An integrated modeling and decision tool for improved drinking water reliability in rural villages of India
Author(s)Gupta, Himani, S.M. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.
Dennis B. McLaughlin and James Wescoat.
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Rural community, which constitutes more than 70% of the total population in India, faces an everyday struggle to meet basic water requirements. The challenges in this struggle are numerous: lack of infrastructure, limited access to new water resources, over-dependence on groundwater resources, and high spatial and temporal variability of monsoon. In addition, these issues are aggravated by the lack of hydrologic and water management understanding among the water using community. To address such problems, water engineers and managers often resort to complicated hydrologic models. These models may capture the global hydrological processes more accurately but their data requirement and set up is highly complicated, let alone the implementation at village scale. This thesis proposes a simpler modeling approach which integrates the local conditions and typical hydrological processes within reasonable assumptions to develop a practical tool which can be used directly by the stakeholders (local water authorities and village community). For prototype model development, we identify a case study of Jivapar village located in Gujarat state of India.We propose a conceptual framework which interlinks components like climate, surface water, groundwater flow, domestic water demand, and pumping for irrigation through water balance approach. Based on this framework, we build a mathematical model to understand the relevance of different system parameters in increasing water system reliability. We use number of days village gets basic water supply as the indicator of system reliability. We calibrate the model by simulating year 2010 as baseline scenario. We also use the model to evaluate the system behavior with respect to changes in climatic conditions, land use, check dam properties and hydrologic parameters like porosity and hydraulic conductivity. We show that factors like evapotranspiration, hydraulic conductivity and properties of check dam bottom soil have significant impact on local water supply. Through the process of model development, scenario simulations, and discussion on policy implications, we illustrate the utility of proposed model in furthering general water system understanding, and in strategic and functional water resources planning through scenario modeling, decision support, policy analysis and infrastructure design.
Thesis: S.M. in Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2015.Thesis: S.M. in Technology and Policy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, Technology and Policy Program, 2015.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 135-141).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil and Environmental Engineering., Engineering Systems Division., Technology and Policy Program.