 6000 Hardness (mg/l) Hardness (mg/l) 1 Location 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0

Vada canal - Hardness 250 200 150 100 50 0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Distribution of Hardness

Well - Ca 60 50 40 Ca (mg/l) 30 20 10 0 3 8 Location 17
Ca (mg/l) Com m ercial canal - Ca
1 00 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 1 0 0 2 4 5 6 7 9 1 0 1 2 1 1

Location Vada canal - Ca 90 80 70 60 Ca (mg/l) 50 40 30 20 10 0

Seawater - Ca
500 450 400 350 Ca (mg/l) 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 1 Location

22

21

20

19

18 Location

16

15

14

13

Well - Mg 8 7 6 Mg (mg/l) 5 4 3 2 1 0 3 8 Location 17 Mg (mg/l)

Com mercial canal - Mg 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

Vada Canal - Mg Sea w ater - Mg 12 1400 10 1200 1000 Mg (mg/l) 800 600 400 200 0 1 Location 2 0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13 Mg (mg/l) 8 6 4

Well - Chloride (m g/l) 70 60 50 Chloride (mg/l) 40 30 20 10 0 3 8 Location 17
Chloride (mg/l)

Com mercial canal - Chloride

700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

Sea w ater - Chloride 20000 18000 16000 Chloride (mg/l) 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0 1 Location 14000

Vada canal - Chloride 120 100 Chloride (mg/l) 80 60 40 20 0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Well - Alkalinity 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 3 8
Location

Com m ercial canal - Alkalinity 250

200 Alkalinity (mg/l)

150 100

50

0 17 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

Sea water - Alkalinity
120 100 Alkalinity (mg/l) 80 60 40 20 0 1 Location Alkalinity (mg/l)

Vada canal - Alkalinity 250

200

150

100

50

0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Well - PO4 P 2000 1800 1600 PO4- P (mg/l) 1400 PO4 P (mg/l) 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 3 8 Location 17 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

-

Comm ercial canal - PO4- P

-

Sea w ater - PO4 P 120 100 PO4 P (mg/L) 80

-

Vada canal - PO4 P 1400 1200 1000 PO4 P (mg/)l 800 600 400 200
1 Location

-

60 40 20 0

-

-

0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Well - NO2 N 60 50 40

-

Com mercial canal - NO2 N 900 800 700 NO2 N (µg/l) 600 500 400 300 200

-

NO2 N (µg/l)

30 20 10 0 3 8 Location 17

-

-

100 0 2 4 5 6 7 Location 9 10 12 11

Seawater - NO2- N
6

Vada canal - NO2 N 30
5 NO2- N (µg/l) 4

-

25 NO2 N (µg/l) 20 15 10 5
1 Location

3 2 1 0

-

0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Well - SO4245 40 35 30 SO42- (mg/l) 25 20 15 10 5 0 3 8 Location 17 SO42- (mg/l)

Comm ercial canal SO4290 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 1 0 0 2 4 5 6 7 9 1 0 1 2 1 1

Location

Sea water -SO421000 900 800 700 SO42- (mg/l) 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 1 Location SO42- mg/l

Vada canal - SO4220 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 22 21 20 19 18 Location 16 15 14 13

Crop calendar

2009-10 2008-09

Year 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05 2003-04 2002-03 2001-02 2000-01 1999-2000 1998-99 1997-98 1996-97 1995-96 1994-95 1993-94 1992-93 1991-92 1990-91 1989-90 1988-89 1987-88 1986-87 1985-86 1984-85 1983-84

Duration 95 98 114 104 92 95 94 90 122 130 118 156 132 115 122 127 121 114 124 125 121 165 147 182 166 151 181

2007-08 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05 2003-04 2002-03 2001-02 2000-01 1999-2000 1998-99 1997-98 1996-97 1995-96 1994-95 1993-94 1992-93 1991-92 1990-91 1989-90 1988-89 1987-88 1986-87 1985-86 1984-85 1983-84 0

December

30 January

60 February

90

March

120 April

150

May

180

June

210

July

Operation schedule of Thanneermukkom barrage across years

Movement of sea water
• MIKE 21 model was used to assess sea water inflow • Sea water inflow of 1.5m3/s was considered • Scenario was created for simulated salinity distribution at 6 hrs., 27hrs., 40 hrs., 69hrs., 99hrs.,105hrs., and at the end of 14 days • Salinity propagation through Vada canal will take longer time than that through Commercial canal

Snap shot showing the simulated salinity distribution after 6 hours

Snap shot showing the simulated salinity distribution at 27 hours

Snap shot showing the simulated salinity distribution at 69 hours

Snap shot showing the simulated salinity distribution after 99 hours

Snap shot showing the simulated salinity distribution at 105 hours

Snap shot showing the simulated salinity distribution at the end of 14 th day

Model

Impact of sea water inflow into the canal
• Physical and chemical: mixing of salt water and fresh water present in the canal, generation of water flow, wilting of aquatic plants, improvement of water quality, salinity intrusion in ground water • Biological/ ecological: Brackish water ecology, improvement of brackish water aquatic lives • Economic: Promotion of tourism and pisciculture, livelihood opportunities • Sociological and cultural: Improvement of ambience, reduction of water borne disease

Impact of sea water inflow on Paddy fields
• Physical and chemical: Increase in salt content of adjoining canals, salt infestation of land, improvement of water quality in the canals around Padasekharams, presently carrying urban pollution, reduction of bacterial attack and improvement of land quality • Biological/ ecological: Change of existing habitat • Economic: Cost involved in washing salt from paddy fields, stress on summer crop if raised and loss of man days in case of crop failure • Sociological and cultural: Farmers’ discontent in case of crop failure

Conclusions
• • Sea water inflow will restore the canals Sea water inflow should be supplemented by control of urban sewage flow into the canal to restrict nutrient enrichment Model study indicated that salt water will reach to the eastern end. The crop calendar indicates that the fallow period is from end of March to May, sea water can be let in during this period. Operation of Thanneermukkom barrage can also be considered while deciding periods of sea water inflow through the canal system Pollution free water is required for sustaining humans, animals, crops and plants

• •

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