Water Resources Management
Water is essential for socio-economic development and for maintaining healthy ecosystems. Properly managed water resources are a critical component of growth, poverty reduction and equity. The livelihoods of the poorest are critically associated with access to water services. Energy demand will more than double in poor and emerging economies in the next 25 years and hydropower will need to be a key contributor to clean energy production.
Floods and droughts will continue to threaten farmer livelihoods and lowland economies.Besides the needs for these human activities we have to ensure that the environmental water flows required to maintain and ecosystems are also maintained.
Physical Basis for Water Resources Management
It is important to understand the physical basis of a catchment before looking at water governance and other issues related to water management. Within a catchment, water is found in a series of interconnected “reservoirs”.
These reservoirs include surface water (overland flow, stream-flow, lake, and floodplain wetlands), groundwater, and atmospheric water sources.
WRMRCDP focuses on two of these reservoirs – surface water and groundwater resources.
Water resources are divisible into two distinct categories
- surface-water resources
- ground-water resources
Factors Affecting Water Resources
- Rainfall : its intensity,duration & distribution.
- Basic characteristics.
- Geometric factors : drainage area,shape,slope & stream density.
- Physical factors : land use, surface infiltration conditions soil types,etc.
- Channel characteristics : carrying capacity & storage capacity.
- Lithologic including composition, texture, sequence of rock types & the thickness of rock formations.
- Structural, including chief faults & folds that interrupt the uniformity of occurence of rock types or sequence of rock types also beds, joints, fissures, cracks, etc.
- Hydrologic characteristics of the aquifers permeability, porosity, transmissivity, storability,etc .
Management Of Water Resources
Integrated water resources management in basins
At the river or lake basin and aquifer level, IWRM can be defined as a process that enables the co-ordinated management of water, land and related resources within the limits of a basin so as to optimize and equitably share the resulting socioeconomic well-being without compromising the long-term health of vital ecosystems.
Basin management as an iterative process
Policy making, planning and management might be considered as a series of sequential steps in basin management
+draw up broad policy goals (where we want to get to)
+to specify water management problems to be solved (identify issues),
+list potential strategies (how we are going to get there),
+Evaluation of strategy
+Evaluation of outcome
Entry levels for integrated water resources management in basins
Basin managers may wonder where to start with an integrated approach, who to target and at what level. A simple and effective way to find out where to target action initially is to identify entry levels:
- Local level (sub-basin plan, local aquifer management plan, local water allocation plan in water user districts, local government plan).
- Implementation level (basin or provincial scale management plan).
- Policy level (national and international processes for developing water policies, treaties, and laws).
Rain Water Harvesting
- Rain Water Harvesting RWH- process of collecting, conveying & storing water from rainfall in an area – beneficial use.
- Storage – in tanks, reservoirs, underground storage- groundwater.
- Four million litres of rainwater can be collected in a year in an acre of land (4,047 m2).
- With the water table falling rapidly, & concrete surfaces and landfill dumps taking the place of water bodies, RWH is the most reliable solution for augmenting groundwater level to attain self-sufficiency.
Causes Of Ground Water Depletion And Contamination
An uncontrolled use of the borewell technology has led to the extraction of groundwater at such a high rate that often recharge is not sufficient. The causes of low water availability in many regions are also directly linked to the reducing forest cover and soil degradation. The pollution of air, water, and land has an affect on the pollution and contamination of groundwater.
Workable Solutions For Management Of Groundwater Resources
Banning private wells is futile; crowd them out by improving public water supply. Regulating final users is impossible; facilitate mediating agencies to emerge, and regulate them. Pricing agricultural groundwater use is infeasible; instead, use energy pricing and supply to manage agricultural groundwater draft.
No alternative to improved supply side management: better rain-water capture and recharge, imported surface water in lieu of groundwater pumping. Grow the economy, take pressure off land, and formalize the water sector.
Eco-hydrological approach to water resources management
The eco-hydrological approach to water resources management considers the water flow domain and water use domain for categorizing the water as green and blues. The green water concept refers to the water used in growth of economic biomass, i.e. rainfed food, timber, fuel-wood. The blue water concept refers to economic use of water in society, i.e. irrigation, industry and domestic uses
People participation and capacity building
For making the people of various sections of the society aware about the different issues of water resources management, a participatory approach may be adopted. Mass communication programmes may be launched using the modern communication means for educating the people about water conservation and efficient utilization of water.