Integrated water resources assessment of Udaipur District


Start date: 1 October, 2020 End date: 30 September, 2023 Project type: Research collaboration projects in growth and transition countries (Window 2) Project code: 19-M10-KU Countries: India Thematic areas: Water management and sanitation, Lead institution: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Partner institutions: Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), Denmark Water Air Food Awards (WAFA), Denmark Vidya Bhawan Polytechnic (VBP), India DHI India, India Development Alternatives (DA), India Project coordinator: Karsten Høgh Jensen Total grant: 5,000,000 DKK

Project summary

Water resources in India are under increasing pressure due to increase in population, intensified agricultural production, changing food habits with growing income and industrial development, as well as pollution of the surface and subsurface waters. This has led to concerns whether water demands can be met while achieving food and nutrition security for the growing population and at the same time protecting the ecosystems. One of the growing urban areas in the state of Rajasthan is the city of Udaipur, which has experienced increased pressure on the water resources and is facing serious problems and challenges in securing adequate water supply of acceptable quality and mitigating pollution of the water resources.

Proper integrated water resources management in the city and district is hampered by insufficient knowledge of the overall water balance. The seasonal Ayad river is flowing through Udaipur city, however, the dynamics of this water system is poorly known. To improve the understanding of the system and thus establish a basis for better and sustainable water management, an integrated hydrological and hydraulic model will be developed and hereby clarify for the first time the overall water balance of the water system. A state-of-the-art web-enabled, GIS supported data support system (DSS) will be developed, which will contain not only time series of hydrological and meteorological data but also geo-referenced information on physical elements of the Ayad river basin.

Citizen science is documented as an efficient methodology to involve stakeholders in the management of their water and environmental resources. In the project, the citizen science approach will be further developed and used to complement conventional ways of scientific data collection for water resource management. In the process, this will result in the citizens becoming centrally involved in the planning of decisions related to water resource management.


First year report

During the initial phase of the project, it was realized that reliable discharge measurements are not available at the outlet of Udaipur district, which is the focus area of our project. In order to constraint the hydrological model simulations of the overall water balance, the area for which the model is applied, although in a simpler version as far as the groundwater component is concerned, is expanded to include the discharge stations Chittorgarth and Bigod. This implies that much more data needs to be collected as the area is increased from about 500 km2 to about 14,000 km2. A preliminary model based on the MIKE SHE code has been developed for the Bigod catchment.

Most of the station-based data on meteorological and hydrological variables have been collected and included in a database, which later in the project will be developed into a data support system (DDS).

Five sensors for measuring water level have been acquired from the Danish company Dryp. Aarhus Vand is engaged in this company and Aarhus Vand is also part of the on-going Strategic Sector Cooperation between the cities of Udaipur and Aarhus. The installation of the sensors has been impeded by the Covid-19 situation.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the citizen component has progressed well. A literature review has been conducted and reported. Meetings between the project group and local government bodies have been organized and a stakeholder workshop was organized March 26, 2021 at VB Polytechnic, Vidya Bhawan Society with 52 participants of which 18 were physically present.

The research partner Development Alternatives is on behalf of the project group organizing a bi-weekly webinar series on ‘Water Resources Management for Sustainable Development and the Role of Citizens’.

The project is closely coordinated with the on-going Strategic Sector Cooperation between the cities of Udaipur and Aarhus focusing on sustainable urban water management.

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