2 Master Theses
Effects of land use, land management and water management change upon water resources in the meso-scale Pennaiyar catchment in Southern India
We are looking for two motivated master students to prepare their theses in the framework of the above collaborative project.
• Indo-German Centre for Sustainability/Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Contact: Prof. Dr. F. Steinbruch, email@example.com
• Institut für Natur- und Ressourcenschutz der Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel
Contact: Prof. Dr. N. Fohrer; Dr. G. Hörmann, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Institut für Geographie der Universität Augsburg
Contact: Prof. Dr. P. Fiener, email@example.com
Background: Water management in Southern India is traditionally based upon well-established water harvesting structures (retention ponds/lakes, approx. surface are 1-50 ha) partly embedded into an interconnected stream-channel systems. These retention ponds/lakes are either directly used for irrigation or should indirectly contribute to the availability of groundwater irrigation by increasing groundwater recharge. To analyse and model the effects of land use, land management and water management changes within the meso-scale Pennaiyar catchment it is essential to determine storage capacities as well as water fluxes from the small retention structures.
Outline of Master Topics:
Remote sensing based estimate of storage capacities of small to medium size water harvesting ponds/lakes within the Pennaiyar catchment in south India
It is planned to estimate the area and volume of small to medium size water harvesting structures in the Pennaiyar catchment. The estimated maximum areal extend of lakes/ponds (board full status) from existing remote sensing data should be combined with digital elevation data derived from satellite imagery (ASTER, ResourcesSat2, TerraSAR-X) of the dry season, when the ponds fall dry. The remotes sensing based inventory and volume estimates should be validated and corrected with field data to be acquired during field campaigns in the dry season (April-May). The thesis is an important step in refining remote sensing methods to pond/lake inventories. The results contribute to understanding the water retention potential of the overall catchment and are essential to parameterize the hydrological model.
Measuring and modelling infiltration and evaporation in small to medium size water harvesting ponds/lakes within the Pennaiyar catchment in south India
It is planned to carry out in-situ measurements to determine infiltration rates of water at selected representative ponds/lakes in the Pennaiyar catchment. The field tests will be conducted during the dry period (April-May). Measurements will be carried out with double-ring-infiltrometers. Additionally, evaporation will be measured on-site with open evaporation pans which will be set up for the field period. The thesis results are essential to parameterize the hydrological model and contribute to improving calculations of the water budget of the Pennaiyar catchment. It will provide inputs to ongoing interventions towards increasing the efficiency of these water harvesting ponds either for irrigation or for ground water augmentation.
The planned field surveys which are integral part of both master theses can be funded as scholarships from the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability.