This report examines aspects of hydrological and environmental feasibility of interbasin water transfers in India and forms part of the larger research project which deals with multiple aspects of the National River Linking Project. The study uses the water transfer links in and out of the Krishna River Basin as examples. It reviews the hydrological and environmental sections of existing national feasibility reports, analyzes the methodology used for the assessment of surface water availability for each transfer and illustrates the potential environmental impacts of the transfers in the deltas of the Godavari and Krishna rivers. It is shown that the planning process, as presented, has not considered the variability of flow within a year, which is high in monsoon-driven Indian rivers. As a result, much more water may be perceived to be originally available at a site of transfer. The use of alternative techniques, such as a low-flow spell analysis and a storage-yield analysis, to reevaluate the availability of the surface water at proposed transfer sites is advocated.
Smakhtin, V.; Gamage, M. S. D. N.; Bharati, L. Hydrological and environmentalissues of interbasin water transfers in India: A case of the Krishna River Basin. International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2007) 35 pp. ISBN 978-92-9090-682-7 (IWMI Research Report 120)