Use of geoinformatics for inter-basin water transfer assessment
Summary, in English
Fresh water availability and demand are unevenly distributed both temporally and geographically. Furthermore, the availability of fresh water has remained more or less constant, while the demand for clean water is steadily increasing. With demand surpassing supply, an integrated water resource management approach is required to ensure even distribution of potable water to all levels of society while protecting the environment. Inter-basin water transfer (IBWT) is an approach being applied in various countries around the world, with varying environmental and social implications. The Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) scheme is an example of such a project being planned in India. The research described in this paper was based on the ILR project and includes an assessment of the IBWT programme in some of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra and Ganga Rivers in the eastern part of India, covering the district of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, India. Geoinformation has been used in association with physical and socio-economic factors to identify potential dam and reservoir sites and to delineate the optimal route for canals to transfer water from the Brahmaputra basin to the Ganga basin for further transportation to the water-deficient regions of India.