Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects to economic, environmental, and societal issues. Our student Benjamin Schmidt makes this connection in Hyderabad, India. This current event was reported in “The times of India”, on February 25, 2018, under the title, “Hyderabad may face water shortage in summer”, by Krishna Prasadi. A published study conducted by Biju A. George in 2008 covers similar material stating the need for new water supply strategies for urban areas in Hyderabad due to water-related issues.

For most cities in the world, population is growing at an exponential rate, and Hyderabad India is no exception. With major water-related issues, such as depletion of surface water surfaces as well as overutilization of groundwater, Hyderabad is troubled with a restricted water supply problem. In the article that this blog is based upon, Hyderabad must “find” up to 10 thousand million cubic feet of water in order to ensure water security over the next four months, which is the area’s peak season for water distribution. Water levels have reportedly fell from 590 feet to 520.5 feet in the Nagarjunasagar reservoir, which feeds a portion of the cities drinking water supply. According to officials at the reservoir, if the levels fall another 10 feet, water will have to be pumped with large pumps that may not be able to meet the growing cities water need. Hyderabad requires an average of 430 MGD, mostly supplied by Himayatsagar, Singanoor, Akkampally, Osmansagar, and Manjira reservoirs (Figure 1). This peak season is of particular interest to policy makers because the reservoirs were not filled to the appropriate levels during their last monsoon season which makes the city depend on other sources such as Krishna. This post relates directly to water resources engineering because careful consideration must be taken into account for the allocation of water resources, looking into aspects of water loss and the power and time required in transferring water. Subjects like this are important to expose to the WRE community to look into and discuss possible solutions to this water problem, especially because with global and urban population on the rise, water crises are likely to affect many other cities in the near future. One key aspect that this article glanced over was the plan of the city policy makers to ensure that water will be available to Hyderabad’s citizens. The study mentioned earlier in the post by B. George demonstrate the possible water conservation measures that the city officials may have to take to increase transfer efficiency and capture and process urban runoff.

Figure 1. Hyderabad water reservoir sources

Hyderabad’s economy is largely based around the service economy, but the tourism sector contributes a decent amount to the city’s total income. Voted the third best city to visit in the world in 2013, the city is used to the influx of tourists over the peak travel seasons. But this year may be different. The water crisis in the city buts the tourism businesses as well as the service industry at risk with more strict water policies and regulations. This could hurt the local economy and put the locals at risk of water limitations. With this crisis also brings up the possible effects of the water shortage on the agricultural industries on the outskirts of the city that supplies Hyderabad’s local food stock. The quality of the drinking water will also be of high concern as the city may have to draw water from other sources that it usually would not have to. This event may not have a direct impact on the environment but more so indirectly. As the city allocates their water resources to the city taking form other reservoirs, the local habitats may have to face the consequences of decreased water supply. The impact of water shortages on urban areas was also addressed by Hefa Cheng (Cheng,2009) discussing China’s water crisis and the steps need to conserve the nations drinking water security. Hefa Cheng elaborates on the social and economic effect of a water shortage in the world’s most populated country. The current challenges and practices of the area are mentioned as well.

References:

Prasad, K. (2018, February 25). Hyderabad may face water shortage in summer – Times of India.    Retrieved April 11, 2018, from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/hyderabad-may-face-water-shortage-in-summer/articleshow/63063473.cms?

George, B., Malano, H., Khan, A., Gaur, A., & Davidson, B. (2009). Urban Water Supply             Strategies for Hyderabad, India – Future Scenarios. Environmental Modeling &             Assessment14(6), 691-704. doi:10.1007/s10666-008-9170-6

Cheng, H., Hu, Y., & Zhao, J. (2009). Meeting China’s Water Shortage Crisis: Current Practices          and Challenges. Retrieved April 11, 2018, from                    https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/es801934a

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