Chapter: Civil : Water Resources and Irrigation Engineering

Water quality

The following points should be kept in mind regarding the quality of water:

Water quality


The following points should be kept in mind regarding the quality of water:


Ø        Both surface water and ground water should be regularly monitored for quality.


Ø        Effluents should be treated to acceptable levels and standards before discharging them into natural steams.


Ø        Minimum flow should be ensured in the perennial streams for maintaining ecology and social considerations.


Ø        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.


Ø        The technical aspects of water quality monitoring and remediation are dealt with in the course of Water and Waste ' Water Engineering.


Ø        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.


Ø        Monitoring of surface and ground water quality is routinely done by the Central and State Pollution Control Boards.


Ø        Normally the physical, chemical and biological parameters are checked which gives an indication towards the acceptability of the water for drinking or irrigation.


Ø        Unacceptable pollutants may require remediation, provided it is cost effective.

Ø        Else, a separate source may have to be investigated.


Ø        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.


Ø        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.


Ø        It must be remembered that the same river may act as source of drinking water for the inhabitants located down the river.

Ø          The following case study may provoke some soul searching in


terms of the peoples‟ responsibility of water, in our country:


Ø        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.


Ø        The government is also laying the main sewer lines within towns that discharge effluents into the river.


Ø        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 capacity.


Ø        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.


Ø        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.


Ø        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


Ø        There should be a master plan for flood control and management for each flood prone basin.


Ø        Adequate flood-cushioning should be provided in water storage projects, wherever feasible, to facilitate better flood management.


Ø        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.

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