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Tennessee Valley Authority (tva) Model Of Regional Development -- A Case Study Of The Damodar River Valley

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Kumkum Bhattacharyya (Canton, MI, USA), Michael J Wiley
University of Michigan1

Keyword(s): Sub-theme 10: Management of water resources,


The Damodar Valley Corporation set up in 1948, was modeled after the Tennessee Valley Authority in the USA. The TVA model, partially implemented, has been a qualified success in the Damodar River Valley. DVC dams have altered the flow regime and the sediment supply to the river. The capacity of the river to transport the sediment has diminished due to reduction in flow, and as a result a chain of sandbars emerged within the riverbed. The objectives of the present study were to assess the impact of dams on hydro-geomorphological parameters and to map changes in Land-Use / Land Cover.


Frequency analyses of flow and flood data were performed using USACE Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) DSS 2.01 and SSP 1.01 software. We analyzed daily flow and peak-flow data collected from the Rhondia gauging station independently. Dominant discharge analysis was based on total suspended sediment and flow samples taken at the Damodar Bridge site, located below the lower dams. The study has also been conducted with the help of remote sensing and geographic information systems using Survey of India and U.S. Army toposheets and IRS-P6, LISS-III imageries.

Results and Discussion:

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 stabilized and permanently settled by migrated communities. These new riparian communities are now 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 and consequences of rare but devastating floods in the Lower Damodar. The remote sensing analysis of land cover dynamics revealed significant changes occurring in the char land areas of the Damodar River that converted the natural landscape into a hybrid landscape.


Although DVC dams provide many benefits by reducing flood flows, providing irrigation water, and generating electricity, the river is now anthropogenically degraded and a more holistic and integrated catchment management initiative is urgently needed. Collaborative exploration of alternate management scenarios using GIS-based frameworks can help link government policy and action with academic expertise and local stakeholder interests. Our goal should be the establishment of coherent integrated analytical frameworks for both hydrologic/ecological and social impact forecasting. Within such a framework GIS and RS technologies can play an important role in integrating and communicating land use, geomorphic and hydrologic perspectives. The development of such a capacity would place the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and the people of the Domodar's hydraulic societies at the forefront of national water resource and climate change planning and policy development. References:

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2.Bhattacharyya, K.; Wiley, M. J. (2014). Dams, riparian settlement and threat of climate change: A Case Study of the Damodar River, India. In: M. Nusser, (Ed.): Large Dams in Asia: Contested Environments Between Hydro-Power and Resistance. Advances in Asian Human-Environmental Research 2, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York: Springer-Verlag.
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