GUIDELINES FOR SUSTAINABLE WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT (1992). Published by Central Water Commission, Water and Power Consultancy, Services (India) Limited (WAPCOS), "Kailash", 26, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi - 110 001 (234 Pages).

Environmental assessment (EA) has been used extensively in our country for more than a decade as a tool for measuring the impacts on environment due to developmental activities. Available guidelines however, lack methodologies for EA which could be readily transgressed to developmental activities such as water resources management projects, due to various technical, sociological and economical constitutions. In India, lack of such guidelines has often resulted in delays in project implementation and in turn other agricultural and Industrial growth. So in this respect this volume is of great use which gives guidelines for Sustainable water resources development and management by CWC with the assistance of WAPCOS (Water and Power Consultancy Services).

This volume has eleven Chapters of its own kind. First chapter gives the details of background information towards the water resources development and environmental effects, EIA, Sustainable water resources developments and other related activities. Since the economic growth of India is in tune with water resources project, the effective controls such as planning, design etc. are dealt in detail. The effect on environment and use of EIA as a tool are emphasized. Every thing is explained with neat and simple diagram and flow charts. Approach for preparation of guidelines with the main objectives and scope are given in a precise form. Review of some selected guidelines from agencies such as World Bank, DOEN, UNEP, and others are also given.

The second chapter deals with approach and methodologies for sustainable water development and management. To attain this development it is emphasized here that different sources of information, their magnitude and sensitivity should be identified which in turn helps in measuring the baseline for any environmental decision and makes monitoring essential component which comes in handy for safe remedial measures in case of disasters. For achieving various types of methodological approaches are given in this chapter.

The third chapter devotes itself to the need for Environmental Reconnaissance and their modes to employ them, such as visual inspection, interaction with local people and inspection of relevant records. This chapter also stresses the need for environmental survey for ongoing developmental activities in India. It also gives a vivid picture about the potential environmental Impact problems to be tackled in the course of implementation of the Programmes.

The fourth chapter emphasises the need to document all the salient features of the project and impacts on the project area, including soil, geology, existing environmental impacts and specific recommendations for smooth implementation. Particular emphasis is given to the impact of the project design, construction and operation to the environment. But every aspects needs here the detail dealing for thorough implementation. For any successful implementation of any project we need a precise and reliable method of data collection. So it is apt for the CWC to include this data collection in this chapter.

In chapter five, detailed guidelines for data collection for project implementation are given here. Individual aspects such as population, methodology, floods & drainage, soil and land use, ecology, fisheries, etc. are dealt with separately with specific data to collect reliable data. Clear flow charts (Questionnaires) are given for collecting data for every parameters. Intricacies of problems facing while collecting field data and way to overcome them are not dealt with in detail. Otherwise this chapter is very useful. This chapter has very useful tables in Appendix covering Topics, such as: 1) Important drought prone areas of India. 2) Land use/Land cover categories. 3) Phyto-geographical and zoo-geographical regions of India. 4) Forest and vegetation Types of India along with species details. 5) National park in India (along with its areas). 6) Wild life Sanctuaries of India. 7) Check list for public health. 8) Population profile of the project area (year wise).

These details are of great use for any planning and developing activities. Chapter six deals with hydrological predictions, essential for forecasting any future environmental conditions of a new project implementation. Detail methodologies are given for population forecasting methods, estimation of evaporation losses and water quality modelling. Tolerance limits for Inland surface waters, water quality criteria for classification of ground water, universal soil loss equation and seismic zones of India. Tables are useful not only to planners but also to P.G. students and researchers. But other details also the pore water quality and its physical stress over dams soils geology might been dealt in detail.

Chapter seven deals with assessment which is an essential factor to continue any strategy adopted in any water resource management programme. Without any assessment using systematic and scientific information the strategy to continue the implementation of the project becomes meaningless. So this chapter given details about the ways of implementing the programme. Here methodology are given in detail. For critical review of the project implementation along with useful charts diagrams and Tables.

As we all know that sustainable development of water resources lies in the equitable balance between the economic development and environmental quality. Chapter eight, in this volume is devoted to management plan for sustainable development. Various guidelines are given in this chapter for remedial measures are - water resources and siltation problem - stream flow and maintenance - water quality - water demand and sanitation - eutrophication problem - fisheries management - land use and other minor problems. Vivid note is given on the soil conservation measures along with rehabilation policies of various states in India. Brief idea is given towards the old and new policies of states towards compensation and rehabilitation. So, this type of approach is essential for any management programme in India.

Chapter nine deals with guidelines of environmental monitoring, because any meticulous plan and precaution to implement any new developmental projects will not succeed in long term unless and until that was monitored regularly. So details of monitoring techniques along with strategy of time schedules for different parameter and EIA process are given for proper and interrupted developmental processes. It is promptly pointed out in this chapter the basic request for implementation and timeliness, cost-effectiveness, maximum coverage, absence of bias and identification of users of information. Parameters included for monitoring are same as mentioned earlier. Also given in this chapter was the Limits of Disposal of Effluent (Table).

Chapter ten gives the guidelines for the approximate costs estimations for tackling different environmental problems for different geographical and geological terrains taking into accounts its socio-economical factors. Finally chapter eleven deals with the importance of Institutional frame work in decision making for water resources development which is the very critical component for any new project to succeed. The chapter rightly stress the need for harmonious continuous change reaction between hierarchy of bureaucracy and implementing agencies and in turn the ultimate users (people) for the success of the implementation programme and developmental activation. The ways and means to achieve the goal are given in detail in this chapter.

This volume is a good attempt towards the improvement of water resources development and management programme. This volume unfortunately doesnot cover some recent important references available in this area and wide range of references might have added to make this volume more useful. Even though it is prepared with reference to Indian context, it can also be used for others South-East Asian countries. But this attempt to cover all aspects for the successful implementation is laudable and this is unique of its kind. It is now become a basic "Cook-book" and only needs modifications from time to time in its approach to solve problems. A similar approach on small scale (case study) will be of great use. Computer applications and database creations should have been included in this volume. Other than this shortcomings this volume is of great use and interesting to the Planners, Engineers, Environmentalists, Politicians, Geologists, Geographers and in general for researchers who in bold in solving environmental problems related to water resources. This book also has good data that can be used for P.G. students for their course work. This volume should be made available to all Institutions.

Date : 15.06.1995


Department of Geology

Annamalai University

Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu

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