Large Dams in Asia pp 75-100

Part of the Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research book series (AAHER)

Dams, Riparian Settlement and the Threat of Climate Change in a Dynamic Fluvial Environment

A Case Study of the Damodar River, India
Chapter

Abstract

The Damodar River, a subsystem of the Ganga, has always been flood prone. People as well as governments throughout the centuries have dealt with the caprices of this vital water resource, using structures such as embankments, weirs, barrages and dams. Post-independence the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) constructed four multipurpose dams to facilitate regional development and reduce flood hazards. Post-dam hydrographs show decreased monsoon discharges, reduced peak flow and a shifting of peak flow from July to August to September. Despite the DVC dams, the lower valley is still vulnerable to flooding, because the transport capacity of the river has also been reduced. As a result, the frequency of bank full events today is again similar to that observed in the pre-dam period. Because of the control structures once mobile channel char lands have been stabilised and permanently settled by Bangladeshi refugees. These new riparian communities are threatened by the fluvial environment. Changing patterns in riparian land use, fostered by alterations in flow regime, coupled with the long-term prospect of increased rain variability due to climate change, appear to be increasing the risk of rare but devastating floods in the Lower Damodar.

Keywords

Char lands Climate change Communities Dams Damodar Valley Corporation Fluvial environment Hydrology Geomorphology Water resources 

References

  1. Baghel R, Nüsser M (2010) Discussing large dams in Asia after the World Commission on dams: is a political ecology approach the way forward? Water Altern 3(2):231–248Google Scholar
  2. Basu AK (1989) Ganga Pather Etikatha [History of Ganges, in Bengali]. West Bengal. State Book Board, Calcutta, pp 35–36Google Scholar
  3. Basu M, Bhattacharyya K (1991) Flood disaster reduction measures in the Lower Damodar, West Bengal, India, (Abstr). In: International symposium on flood disaster reduction in South-East Asia, Waseda University, Tokyo, 10–11 NovGoogle Scholar
  4. Batalla RJ, Gomez CM, Kondolf GM (2004) River impoundment and changes in flow regime, Ebro River basin, northeastern Spain. J Hydrol 290:117–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bergkamp G, McCartney M, Dugan P, McNeely J, Acreman M (2000) Dams, ecosystem functions and environmental restoration, World Commission on Dams Thematic Review − Environmental Issues II.1. Secretariat of the World Commission on Dams, Cape TownGoogle Scholar
  6. Bhattacharyya K (1959) Bangla Deshar Nad-Nadi O Parikalpana [River planning of Bengal]. Bidyodaya library Pvt. Ltd., Calcutta, pp 69–87, also reprinted in part Utsa Manus (1990), pp 46–48Google Scholar
  7. Bhattacharyya K (1998) Applied geomorphological study in a controlled tropical river – the case of the Damodar between Panchet reservoir and Falta. The University of Burdwan, BurdwanGoogle Scholar
  8. Bhattacharyya K (1999) Floods, flood hazards and hazard reduction measures: a model – the case in the Lower Damodar River. Indian J Landsc Syst Ecol Stud 22(1):57–68Google Scholar
  9. Bhattacharyya K (2002) Damodar Nad: Band Nirmaner Agge O Pare [Damodar River: in pre and post-dam period in Bengali]. Pratiti, Hooghly, West Bengal, pp 21–46Google Scholar
  10. Bhattacharyya K (2011) The Lower Damodar River, India. Understanding the human role in changing fluvial environment, Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research 3. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bird JF (1980) Geomorphological implications of flood control measures. Aust Geogr Stud 18(2):169–183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Borenstein S (2009) Global warming may require higher dams, stilts. The Associated Press. http://www.physorg.com/news179076522.html. Accessed 3 Dec 2009
  13. Burrough PA, McDonnell RA (1998) Principles of geographical information systems. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Chandra S (2003) India: flood management. Damodar River basin, Integrated flood management. Case studies. WMO/GWP Associated Programme on Flood Management, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  15. Chien N (1985) Changes in river regimes after the construction of upstream reservoirs. Earth Surf Process Landforms 10:143–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chin A, Harris DL, Trice TH, Given JL (2002) Adjustment of stream channel capacity following dam closure, Yegua Creek, Texas. J Am Water Resour Assoc 38:1521–1531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Correia FN, Fordham M, Saraiva MG, Bernado F (1998) Flood hazard assessment and management: interface with the public. Water Resour Manag 12:209–227CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Crutzen PJ, Stoermer EF (2000) The “Anthropocene”. IGBP Newsl 41:17–18Google Scholar
  19. D’Souza R (2006) Drowned and dammed: colonial capitalism and flood control in Eastern India. Oxford University Press, New DelhiCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dasgupta S, Laplante B, Meisner C, Wheeler D, Yan J (2009) The impact of sea level rise on developing countries: a comparative analysis. Clim Chang 93(3–4):379–388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Dickens CH (1853) Memorandum on the survey of the Damodar and question of the abandonment of bunds on the right bank to accompany the map received with superintending engineer South-Eastern Province’s letter No. 1473 13 July, Bengal Govt. Selection 15. 1854. Bengal Military Orphan Press, Calcutta, pp 68–125Google Scholar
  22. Doyle MW, Stanley EH, Harbor JM, Grant GS (2003) Dam removal in the United States: emerging needs for science and policy. EOS Trans Am Geophys Union 84(4):29–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. DVC (Damodar Valley Corporation) (1957) Report of the Lower Damodar Investigation Committee. DVC, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  24. DVC (Damodar Valley Corporation) (1995) Data book. DVC, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  25. Ehlers E (2008) Das Anthropozän: Die Erde im Zeitalter des Menschen. Wissen-schaftliche Buchgesellschaft, DarmstadtGoogle Scholar
  26. EP/EC (European Parliament/European Council) (2000) Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy. http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2000:327:0001:0072:EN:PDF. Accessed 30 May 2011
  27. Gastrell JE (1863) Statistical and geographical report of the District of Bancoorah. Bengal Secretariat Office, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  28. GoI (Government of India) (1980) Report of the National Commission on Flood, vol 2. Ministry of Energy and Irrigation, Department of Irrigation, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  29. Graf WL (1999) Dam nation: a geographic census of American dams and their large-scale hydrologic impacts. Water Resour Res 3:1305–1311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Graf WL (2006) Downstream hydrologic and geomorphic effects of large dams on American Rivers. In: James LA, Marcus WA (eds) The human role in changing fluvial systems. Proceedings of the 37th Binghamton symposium in geomorphology. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 336–360Google Scholar
  31. Grantham T, Christian-Smith J, Kondolf GM, Scheuer S (2008) A fresh perspective for managing water in California: insights from applying the European water framework directive to the Russian river, Water Resources Center contributions 208. University of California, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  32. Kobell R (2007) ‘Reds’ Wolman preaches respect for water supply. Baltimore Sun, 20 August 2007. http://www.jhu.edu/clips/2007_08/20/gulp.html. Accessed 24 Oct 2008
  33. Kondolf GM (1997) Hungry water: effect of dams and gravel mining on river channels. Environ Manag 21(4):533–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kondolf GM, Batalla RJ (2006) Hydrological effects of dams and water diversions on rivers of Mediterranean-climate regions: examples from California. In: Garcia C, Batalla RJ (eds) Catchment dynamics and river processes: Mediterranean and other climate regions. Elsevier, London, pp 197–211Google Scholar
  35. Kundzewicz ZW, Kaczmarek Z (2000) Coping with hydrological extremes. Water Int 25(1):66–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kundzewicz ZW, Schellnhuber H-J (2004) Floods in the IPCC TAR perspective. Nat Hazard 31(1):111–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Maidment DR (ed) (2002) Arc hydro: GIS for water resources. ESRI Press, RedlandsGoogle Scholar
  38. Messerli B, Grosjean M, Hofer T, Núñez L, Pfister C (2000) From nature-dominated to human-dominated environmental changes. Quat Sci Rev 19(1–5):459–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Molle F (2006) Planning and managing water resources at the river basin level: emergence and evolution of a concept, Comprehensive assessment research report 16. International Water Management Institute, ColomboGoogle Scholar
  40. O’Malley LSS, Chakravarti M (1909) Bengal District Gazetteers (Howrah). Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  41. O’Malley LSS, Chakravarti M (1912) Bengal District Gazetteers (Hooghly). Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  42. Pahl-Wostl C, Craps M, Dewulf A, Mostert E, Tabara D, Taillieu T (2007) Social learning and water resources management. Ecol Soc 12(2):5. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol12/iss2/art5/. Accessed 17 June 2010Google Scholar
  43. Pangare G, Nielsen TK, Bhatia AM, Makin IW (2009) Innovations and advances in basin management in Asia. Discussion paper. http://www.adb.org/documents/events/2009/world-water-week/GPangare-Fpaper.pdf. Accessed 5 Jan 2010
  44. Petts GE (1984) Impounded rivers: perspectives for ecological management. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  45. Richter BD, Postel S, Revenga C, Scudder T, Lehner B, Churchill A, Chow M (2010) Lost in development’s shadow: the downstream human consequences of dams. Water Altern 3(2):14–42Google Scholar
  46. Roy PK, Mazumdar A (2005) Hydrologic impacts of climatic variability on water resources of Damodar river basin in India. In: Wagener T, Franks S, Gupta HV, Bøgh E, Bastidas L, Nobre C, Oliveira Galvão C (eds) Regional hydrological impacts of climatic change. Impact assessment and decision making, IAHS Red Books 295. IAHS, Wallingford, pp 147–156Google Scholar
  47. Sage WM, Simms FW, Mc’Lelland J (1846) Report on the embankments of the rivers of Bengal. Military Orphan Press, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  48. Saha SK (1981) River basin planning as a field study: design of a course structure for practitioners. In: Saha SK, Barrow CJ (eds) River basin planning theory and practice. Wiley, Chichester, pp 9–40Google Scholar
  49. Saha SK, Barrow CJ (1981) Introduction. In: Saha SK, Barrow CJ (eds) River basin planning theory and practice. Wiley, Chichester, pp 1–7Google Scholar
  50. Sen SK (1962) Drainage study of lower Damodar Valley. DVC, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  51. Sen PK (1985a) Environmental changes and degradation in the Damodar basin: impact of development on environment. Geogr Soc India Calcutta 1:6–12Google Scholar
  52. Sen PK (1985b) The genesis of flood in the lower Damodar catchment (with a case study of the September–October, 1978 flood). In: Sen PK (ed) The concepts and methods in geography. The University of Burdwan, Burdwan, pp 71–85Google Scholar
  53. Sengupta DN (1951) An outline of the river problems of West Bengal. Calcutta General Printers and Publishers, Calcutta, pp 31–63Google Scholar
  54. Stevenson RJ, Wiley MJ, Gage SH, Lougheed VL, Riseng CM, Bonnell P, Burton TM, Hough RA, Hyndman DW, Koches JK, Long DT, Pijanowski BC, Qi J, Steinman AD, Uzarski DG (2008) Chapter 19: Watershed science: essential, complex, multidisciplinary and collaboratory. In: Ji W (ed) Wetland and water resource modeling and assessment a watershed perspective. Taylor & Francis, London, pp 231–246Google Scholar
  55. Turner BL, Clark WC, Kates RW, Richards JF, Mathews JT, Meyer WB (eds) (1990) The earth as transformed by human action. Cambridge University Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  56. UNESCO (1971a) Discharge of selected rivers of the world, vol 11. UNESCO, Paris, p 101Google Scholar
  57. UNESCO (1971b) Discharge of selected rivers of the world, vol 111. UNESCO, Paris, p 59Google Scholar
  58. UNESCO (1979) Discharge of selected rivers of the world, vol 111 (part 111). UNESCO, Paris, p 59Google Scholar
  59. UNESCO (1985) Discharge of selected rivers of the world, vol 111 (part IV). UNESCO, Paris, p 77Google Scholar
  60. Voorduin WL (1947) Preliminary memorandum on the unified development of the Damodar River. Central Technical Power Board, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  61. WCD (World Commission on Dams) (2000) Dams and development. A new framework for decision making. Earthscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  62. White GF (ed) (1977) Environmental effects of complex river development. Papers from a symposium of the International Geographical Union. Westview Press, BoulderGoogle Scholar
  63. Wiley MJ, Pijanowski BC, Stevenson RJ, Seelbach PW, Richards PL, Riseng C, Hyndman DW, Koches JM (2008) Chapter 20: Integrated modeling of the Muskegon River: tools for ecological risk assessment in a Great Lakes Watershed. In: Ji W (ed) Wetland and water resource modeling and assessment: watershed perspective. Taylor & Francis, LondonGoogle Scholar
  64. Wiley MJ, Hyndman DW, Pijanowski BC, Kendall AD, Riseng C, Rutherford ES, Cheng ST, Carlson ML, Tyler JA, Stevenson RJ, Steen PJ, Richards PL, Seelbach PW, Koches JM, Rediske RR (2010) A multi-modeling approach to evaluating climate and land use change impacts in a Great Lakes river basin. Hydrobiologia 657(1):243–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Willcocks W (1930) The overflow irrigation of Bengal. Lectures on the ancient system of irrigation in Bengal and its application to modern problems. Calcutta University, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
  66. Williams GP, Wolman MG (1984) Downstream effect of dams on alluvial rivers. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1286Google Scholar
  67. Zalasiewicz J, Williams M, Smith A, Barry TL, Coe AL, Bown PR, Brenchley P, Cantrill D, Gale A, Gibbard P, Gregory FJ, Hounslow MW, Kerr AC, Pearson P, Knox R, Powell J, Waters C, Marshall J, Oates M, Rawson P, Stone P (2008) Are we now living in the Anthropocene? GSA Today 18(2):4–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of Central ArkansasConwayUSA
  2. 2.School of Natural Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations