Water Management

Water management comprises of :

I. Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)

When the integration is done at the River Basin level it is called Integrated River Basin Management.

Every stakeholder wants their share of water resource. IWRM aims to satisfy them sustainably.

Five principles of IWRM :

(i) Water - A Finite and Vulnerable Resource

River Yamuna in Delhi

(ii) Participatory Approach

(iii) Role of Woman

(iv) Social and Economic Value of Water

(v) Integration of 3Es

The 3 Es refer to Economic Efficiency, Equity and Environment Sustainability

II. Water Governance

(a) Definition

(b) Characteristics

(c) Ingredients

Legal instruments, Institutional Capacity and implementation mechanism

III. Water Supply and Waste disposal

(a) Agricultural Use

(i) Supply Infrastructure

River Water

The River is blocked by Dam to store and elevate the water level and create a reservoir.

The water is carried from Dam to field through Canal Network.

Ground Water

Open Well.

Tube Well.

(ii) Treatment Infrastructure

Normally water treatment for river water is not required for Irrigation.

(iii) Waste Disposal

The methods of waste disposal are same irrespective of the source of water. The irrigation water that is not consumed by plants returns to either groundwater or rivers. They have three major pollution loads.

(1) Sediment (2) Nutrients (3) Pesticide


Caused due to erosion of furrows. Few mitigation measures are :


Mainly Nitrogen and Phosphorus from fertilizers. Few mitigation measures (as per Environmental Protection Agency, USA) :


Unused Pesticides flows with the run off.

Few mitigating measures(FAO) :

(b) Drinking Use

(i) Supply Infrastructure


Schematic Diagram of water supply and waste water treatment.

A water intake withdraws water from lake and delivers to water treatment plant.

Dharoi (Gujarat) Intake Structure.


The infrastructure is similar to that shown in lakes after the water is conveyed/pumped from canals to lakes/ponds.

Ground Water

The groundwater extraction is done through open wells and tube wells in rural area and through boring wells in urban area.

(ii) Treatment Infrastructure


The infrastructure required depends upon the quality of raw water. The quality of treated water must be as per the Government prescribed limits. In India the standards are prescribed in the Environmental Protection Act.

Surface Water Treatment Plant Flow Diagram

An Overhead Water Tank


The treatment infrastructure remains the same.

Ground Water

The treatment required for groundwater is generally limited to chemical treatment depending upon raw water quality.


The Ocean water is desalinated to make it worth drinking.

Desalination Plant Flow Diagram

Minjur Desalination Plant, Chennai

The desalination of ocean water is energy intensive and hence costly. However, the technology is improving to make it cheaper and environment friendly.

(iii) Waste Disposal

A waste water treatment plant treats the water before disposal so that it is not environmentally damaging.

Waste Water Treatment Plant Flow Diagram

(c) Industrial Use

Four main industrial sectors require water for production :

(i) Supply Infrastructure

(ii) Treatment Infrastructure

(iii) Waste Disposal

The waste water discharge from industries i.e. effluents have to comply with the Government standards. In India the standards are prescribed in the Environmental Protection Act.

The infrastructure would depend upon the type of industry. Some examples are given :

Coal Mine Water Treatment

Paper and Pulbp Industry

Meat and Poultry Industry

Automobile industry

Textile Industry

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Water and ecology