New software programme to aid management and development of Cauvery basin

Modelling platform Source employed by IIT Delhi needs to be adapted to Indian conditions

By Amandeep Kang
Published: Saturday 20 April 2013

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi is employing a new hydrological modelling platform, called Source, developed by Australian agency eWater for the management and development of the Cauvery river basin. IIT Delhi has signed an agreement with eWater to share Source for river basin management in India. The aim is to use this modelling platform to manage future water uses and needs, and to enable efficient water allocation.

Source is a water quality and quantity modelling platform that helps managers and their stakeholder communities to develop targets, priorities programmes and measure the effects of a broad range of activities, such as water and contaminants flowing though a catchment and into rivers, wetlands and lakes. It can predict the flow and constituent loads at any location in any catchment over time. Scenarios can include actual or planned changes in land use, land management strategies, as well as climate variability and changes. Thus, Source will enable water managers to better analyse various factors and future uncertainties that shape the actions and strategies for effective river basin management India.

eWater is a publically owned not-for-profit agency backed by the Australian government, and is primarily involved with ecologically sustainable water management. Source is Australia's first national river basin water modelling framework, and is a product of around fifteen years of research and development. It was initially developed as a modelling tool to improve the management of one of Australia’s major river systems, the Murray-Darling basin. This river basin was suffering several problems such as competing demands for water, inter-state conflicts and environmental changes. It cost more than $300 million to develop the tool.

IIT Delhi started to implement this modelling platform a month ago as an experimental case study for development of the Cauvery river basin, which is facing issues similar to the Murray-Darling river basin. “However, considering the geographical, climatic and socio-economic differences between the rivers Murray and Cauvery, there is a need to develop and alter the system to make it adaptable in Indian context,” says A K Gosain,  professor and head of Civil Engineering, IIT Delhi.


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