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An alternative approach to evaluating inter-basin water transfer links: A case study of the Inter-Linking of Rivers Project in India

SINHA, PAMMI,NITIN (2017) An alternative approach to evaluating inter-basin water transfer links: A case study of the Inter-Linking of Rivers Project in India. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Water managers face significant challenges in managing water supply and are constantly looking for new ways to meet demand. Inter-basin water transfer (IBWT) is a preferred solution, especially in developing countries such as India. Proponents have praised IBWT for its benefits but critics have raised several concerns, among which, concerns related to the IBWT decision-making process are fundamental. The proposed Inter-linking of Rivers project (ILR) in India has been extensively criticised for its decision-making process. This thesis evaluated the decision-making process of two ILR Projects in India, namely the Sankh-South Koel (S-SK) and South Koel-Subarnarekha (SK-Sr) ILR links, using data and tools available in the public domain.

The research acquired a holistic and multi-disciplinary understanding of the catchments involved in the two ILR projects. The knowledge gained assisted in identifying key inputs, informing assumptions and explaining the research outcomes. Based on the best-practices in the IBWT field, the study developed an integrated appraisal of potential annual and seasonal surplus/deficit of water in the donor and recipient catchments of both links. Both ILR links and their catchments were simulated for their annual and seasonal performance assessments under a range of current and future water management scenarios. The simulation outputs were used to assess the risks in meeting water requirements by the catchments and the links. The ILR links were also assessed for their vulnerabilities in meeting the proposed water transfer amount. The research critiqued existing ILR plans and found that the ILR planners have over-estimated the water surplus in the donor catchments of both links and that the links will fail to meet their projected aspirations. The donor catchments themselves need efforts to ensure their current and foreseeable future water demand. The recipient catchments show no urgent need to import water from another basin currently or in the foreseeable future; although low water availability has been noted in them during the non-monsoon season which needs attention. Thus, the ILR planners are advised to reconsider their decisions and revisit their planning.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Water Management, Inter-basin Water Transfer (IBWT), Inter-Linking of Rivers Project (ILR) in India, Water Availability, Water Demand, Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP), Hybridity, Wicked Problems, Dublin Principles, Data Democratisation, Public-participation.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:12 Feb 2018 09:19

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