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Chapter: Civil : Water Resources and Irrigation Engineering

Water allocation priorities

While planning and operation of water resource systems, water allocation priorities should be broadly as follows:

Water allocation priorities


While planning and operation of water resource systems, water allocation priorities should be broadly as follows:

            Drinking   water






            Industrial   demand   of   water



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 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 well.

Planning strategies for a particular project


Ø        Water resource development projects should be planned and developed (as far as possible) as multi-purpose projects .


Ø        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.


Ø        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.


Ø        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.


Ø        Exploitation of ground water resources should be so regulated as not to exceed the recharging possibilities, as also to ensure social equity.


Ø        This engineering aspect of ground water development has been dealt


Ø        Planning at river basin level requires considering a complex large set of components and their interrelationship.


Ø        Mathematical modelling has become a widely used tool to handle such complexities for which simulations and optimization techniques are employed.


Ø        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


            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.


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