Purpose-Driven Study (PDS) in the National Hydrology Project (NHP)

What is Purpose-Driven Study?

Purpose-Driven Study (PDS) refers to research and development studies conducted under the NHP to resolve water management issues within a particular region or specific project. These studies aim to address the identified challenges and concerns related to water resources by employing cost-effective solutions. PDS covers a wide range of water management issues, including water quality, groundwater salinity, lake water quality and management, coastal issues, sedimentation problems, and spring shed management. The primary objective of PDS is to bridge knowledge gaps and develop methodology/ Decision support tools for hydrological and water quality analysis, as well as provide practical solutions for environmental challenges. The National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee manages the purpose-driven studies in collaboration with implementing agencies. Technical Assistance and Management Consultancy (TAMC) support these studies, ensuring effective coordination and implementation.

The beneficiaries of Purpose-Driven Studies in the NHP include farm communities, rural and urban water users affected by poor water quality, and people impacted by drought and flood situations. Additionally, various stakeholders, such as water, environment, and agriculture ministries, research and educational institutions, NGOs, civil society organizations, and the private sector, benefit from the knowledge generated by PDS.

What Can Purpose-Driven Study Do?

Purpose-Driven Study within the NHP has several key objectives and potential benefits:

  • Addressing Water Management Issues: PDS studies focus on specific issues identified by implementing agencies and the public. By conducting targeted research, PDS aims to provide feasible and cost-effective methodologies to resolve these issues, contributing to improved water management practices.
  • Development of Analytical Tools: PDS studies involve field investigations, data collection, analysis, and the development of analytical tools for hydrological analysis, water quality assessment, and environmental issues. These tools facilitate evidence-based decision-making and enable efficient water resource development and management.
  • Filling Knowledge Gaps: Purpose-Driven Studies play a crucial role in filling knowledge gaps related to water resource development and management. By generating new data using the latest technology, PDS contributes to a better understanding of hydrological systems, water quality dynamics, and ecosystem functioning.
  • Replication and Transferability: The outcomes of PDS are expected to provide practical and replicable methodologies for similar hydrological and hydrogeological setups in other areas. The knowledge and solutions derived from PDS can be applied to different regions facing similar water management challenges.

Purpose-Driven Study implemented in NHP:

Agency Name No. of PDS
NIH 18
Meghalaya 2
Kerala GW 5
Kerala SW 2
Gujarat 1
Rajasthan 1
Rajasthan 1
Telangana GW 2
Telangana SW 1
Uttarakhand 1
Himachal Pradesh 1
West Bengal GW 1
West Bengal SW 1
Andhra Pradesh GW 1

The topics covered under Purpose Driven Studies are broadly divided into three categories: Surface water, Ground water, and Water quality. These topics have been elaborated in Tables 2, 3, and 4, respectively.

Table 2. Table showing Purpose Driven Studies under Surface Water

Sl No. Topics Objectives/ Purpose Study area / beneficiaries state Outcome /benefit
1. Conservation and management of lakes To investigate the hydrological regime, water balance, sedimentation, and water quality, and plan for sustainable management of Lake Uttarakhand, Bhimtal and Naukuchiatal Water supply, irrigation, and planning improvements will aid in management, recreation, and tourism, as well as the preservation of biodiversity hotspots.
2. Reservoir operation policy To assess the present and future demand-supply scenario Tawa reservoir Madhya Pradesh Formulation of a reservoir operation policy for the present and future will lead to better water management
3. Reservoir sedimentation Through R&S GIS method Using microwave remote sensing data, precise information about the amount of sediment deposited in the reservoir can be obtained Hirakud reservoir - Odisha Revision of the operation schedule based on water availability and live storage
4. Irrigation performance Evaluation Evaluation of impacts of Rabi irrigation on hydrology, agricultural growth, economy, and public health for selected irrigation projects Madhya Pradesh, Ganga basin Recommendation of strategies to improve the performance of irrigation projects and dissemination of knowledge and findings through trainings.
5. Development of DSS for Parwati Canal & Dholpur Piped Irrigation Project Compare irrigation efficiencies in open channel and pressurized pipe irrigation systems; capacity building of farmers to adapt efficient irrigation Rajasthan Decisions on irrigation planning/raising farmer awareness of optimal water use/exposure to modern technology for water users
6. Droughts and desertification scenario Impacts of climate change and upcoming irrigation projects on future water availability, drought, and desertification scenarios Chambal basin western district of Madhya Pradesh Will assist the state in developing its water resources by providing foresight into water availability and the occurrence of extreme events under future climate change scenarios.
7. Urban hydrological studies, Evaluation of urban storm water network and development of flood mapping in the pilot area of GHMC, Hyderabad Hyderabad GHMC Micro-level drainage planning will reduce urban flooding.
8. Coastal process study The study of coast erosion and shoreline changes. Inflow and outflow from some source locations along the coast. Maharashtra Coast Water Resources, Fisheries, Marine Board, and Shipping Corporation Departments will benefit from suitable measures given in the report to reduce coastal erosion.

Table 3. Table showing Purpose Driven Studies under Ground Water

Sl No. Topics Objectives/ Purpose Study area / beneficiaries state Outcome /benefit
1. Inventory and sustainability of natural springs Identify perennial and non-perennial springs, the water quality of the springs, a web-application link, and a mobile app. Himachal Pradesh Ravi Catchment & Western Ghats Gives the public and water managers easy access to the spring information.
2. Characterization of deep aquifers Identifying the various aquifers present, their interaction with overlying layers, quality, and recharge location Middle Ganga basin/ Uttar Pradesh Report will provide the dependability and contamination risk of these aquifers. Useful to the state groundwater department in drilling wells in these aquifers
3. Groundwater dynamics in coastal aquifers Identification of the source of salinity & the source of excess runoff for artificial recharge Management measures for safe & sustainable coastal groundwater use. 4 district of West Bengal Management measures for safe and sustainable coastal groundwater use will help field-based management strategies ensure safe use of coastal aquifers.
4. Evaluation of the arsenic affected aquifers Spatio-temporal variation of arsenic; arsenic safe zone for drinking water supply; Regional and local hydrology controls on arsenic contamination through aquifer monitoring West Bengal & Central Ganges, Bhojpur district Will assist GW agencies in selecting appropriate water management and may lead to a good and sustainable water management policy for society.
5. Sea Water Intrusion To identify the intensity and propagation of salinity in affected areas and identify suitable locations for saline control structures. Kerala Coast To assist the agency in the construction of regulators, check dams, and shutters/gates to control saline ingress into the river.
6. Groundwater salinity, source identification Many areas have salinity issues, rendering the water unfit for drinking or other uses. To identify salinity sources, reasons, and improvement measures Mewat – Haryana, Thrissur - Kerala Godavari Delta - AP Will provide a solution for GW quality improvement and the future protection of drinking water sources.
7. Management of GW pumping District encounter problems of scaling and mineral accumulation issues in the pipe lines used for irrigation pumping. Study to provide a cost-effective solution to minimize scaling Kerala Palakkad district Reducing scaling in the pipe system to benefit farmers reducing the expenditure for maintenance

Table 4. Table showing Purpose Driven Studies under Water quality

Sl No. Topics Objectives/ Purpose Study area / beneficiaries state Outcome /benefit
1. Water quality assessment and remedial measures Most of the sources of surface water are polluted by industry, untreated sewage, and solid waste, which limit the actual amount of useable water available to Indian consumers, its industry, and its agriculture. The goal is to identify pollutant sources and implement corrective measures to protect drinking water sources in the future. Kerala, Trissur South-West Punjab, Industrial Belt of Ernakulum District,Rivers in East Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya, Bemetara district of Chhattisgarh Safe drinking water for the public
2. River rejuvenation Pollutants from Pune are the single most significant cause of Murthy River water quality degradation. This study aims to identify the pollutant source, the WQ status of different reaches, and the releases of water required to dilute the pollutants. Murtha river reach - Pune The recommendation of policy action for preventing the release of pollutants into rivers will help rejuvenate the river and improve the water quality of the river. Same can be adapted for other rivers in India.
3. Leachate transport modeling Understanding the transport of pollutants from the landfill and the contamination of GW in the nearby area, if any Gazipur land fill- Delhi To assist policymakers in making appropriate landfill management decisions, to provide safe drinking water, and to dispel public fears about landfills.