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Concepts for Planning Water Resources Development

Utilization of available water of a region for use of a community has perhaps been practiced from the dawn of civilization.

Concepts for Planning Water Resources Development



Ø        Utilization of available water of a region for use of a community has perhaps been practiced from the dawn of civilization.


Ø        In India, since civilization flourished early, evidences of water utilization has also been found from ancient times.


Ø        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.


Ø        In fact, the Harappa and Mohenjodaro excavations have also shown scientific developments of water utilization and disposal systems.

Ø        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.


Ø        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 Wadi Garawi (Egypt) at about 2660 BC.


Ø        The Roman engineers had built log water conveyance systems, many of which can still be seen today, Qanats or 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.


Ø        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.


Ø        Modern day projects require a scientific planning strategy due to:


o       Gradual decrease of per capita available water on this planet and especially in our country.


o       Water being used for many purposes and the demands vary in time and space.


o       Water availability in a region 'like county or state or watershed is not equally distributed.


o       The supply of water may be from rain, surface water bodies and ground water.


Water resources project planning


ü        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.


ü        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.


ü        A project may consist of one or more structural or non-structural resources. 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.


ü        The scientific and technological development has been conspicuously evident during the twentieth century in major fields of engineering.


ü        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.


ü        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.


ü        Further, economic considerations used to be the guiding constraint for planning a water resources project.

ü        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 constraints.

Priorities for water resources planning


ü        Water resource projects are constructed to develop or manage the available water resources for different purposes.


ü        According to the National Water Policy (2002), the water allocation priorities for planning and operation of water resource systems should broadly be as follows:


Domestic consumption This includes water requirements primarily for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing of clothes and utensils and flushing of toilets.



Water required for growing crops in a systematic and scientific manner in areas even with deficit rainfall.



This is the generation of electricity by harnessing the power of flowing water.


Ecology / environment restoration


Water required for maintaining the environmental health of a region.



The industries require water for various purposes and that by thermal power stations is quite high.



Navigation possibility in rivers may be enhanced by increasing the flow, thereby increasing the depth of water required to allow larger vessels to pass.

Other uses


Like entertainment of scenic natural view.


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