Advertisement

Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 456–470 | Cite as

Changes in streamflow regime due to anthropogenic regulations in the humid tropical Western Ghats, Kerala State, India

  • George AbeEmail author
  • James Erinjery Joseph
Article

Abstract

Regulation of streamflow by a reservoir creates a flow regime much different from the pre-impoundment period flow regime. Hydro-Electric Projects (HEPs) commissioned in the Western Ghat regions of the Kerala State, India during the last four decades caused considerable changes in the flow regimes of the rivers of the Kerala State in southwest India. In this paper, the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) approach proposed by Richter et al. (1996) is used to analyze flow regime changes in the Periyar and Muvattupuzha Rivers, due to the construction of the Idukki (1976), Idamalayar (1987) and Lower Periyar (1997) HEPs in the high ranges of the Western Ghats. Normal rainfall years (annual rainfall values within mean ± 0.75 standard deviation limits) are only considered in the analysis to focus on hydrologic alterations due to human activities. The mean hydrologic alteration in the Periyar River (deviation from the pre-development hydrologic indicator values) after commissioning of three HEPs is 35%. Inter-basin water transfer after power generation from the Idukki HEP resulted in a higher discharge in the adjacent Muvattupuzha River, leading to considerable changes in the hydro-environment (mean hydrologic alterations varying between 57 to 63%). IHA parameters showing hydrologic alterations above the 67th Percentile were further analyzed. For each of the pre-construction hydrologic parameters ± 1 standard deviation from the mean is set as the upper and lower management target limits. The values of each IHA parameter beyond these targets are considered as non-attainment. Considerable hydrologic alterations are observed, especially for low flows in both basins. Inter-basin transfer induced larger changes in flow parameters compared to intra-basin regulations. The study shows that under a proper water release and diversion scheme, the non-attainment of IHA parameters (values fall beyond the target limits) can be reduced. The findings of the study will be greatly beneficial to regional water management and restoration of an eco-environmental system in the humid tropical region.

Keywords

Range variability approach Hydroelectric projects Humid tropics Flow regime changes Inter-basin regulation Intra-basin regulation 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abe G, Jayakumar P, James EJ (1997) Impact of fresh water diversion on mixing and exchange processes in the Muvattupuzha estuary. Institution of Engineers (India) Journal 77: 186–189.Google Scholar
  2. Arun LK (1998) Status and distribution of fishes in Periyar lakestream systems of Southern-Western Ghats. Fish Genetics and Biodiversity Conservation: National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources Publications, Nature Conservators, Muzaffarnagar, India. pp 492–495.Google Scholar
  3. Benke A (1990) Perspective on America’s vanishing streams, Journal of the North American Benthological Society 9(1): 77–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Central Groundwater Board, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India (2009) Detailed Guidelines for estimation of groundwater estimation methodology. Available online: http://cgwb.gov.in/GW_assessment.html (Assessed on 18 October 2013).Google Scholar
  5. Chulsang Yoo (2006) Long term analysis of wet and dry years in Seoul, Korea. Journal of Hydrology 318(1–4): 24–36.Google Scholar
  6. Dugger KM, et al. (2002) Reproductive success of the interior tem(Sterna antillarum) in relation to hydrology on the lower Mississippi River, River Research and Application 18(2): 97–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Galat DL, Lipkin R (2000) Restoring ecological integrity of great rivers: historical hydrographs aid in determining reference conditions for the Missouri River. Hydrobiologia 422/423: 29–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gopinath G (2003) An integrated hydro-geological study of the Muvattupuzha River basin, Kerala India. PhD Thesis, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, India.Google Scholar
  9. Irina Krasovskala (1995) Quantification of the stability of river flow Regimes. Hydrological Sciences Journal 40(5): 693–711.Google Scholar
  10. James EJ, et al. (1997) Vembanad Kole-wetland system and river basin management, Anonymous, Wetlands and integrated river basin management: experiences in Asia and the Pacific. UNDE/Wetlands International-Asia Pacific, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. pp 183–241.Google Scholar
  11. Johnson WC (1994) Woodland expansion in the Platte River, Nebraska-pattern and causes. Ecological Monographs 64: 45–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Joseph, ML (2004) Status Report on Periyar River. Kerala, India. pp 43–48.Google Scholar
  13. Jowett IG (1997) In-stream flow methods: a comparison of approaches. Regulated Rivers: Research and Management 13: 115–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jowett IG, Barry JF Biggs (2006) Flow regime requirements and the biological effectiveness of habitat-based minimum flow assessments for six rivers. International Journal of River Basin Management 4(3): 179–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Julian D Olden and Poff NL (2003) Redundancy and the choice of hydrologic indices for characterizing streamflow regime. River Research Applications 19: 101–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kingsolving AD, Bain MB (1993) Fish assemblage recovery along a riverine disturbance gradient. Ecological Applications 3: 531–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kurup, BM, Radhakrishnanan KV, Manoj Kumar, TJ (2001) Biodiversity status of fishes inhabiting Rivers of Kerala, India, with special reference to endemism — threats and conservation. Proceedings of the National Symposium, Thiruvananthapuram, India. pp 76–80.Google Scholar
  18. Kurup BM, et al. (2004) Biodiversity status of fishes inhibiting rivers of Kerala (South India), with special reference to endemism, threats and conservation measures. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on the Management of Large Rivers for Fisheries Cambodia. Vol 2. pp 163–182.Google Scholar
  19. KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board) (2005) Fact file on dams. Government of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, India.Google Scholar
  20. Manojkumar TG (2013) Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models of selected endangered and endemic fish species of Kerala. Available online: http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/7983/19/19_chapter%2013.pdf (Assessed on 20 October 2013).Google Scholar
  21. NIUA (2005) Status of water supply, sanitation and solid waste management in urban areas. National Institute of Urban Affairs, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, New Delhi, India.Google Scholar
  22. Pegg MA, Pierce CL, Roy A (2003) Hydrological alteration along the Missouri River Basin: A time series approach. Aquatic Sciences 65: 63–72. DOI: 1015-1621/03/010063-10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Poff NL, Allan JD, Bain MB, et al. (1997) The natural flow regime: a paradigm for river conservation and restoration. BioScience 47: 769–784.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Poff NL, Richter BD, Angela H, et al. (2009) The ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA): a new framework for developing regional environmental flow standards. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Fresh water biology. pp 1–24. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2009.02204.x.Google Scholar
  25. Ramon J Batalla, Carlos MG, Kondolf GM (2004) Reservoir induced hydrological changes in the Ebro River Basin (NE Spain). Journal of Hydrology 290: 117–136. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2003.12.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Richter BD, Jeffrey VB, Jennifer P, et al. (1996) A method for assessing hydrologic alteration within ecosystems. Conservation Biology 10: 1163–1174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Richter BD, Jeffrey VB, Robert W, et al. (1997) How much water does a river need? Fresh water Biology, 37: 231–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Richter BD, Jeffrey VB, David PB, et al. (1998) A spatial assessment of hydrologic alteration within a river network, Regulated rivers. Research and Management 14: 329–340.Google Scholar
  29. Report on Periyar River Basin (2003) Irrigation Division, Ernakulam, Government of Kerala, Water Resources Department, Kerala, India. pp 10–14.Google Scholar
  30. Shiau JT, Wu FC (2004) Assessment of hydrologic alterations caused by Chi-Chi diversion weir in Chou-Shui Creek, Taiwan: opportunities for restoring natural flow conditions. Regulated rivers: Research and Management 20: 401–412.Google Scholar
  31. Sreedharan Sreebha, Damodaran Padmalal (2010) Environmental Impact Assessment of Sand Mining from the Small Catchment Rivers in the Southwestern Coast of India: A Case Study. Environmental Management 47: 130–140. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-010-9571-6.Google Scholar
  32. Stanford JA, Ward JV, William JL, et al. (1996) A general protocol for restoration of regulated rivers. Regulated rivers: Research and Management 12: 391–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Townsend PA, Foster JR (2002) A systematic aperture radarbased model to assess historical changes in lowland floodplain hydro-period, Water Resources Research 38: 20(1)–20(10). DOI: 10.1029/2001WR001046CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, Sub centreKottayamIndia
  2. 2.Water InstituteKarunya UniversityCoimbatoreIndia

Personalised recommendations