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Article

Hydrologic and Cost–Benefit Analysis of Multiple Check Dams in Catchments of Ephemeral Streams, Rajasthan, India

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Vidya Bhawan Polytechnic College, Udaipur 313001, Rajasthan, India
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Vidya Bhawan Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Udaipur 313001, Rajasthan, India
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Department of Soil & Water Engineering, College of Technology and Engineering, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & Technology, Udaipur 313001, Rajasthan, India
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Water Select P/L, 21 Ann St, Stepney, SA 5069, Australia
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CSIRO Land & Water, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia
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National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) & College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia
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School of Science, Western Sydney University, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2767, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thomas M. Missimer
Water 2022, 14(15), 2378; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152378
Received: 7 May 2022 / Revised: 19 July 2022 / Accepted: 20 July 2022 / Published: 31 July 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managed Aquifer Recharge: A key to Sustainability)
Investment in the small-scale enhancement of groundwater recharge through check dams and other recharge structures in rural India is on the order of USD 1 billion/year. However, for any catchment, the optimal capacity of check dams is unknown, and the impacts on downstream flows are rarely determined. This paper describes a method that can be applied to plan recharge augmentation in catchments that have at least one monitored check dam. It was applied in the Dharta catchment of the Aravalli Hills in Udaipur district, Rajasthan, India, where four check dams in an ephemeral stream were monitored by farmers over seven years. For the last three years of this study, the hydrology of two of these check dams was affected by 19 new check dams established upstream. A basic hydrologic model, WaterCress, was calibrated on monitored check-dam storages and used to assess the impacts of the new structures on recharge from those downstream. Then, the model was rerun with a range of capacities of upstream check dams to determine the effects of check-dam capacity on (1) the recharge from the downstream check dam, (2) the total recharge from all check dams, and (3) the frequency of spill from the downstream check dam. Using the available economic information, the benefit–cost ratio was calculated for a range of check-dam capacities. This showed a decline in economic efficiency with each new check dam and defined the optimal capacity. Monsoon size was found to be consequential to results, and longer hydrological records yield more reliable results. The study showed that monitoring check dams, rainfall, and groundwater levels is key to deciding whether additional check dams are economically beneficial. View Full-Text
Keywords: water resources planning; stream hydrologic modelling; economics; dams; managed aquifer recharge; cumulative impacts; optimisation; catchment storage; participatory monitoring water resources planning; stream hydrologic modelling; economics; dams; managed aquifer recharge; cumulative impacts; optimisation; catchment storage; participatory monitoring
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dashora, Y.; Cresswell, D.; Dillon, P.; Maheshwari, B.; Clark, R.; Soni, P.; Singh, P.K. Hydrologic and Cost–Benefit Analysis of Multiple Check Dams in Catchments of Ephemeral Streams, Rajasthan, India. Water 2022, 14, 2378. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152378

AMA Style

Dashora Y, Cresswell D, Dillon P, Maheshwari B, Clark R, Soni P, Singh PK. Hydrologic and Cost–Benefit Analysis of Multiple Check Dams in Catchments of Ephemeral Streams, Rajasthan, India. Water. 2022; 14(15):2378. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152378

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dashora, Yogita, David Cresswell, Peter Dillon, Basant Maheshwari, Richard Clark, Prahlad Soni, and Pradeep Kumar Singh. 2022. "Hydrologic and Cost–Benefit Analysis of Multiple Check Dams in Catchments of Ephemeral Streams, Rajasthan, India" Water 14, no. 15: 2378. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14152378

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