Sri Perumbudur - Research Topics in Sustainable Water Resources Management
The city of Chennai is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu and is located at the Bay of Bengal in southern India. The Chennai metropolitan area covering currently 1189 km2 will likely be expanded to an area of about 8000 km2 to include the rapidly growing industrial hubs around the major transport corridors north, west and south of Chennai. Sri Perumbudur is a district located southwest of the so-called IT corridor of the Chennai-Bangalore axis west of Chennai and is one of these growth poles. These emerging growth areas put substantial pressure on the already strained public infrastructure systems of Chennai. The inclusion of these growth poles into the metropolitan area shall enable a more balanced urban development of the region.
It has been recognized that a science-based decision process is required to overcome urban development constraints in the Chennai region. The Indo-German Centre for Sustainability Chennai at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IGCS, IIT Madras) is initiating exploratory research in the interface of today’s Chennai city boundaries and the future inclusion area of Sri Perumbudur. The fields of research focus at aspects of sustainable land use and water resources management in a holistic approach.
The understanding of the hydrological budget of an area, water supply and demand processes, water management and stakeholder participation, rainwater harvesting and artificial aquifer recharge opportunities together with water conservation and water sources protection measures are fundamental for the planning of water infrastructures and the sustainable utilization of the scarce water resources.
There are two main rivers winding from East to West through the city of Chennai, the Coom and Adyar River ending in the Bay of Bengal. The Adyar river system begins in the administrative area of the Sri Perumbudur Taluk about 50 km from the coast and drains water of several man-made interlinked reservoirs, so called tanks. The Chembarambakkam reservoir is the largest and receives surplus water from the Nemam and Sri Perumbudur reservoirs before releasing water into the Adyar River. The Mainmangalam and Pillaipakkam reservoirs release their water directly into the Adyar River. These reservoirs served purposes of irrigation as well as of the supply of drinking water. In addition, the river channel serves as sewage drainage and because, nowadays no surplus water is released into the Adyar River, the channel merely transports sewage water and therefore is highly polluted. The river mouth forms an estuarine with unique fauna and flora.
The below outlined research projects may be implemented as collaborative student projects or individual research topics.
1. Study on the changing water demand of Sriperumbudur for water supply management
This multi-facetted study could become a collaborative student project of students of various disciplines and / or from Germany and from IIT Madras.
• Analyse the demographical patterns over time
• Analyse the economic factors and water users
• Understand environmental, cultural, social and others factors
• Understand legal and regulatory factors
• Construct scenarios for water supply management
2. Study on land use change with special focus on wetlands and water bodies
• Conduct a spatial change analysis of wetlands, water bodies, natural river systems, and retention areas
• Analyse flood events and flood disasters over time
• Understand natural stream systems and the human footprint on these hydrological features
3. Study on water stakeholders for potential participatory management of water issues
The enormous transformation of rural areas with small villages into urban, industrialized areas with the formation of metropolitan regions has been overwhelming for local government entities. New and adequate institutions need to be established to attend to planning and decision needs to overcome informality and inequity.
• Conduct a socio-economical and spatial analysis of the water users, stakeholders and non-stakeholders
• Analyse the traditional and formal mechanisms of water management
• Identify gaps in the institutional framework and propose mechanisms to overcome these gaps
• Identify potentials and encouraging examples for participatory water management
4. Study of the history of the Sriperumbudur tank, Malaipattu tank and other relevant tanks of the Adyar River system
System and non-system tanks have been in use as water storage facilities in India for several thousands of years. These tanks are one efficient solution to store and retain the monsoon precipitation for later use during the dry months. The purposes for which water was stored, go beyond mere storage and include among others aspects of control over the resource and spiritual influence. Nowadays, many of the small tanks are used as dump sites on the one extreme or restored as aquifer recharge areas on the other extreme.
• Conduct a historical survey of the tanks relevant for the Adyar river system
• Analyses the change in utilization of the tank from social, cultural, economic, environmental perspectives
• Document and understand the engineering and human conversion of the natural Adyar river system
Bei Interesse melden bei
Dr. Franziska Steinbruch, Visiting Faculty, Sustainable Water Management, Indo-German Centre for Sustainability, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Dr. Nicola Fohrer
Institut für Natur- und Ressourcenschutz
Abt. Hydrologie und Wasserwirtschaft