Development of State Water Plans and Policies. The HIS has been used in several states to support development of plans and policies. In Maharashtra the HIS guided preparation of the State Water Plan; in Karnataka it formed the basis of new Ground Water policy; the BBMB developed an MoU for sharing flood forecast and water allocation data with riparian states including Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. Most importantly, the States are now opening towards sharing their data with other State and Central organisations, for example the HIS data collected by Maharashtra Water Resources Department in the Krishna Bhima Basin is being freely shared on their website: http://rtsfros.com/mahakrishna/index.jsp.
Water Resources Development Planning and Management. Water resources planning and management has been greatly informed by the HIS and through application of the DSS-P (Planning). The DSS-P includes tools to analyze flow time series and GIS information, to create awareness on water management issues, and to facilitate modelling for long- and short-term planning.
Applications of HIS.
Irrigation development (or rehabilitation) remains a key focus for major water resources development planning in India. In Maharashtra, a total of over 700 minor and medium projects have used data from the HIS during the HP-II period. Maharashtra also recognizes the role of HIS data in the development of the real-time flood management system developed under the Project. Karnataka-SW has provided HIS data for the planning of five water supply projects for drinking water, six hydropower projects and a number of industrial projects. Gujarat-SW has identified a number of check dams and other designs of hydraulic structures where HIS data have been used. Gujarat-GW has studied the use of GW for minor irrigation in tribal areas, as an example of how the HIS data have been used for water resources planning. In Chhattisgarh, some 30 irrigation development projects, five town water supply projects, five flood protection schemes and 32 hydropower and min-hydro schemes have been provided with data from the HIS during the Project. Chhattisgarh also reports the use of GW data in the planning of irrigation schemes. Andhra Pradesh identified the use of GW data for studies on canal lining, water logging issues and the impact of GW quality on crop selection.
Applications of DSS-P
have included (i) use as a state-level hub for water resources data and information; (ii) river basin modelling for water resources planning; (iii) short-term planning; and (iv) drought advisory services through websites linked to the DSS-P database. Specific applications included:
a. Seasonal Reservoir Operation Planning. Byconsidering current reservoir levels and historical inflows the DSS-Psupports scenarioplanning for water allocation.Maharashtra has, for example, improved operation of reservoirs in the Upper Godavari Basin, thereby avoiding water scarcity during the 2013-14 dry season.
b. Drought Management. Droughts are often characterized by low post-monsoon storage in reservoirs and falling GW levels. DSS-P applications in various states have been used to determine sustainable water abstractions during droughts.
c. Inter-basin Transfers. The river basin model with DSS-P enables analysis of proposed inter-basin transfers. For example, the proposed transfer of water from the Mahanadi to Tandula reservoir was assessedin terms of amounts and timing, and the potential benefits and impacts of the proposed transfers.
d. Multi-purpose/Multi-ReservoirOperations. The integrated reservoir operation tool in the DSS evaluates multi-reservoir operational strategies. This has been used for the Kadana, Panam and Bhadar Reservoirs in Gujarat, for the delivery of water to the irrigation, drinking water and industrial sectors, as well as for flood control in downstream reaches of the Mahi River. This application is used to refine reservoir operations (flood control levels and operational rules); examine changes in water demands from command areas, drinking water users and industrial areas influenced by the reservoirs; and consider the impacts of changing climate and upstream conditions. Output allows reservoir managers to evaluate alternative operation strategies.
e. Water Availability Assessments. The KarnatakaGeomatics Center developed an extended application enabling the identification of optimum locations for new projects and industrial units based on water availability. The application uses information generated by the HIS (including rainfall and station locations), digital topographical maps and rainfall-runoff relations in estimating the water availability at a given location at a given time of the year.
f. Conjunctive SW-GW Management. Water logging and zones of critical water deficit within two main distributaries of the Tungabhadra irrigation system in Karnataka were assessed using the DSS-P. Scenarios were examined that partition available SW from the canal network amongst the users, with different GW abstraction rates, to assess impacts on GW levels and to minimize deficits at the tail ends. This has helped move towards equitable water delivery in distributaries while maintaining sustainable GW levels.
g. Urban Water Supplies Augmentation Projects. Several states developed and assessed solutions for augmenting major city water supplies and have used these assessments to guide major investments. Maharashtra augmented water supplies in Pune and achieved substantial savings including as a result of replacing a proposed open channel with a pipeline saving 8.78 gigawatt hour/year (valued at USD 6.4M/per year). In Kerala, proposed check dams to augment water supplies contributed savings of over USD2.5M.
Real-Time Data Acquisition, Streamflow Forecasting, DSS and Reservoir Operation Systems.
The objectives of the real-time data, forecasting,DSS and ROS are to support integrated reservoir operations decisions for optimum utilization of water and for flood warnings and implementation of evacuation measures to minimize the loss of live and damage to property. Benefits include: (i) reduction in water losses enabling the maximum economic outcomes to be achieved from water; (ii) reduction in flood damages, particularly at the end of the monsoon; (iii) balancing of short- and long-term objectives for reservoir management; and (iv)improved dry season water management to significantly improve water supply.
i. In theSutlej-Beas Basin RTDAS and RTDSS enables improved organization, access and evaluation of hydro-meteorological data and forecasting of snowmelt and runoff and estimates of corresponding river flow to support a well-structured, user-friendly and complete water resources management system for the basin.Using satellite-based quantitative precipitation predictions, improved real-time data and improved hydrological knowledge, BBMB has improved the management of Bhakra and Pong reservoirs to prevent flooding and maximize storage (Table A4). The average annual flood damage for the period 2007-10 was INR 1,058 million (US$17.6 million) and an average of 23 lives were lost per year. Given the huge 2013 monsoon inflow damages and deaths well above these averages would have been expected. Project investment in the basin amounted was INR 370 million (US$6.2 million) or 15% of the 2010 flood damage bill, and much less that the potential 2013 flood damage bill. The pay-back period for the investment is thus very short and the benefit/cost ratio high, even if all other water management-related benefits are ignored.
Total reservoir inflow for 2013 was similar to 1988 when the worst floods in living memory were experienced in the Punjab, accompanied by unprecedented loss of life and property damage. Total flood damage in India and Pakistan was US$6.8 billion and the death toll was 731. 1.25 million people were displaced, and 1.5 million hectare of agricultural lands were flooded and a total of 270,000 km2 were affected. If the flood damage downstream of Bhakra and Pong reservoirs was only 10% of these totals it would amount to around US$700 million. The RTDSS developed under HP-II helped to avoid flood damages of this magnitude in 2013 by enabling improved synchronization of the releases from both dams, and by informing pre-releases prior to the flood peaks based on inflow predictions.
ii. Maharashtra developed a RTSF and ROS for the Upper Krishna and Bhima Basins to reduce flood damage and improve dry season water supply through improved management of 46 major and medium reservoirs using daily/hourly flood forecasting. Previously reservoirs were operated using rigid rules requiring reservoirs to be kept full near the end of the wet season. In the case of heavy rain late in the season, reservoirs releases would cause major floods downstream. Devastating floods occurred in 2005 and 2006. In 2006, flooding downstream of Koyna Dam caused damages worth an estimated at INR 3,931 million (~US$65 million) and the loss of 68 lives (Table A5). Accurate one-day flood forecasts would have enabled major reductions in peak flows (and hence flood damage) through improved reservoir management. In Sangli, peak flow reductions would have reduced damages to a third of historic losses (INR 995 million).The cost of the RTDAS and RTSF&ROS amounted to about INR 310 million (~US$5 million) or just 8% of the 2006 flood damage bill, implying a high benefit/cost ratio. The new system was first operational in the 2013 monsoon when forecasted reservoir and river water levels and discharges were disseminated to the responsible authorities and were made available to the public through the web.
iii. Hundreds of large reservoirs across India provide dry season storage for multiple uses including hydropower, irrigation and other water supply, while also providing flood mitigation by reducing peak flows downstream. However, reservoir operationscan exacerbate floodingby adhering to fixed rules uninformed by flow forecasts. High rainfall events occurring when reservoirs are close to full-supply level mean reservoirs operators must rapidly release large volumes to minimize the risk of structural damage to the dam. This can cause huge flood damages and human misery downstream. Devastating induced floodsoccurred in the Krishna Basin (in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh) in October 2009,leading to a death toll of over 300, an affected area of 310,000 km2, over 2.5 million people displaced (mostly poor people)and direct losses of INR 320 billion. While floods were initiated by incessant rains, this was exacerbated when authorities released additional water from rain-swollen reservoirs. While forecasts, early warnings and real-time operations(coupled with disaster management services) would not have avoided all damages and deaths, these systems could have significantly mitigated impacts. The cost of these systems for the Krishna Basin would represent less than one percent of the damage of the October 2009 floods.
Real-time Water Quality Monitoring Systems(RTWQMS).
CPCB has successfully trialed a network of tenwater quality monitoring stations (measuring 10 parameters) within the Ganga Basin that provide data every 15 minutes directly to a control center and website. CWC also installed three real-time water quality stations in the basin (monitoring six parameters). This new system can potentially lead to greatly improved water quality information for the Ganga Basin.
i. Documented indications of the value of these real-time data include: (i) improvements in water quality during the Maha Kumbh 2013/Magh Mela 2014 (major festival where millions bathe in the Ganga River); (ii) early detection of elevated levels of ammonia the Yamuna River to inform closure/opening of the intake to Delhi’s water supply; and (iii) informing the resolution of inter-state water issues between Delhi and Haryana.
ii. Compared to the time consuming standard (manual) data acquisition system for water quality data, the real-time system is seen as important in providing: (i) a continuous record of water quality data to detect diurnal variations; (ii) instantaneous information allowing immediate mitigation actions, publically visible on the web; and (iii) information to help understand the water quality processes in the river system.
Operation of Water Resources Schemes.
Several states have used the HIS to guide the operation of water resources schemes including:
i. Andhra Pradesh: conjunctive GW studies, municipal water supply, drought monitoring and GW assessments
ii. Gujarat: solid waste management, storm water management, reservoir operations, siltation studies, evaporation studies and water quality studies
iii. Kerala: well-drilling for farmers, mini water supply schemes and drought mitigation work
iv. Maharashtra: reservoir operation for flood management, Hydropower generation and irrigation management.
Water Quality and Environmental Assessments.
Water quality data and data for environmental assessments are needed for all water resources development projects as part of mandatory regulatory processes and scientific investigations. Several states have used the HIS for this purpose including:
i. Andhra Pradesh: various specific water quality investigations, routine reporting roles, water quality assessments and studies and specific monitoring requirements
ii. Gujarat: water quality investigations and assessments, and planning studies
iii. Gujarat: monitoring GW salinity, and design of projects to improve GW quality through artificial recharge
iv. Karnataka: water quality assessments for projects, base and trend analysis and evaluation of GW quality
v. Kerala: water quality studies of blocks and Environment Impact Assessment reports
vi. Madhya Pradesh:water quality monitoring, investigations and assessments