IWRM can reduce floods in hydel dam downstream areas: Expert
For mitigating floods in the downstream areas of hydel dams in the North East, a river science expert suggested adopting an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Former IIT-Roorkee Professor, Nayan Sharma, suggested existing or planned hydel dams of NEEPCO, Assam Power General Corporation (APGCL), and NHPC be overhauled to incorporate necessary flood cushion in the reservoir along with evolving optimal reservoir operation rule curves.
IWRM is a Water Resources Planning process which "promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems," Sharma said. The expert suggested using recent advance technology for mitigation of the flood devastations wrecked in downstream areas of hydel dams.
The recent advance technologies include Piano Key Weir (PKW) for achieving an enhanced discharging capacity and increased reservoir storage, and river restoration scheme for maintaining required channel flood conveyance capacity, Nayan Sharma said. It also includes the comprehensive Catchment Area Treatment programme in the watershed areas for controlling sediment ingress to the reservoir, scientifically overhauling reservoir operation schedules.
"Implementation of the suggested solutions will turn around...mono-purpose run-of-the-river hydel projects into multi-purpose projects which will be able to accrue multiple benefits for flood moderation, stable river restoration, and sustaining ecology, besides generating cheaper and eco-friendly clean hydropower," Sharma said. He said many hydel dams devoid of reservoir storage space for flood cushion wreak havoc on the downstream "crippling the lives of the people".