Government of India Government of The Netherlands
DHV Consultants BV & DELFT HYDRAULICS
in association with
HALCROW - TAHAL - CES - ORG - JPS
Table of Contents
1.1 The Project...............................................................................................................page 1 - 1
1.2 Role of the Consultants...........................................................................................page 1 - 2
1.3 Organisation of the Inception Report.....................................................................page 1 - 5
2 Hydrological Information Needs
2.1 Functions of the water system ................................................................................page 2 - 1
2.2 Priority settings, legislation and constraints...........................................................page 2 - 2
2.3 Hydrological Data User Groups.............................................................................page 2 - 4
2.4 Hydrological Information System..........................................................................page 2 - 5
3 Implementation issues
3.1 Institutional Strengthening.....................................................................................page 3 - 2
3.2 Surface Water and Hydrometeorology ..................................................................page 3 - 6
3.3 Ground Water..........................................................................................................page 3 - 8
3.4 Water Quality ........................................................................................................page 3 - 11
3.5 Data Base Management and Communication .....................................................page 3 - 14
3.6 Training Services...................................................................................................page 3 - 16
3.7 Project management support ................................................................................page 3 - 19
4 Project management support
4.1 The process approach applied in the Project .........................................................page 4 - 1
4.2 The Concept of Institutional Development............................................................page 4 - 1
4.3 The Annual Project Cycle.......................................................................................page 4 - 1
4.4 Organisation of the Technical Assistance..............................................................page 4 - 2
4.5 State Management Consultants ..............................................................................page 4 - 3
4.6 MIS for Monitoring Project Activities...................................................................page 4 - 4
5 Activities for the first year of the consultancy
5.1 Introduction .............................................................................................................page 5 - 1
5.2 General Support to Project Implementation ..........................................................page 5 - 2
5.3 Hydrology Information System..............................................................................page 5 - 6
5.4 Surface Water and Hydrometeorology ..................................................................page 5 - 8
5.5 Groundwater..........................................................................................................page 5 - 12
5.6 Water Quality ........................................................................................................page 5 - 17
5.7 Data base management and communication........................................................page 5 - 22
5.8 Training Services...................................................................................................page 5 - 34
5.9 Activity schedules.................................................................................................page 5 - 45
6 Staffing requirements of Consultancy Services to Hydrology Project
6.1 Inception Phase .......................................................................................................page 6 - 1
6.2 Proposed Staffing October 1996 - December 1997...............................................page 6 - 2
6.3 Staffing Schedules.................................................................................................page 6 - 16
1. The Hydrology Project .........................................................................................Annex 1 - 1
2. State and Agency Specific Issues.........................................................................Annex 2 - 1
3. Supplementary Training Information ..................................................................Annex 3 - 1
AAS Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometre
AE Assistant Engineer
AEE Assistant Executive Engineer
AHG Assistant Hydro-geologist
ARG Autographic Rain Gauge
ARO Asssistant Research Officer
AWLR Automaatic Water Level Recorder
CDO Central Design Office
CE Chief Engineer
CGWB Central Ground Water Board
CRO Chief Research Officer
CWC Central Water Commission
CWPRS Central Water Power Research Station
DBM Data Base Management
DOICAD Department of Irrigation and Command Area Development
EE Executive Engineer
FCS Full Climatic Station
GC Gas Chromatograph
GSDA Groundwater Survey & Development Agency
GWD Ground Water Directorate
HDUG Hydrological Data User Group
HIDAP Hydrological Institution Development Action Plan
HIS Hydrological Information System
HP Hydrology Project
HTC Hydrology Training Committee
IMD India Meteorological Department
JE Junior Engineer
MIS Management Information System
MOWR Ministry Of Water Resources
NCC National Coordination Committee
NIH National Institute for Hydrology
NLSC National Level Steering Committee
PCS Project Coordination Secretariate
RO Research Officer
SAR Staff Appraisal Report
SE Senior Engineer
SGW State Ground Water department
SHG Senior Hydro-geologist
SLCC State Level Coordination Committee
SMC State Management Consultant
SRG Standard Rain Gauge
SRO Senior Research Officer
SSW State Surface Water department
STO Senior Technical Officer
SW Surface water
SWDC State Water Data Centre
WALMI Water And Land Management Institute
WQ Water quality
WRIC Water Resources Investigation Circle
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 1: Introduction Page 1 - 1
Chapter 1 Introduction
1.1 The Project
The Hydrology Project, as briefly described in Annex I, aims at developing comprehensive, easily
accessed, and user-friendly databases covering all aspects of the hydrological cycle, including
surface water and ground water in terms of quantity and quality and climatic measurements,
particularly of rainfall. This would assist in the development of more reliable and spatially
intensive data on the quantity and quality of water resources, and in making information available,
from computerised data banks, for planning and management of water resources and other
legitimate uses. This goal is to be achieved by improvement of institutional and organisational
arrangements, technical capabilities, and physical facilities available for collection and processing
and exchange of hydrological and hydro-meteorological data. The Project concerns many
organisations, both at central and State level. The central agencies involved are the Central Water
Commission (CWC), Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), National Institute of Hydrology
(NIH), Central Water and Power Research Station (CWPRS), and the India Meteorological
Department (IMD). At the State level, the relevant organisations are the Irrigation and Ground
Water Departments in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra,
Orissa and Tamil Nadu.
The World Bank, through the International Development Association, signed on 22 September
1995 a Development Credit Agreement and Project Agreement with the Government of India and
the participating States to execute the Hydrology Project (Credit No. 2774-IN). The amount of the
credit is 90.1 million Special Drawing Rights (USD 142 million equivalent). The total cost of the
project is estimated at USD 162.4 million. The project is to be implemented in a period of six
years (1995/96 to 2000/2001). The credit became effective on 20 December 1995.
The World Bank's Staff Appraisal Report (14 July 1995) includes a Technical Assistance (TA)
component to assist the Central and State agencies in the implementation of the Hydrology
Project. The Governments of India and The Netherlands, in consultation with The World Bank,
have agreed to finance this Technical Assistance under the bilateral Indo-Dutch programme
through a grant equivalent to USD 17.38 million. The grant is of an untied nature and includes the
remuneration for consultancy services and overseas training. The agreement with the Consultant
was signed early July 1996.
The contract for the execution of the required consultancy services under the TA component has
been awarded to DHV Consultants BV of The Netherlands, which has established a joint venture
with DELFT HYDRAULICS, also of The Netherlands. The joint venture will implement the
Project in association with HALCROW (UK), TAHAL (Israel), and the following national
consulting firms: JPS and Associates, ORG and CES. The technical assistance activities are
divided among four task groups:
Task Group I : General Coordination and Managerial Services
Task Group II : Technical Services
Task Group III : Institutional Development
Task Group IV : Training Services
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 1: Introduction Page 1 - 2
Task Groups I and III form the axis of the consultancy. These Task Groups assist the agencies in
the overall management of the Hydrology Project, the implementation of HIDAPs (Hydrological
Institutional Development Action Plans) and organisation of annual HDUG (Hydrological Data
User Group) meetings. Task Groups II and IV are supportive to Task Groups I and III.
The Consultant mobilised in May 1996, May 1 being the official starting date of the Consultancy.
A temporary office has been established in now Delhi, awaiting the completion of the permanent
office in the CSMRS building. During the Inception Phase about 20 consultants were mobilised,
including some short-term experts and five of the State Management Consultants i.e. in Orissa,
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Mobilisation for other States has since been
completed. Short-term Consultants were mobilised to assist CWC and CGWB in the finalisation
of specifications of equipment to be procured shortly, and to assist PCS in the preliminary design
of a Management Information System (MIS) for project progress monitoring.
1.2 Role of the Consultant
1.2.1 General observations
There are three distinct responsibilities related to implementation of the Hydrology Project. First,
the responsibility for physical implementation -- the "investment part" of the project. This
responsibility lies with the surface and groundwater organisations in the States and at the central
level. These organisations are concerned with developing action plans, translating these into
physical procurement plans, staffing plans, etc. and ultimately carrying out these plans. The
second type of responsibility is for coordination of the activities undertaken by the different
organisations. This responsibility lies with the National Level Coordination Committee (NLSC).
For the management of day-to-day affairs, this Committee is supported by the Project
Coordination Secretariat (PCS). Both the implementing organisations and the PCS are provided
with the consultancy services described above. The responsibility of the Consultant is to provide
technical assistance to the State and Central Organisations, regarding the translation of the broad
outlines for investment, as laid out in the World Bank Staff Appraisal Report (SAR), into actual
procurement plans, and to provide support to the PCS for general coordination and monitoring of
progress on project implementation. This responsibility of the Consultant is one at arm's length,
i.e. by commenting on activity and procurement plans, and advising PCS on possible action on
these comments. The responsibility for the actual drawing up of plans, for intervention, etc.
remains with the implementing and coordinating organisations of the Government of India,
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 1: Introduction Page 1 - 3
1.2.2 Basic processes for project implementation
Progress on project implementation can be measured at two levels, that of the inputs and that of
the impact of the outputs. Aside from project impact, GOI and the World Bank focus on
procurement and, as a measure thereof, on disbursement. Consequently, rightly or wrongly, the
implementing organisations feel pressure to procure the items presented in the SAR. However,
procurement is only possible with properly sanctioned budgets. In this regard, there are two
distinct phases, budget preparation and budget implementation. Both phases involve specific
Budget preparation is based on long, medium, and short term planning of activities, and
prioritising these plans with those for other activities to be funded from a finite Government
budget. While the budget for the Project activities is safeguarded in the Loan agreement with the
World Bank, at the implementing agency level it is nevertheless necessary to include the activities
in the budgeting process, as recovery from the loan is in the form of reimbursement of expenses.
Furthermore, Project implementation is not only a matter of procurement; it also involves staffing,
office facilities, etc. Many of these latter concerns must be taken into account in the planning
process of which budgeting is essentially only one aspect.
Budget implementation is the process by which allocated funds are actually spent for their
intended purpose. Budgets are not released in their entirety to implementing organisations. Rather,
this is generally done in phases, depending on approved actual fund requirements (sometimes
based on "slices" of the total budget). For fund requirements to be approved, they must be in line
with existing Government policies and regulations regarding recruitment, purchasing, etc. These,
however, may not be in line with Project specifications and requirements.
The intricacies of the procedures for budget preparation and implementation often delay progress
on project implementation. As a result, felt pressure on the implementing organisations to procure,
to train, to re-deploy, etc. further increases. Ultimately, this could create a situation in which
actions are taken without critical review, only to be seen to act. While this may initially satisfy
input requirements, the intended impact of the Project may eventually become diluted.
1.2.3 Approach to be taken by the Consultant
The main role of the Consultant is in advising the implementing agencies to ensure that the Project
achieves the desired impact. So it is the critical review in which the Consultant would be
expected to play the major role. Notwithstanding, it is first necessary to relieve some of the
pressure on the organisations. Hence, the Consultant will focus first on getting the Project off the
ground, by working with the implementing organisations to pinpoint the obstacles in planning and
plan implementation, and developing ways to overcome these obstacles. At a somewhat later
stage, once the organisations have become comfortable with the Project and related procedures,
the opportunity will be created to reflect more fundamentally on the Project objectives and how
they can be achieved using a process approach. At that time, desired outputs and impacts will be
identified more specifically, and it will be possible to develop progress indicators. The Consultant
wishes to stress that this should be done in collaboration with the implementing organisations
themselves, through a planning process aimed at developing understanding of and commitment to
Project objectives. This may incorporate (elements of) logical framework analysis (LFA) and
objective oriented project planning (OOPP).
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 1: Introduction Page 1 - 4
As described, the ultimately intended role of the Consultants will be one of facilitation. In this
manner, the existence of the Consultant will become a catalyst for progress by the individual
participating organisations. Already today, the States have to various degrees advanced project
implementation with regard to network design, procurement, building, staffing and training.
However, the reality is that in the short term some of the organisations are still constrained in
performing their role in the Project. Constraints were observed in (a) assessing and/or reviewing
requirements, (b) adequate phasing of construction works, procurement, and staffing, (c)
coordination among implementing organisations, (d) integrating planning of different
components. Therefore, in certain cases the Consultant may have to take the initiative, for
example in designing a management information system for monitoring of progress on the Project
activities, in developing planning formats to be used by the States in the annual project cycle, in
discussing the principles of the process approach and in developing guidelines for integrated
HIDAPs. The Consultant proposes to take these initiatives in partnership with the implementing
organisations, i.e. in close consultation and collaboration. This will assist the organisations to
advance along the learning curve as rapidly as possible, making it possible for the Consultant to
gradually concentrate more on facilitating the organisations' own activities under the Project, thus
providing maximum potential for sustainability of the Project's impact.
1.2.4 Activities planned for the short term
As the consultants cover a considerable number of professional disciplines, proper attention will
be given to team building. Exchange of views within the team is to enhance consistency in the
goals and approach of the team. Subsequently, the Consultant will assist the State teams to
visualise possible/desirable ways of cooperation and conjunctive analysis and use of the
First and foremost, during the coming year the Consultant will emphasise support to the States
and the Central organisations to strengthen their project coordination and management. At the
same time the Consultant will be able to investigate and analyse the constraints and opportunities
with regard to State SW and GW integration and enhancing complementarity in the services of
State and Central organisations. In the direct interaction with the States, the concept and
objectives of institutional development shall be explored and clarified.
In order to strengthen project management, an information system is being developed and
introduced. State Management Consultants will support the State teams. Each State Level
Coordination Committee will be requested and assisted to produce one combined action plan for
1997-1998. In November two parallel workshops will be organised for the States on how to
prepare integrated plans, whereby activities of the different agencies will be coordinated and
synchronised. At the end of January one workshop at the Central level will be held to finalise the
HIDAP documents for the States and for the Central agencies.
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 1: Introduction Page 1 - 5
1.3 Organisation of the Inception Report
This introductory chapter presents the Project as it relates to the agreements, between the GOI and
the donor organisations, and the role and approach proposed to be taken by the Consultant. In
Chapter 2 a preliminary assessment is given of the hydrological data need, together with an
outline of the proposed Hydrological Information System. A summary of issues related to
implementing the Project is presented in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 discusses Project Management
Support to be provided by the Consultant, including the dedicated Management Information
System being developed. Chapter 5 contains a description of the project activities in the first year,
followed by the related first year staffing requirements for the Consultant’s team in Chapter 6.
The annexes to this report provide additional details. Annex 1 presents in some detail the
objectives and necessary inputs of the Project. A report on findings of the Consultant’s
Identification Mission to the individual Project States and the central agencies is presented in
Annex 2. Finally, because of the attention for short-term training activities, a presentation of
proposed training programs is included in Annex 3.
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 2: Hydrological information needs Page 2 - 1
Chapter 2 Hydrological information needs
The ultimate objective of the Hydrology Project is to develop a sustainable Hydrological
Information System (HIS), which provides reliable data on surface water and ground water
quantity and quality. Such HIS includes all components and activities from sensing hydrological
and meteorological parameters to the dissemination of the data to the data users. The main
components of a HIS are the monitoring network for collecting the data and the data centre where
the data are stored, validated, processed and disseminated (Section 2.4). Efficiency requires that
all activities in a HIS are well tuned to each other to provide the required data timely in proper
form and at minimum cost.
In the set up of a HIS the first question to be addressed is the type of information the system has to
provide as this determines the layout of the observation network (parameters, network density,
observation frequency, equipment) and the data availability in the database. The type of
information to be provided requires an analysis of the (potential) hydrological data users (Section
2.3). Their data needs follow from their mandates in case of governmental organisations or objec-
tives when dealing with NGOs and the private sector (Section 2.2).
The required information may refer to historical data, when dealing with planning and design, but
also to real-time data and forecasts of water quantity and water quality parameters in case of
operational management of water resources/use systems. To identify potential users of the HIS the
functions of the surface and groundwater systems have to be known (Section 2.1).
2.1 Functions of the water system
The functions of the surface and groundwater systems in the Hydrology Project and the use of
Drinking water supply: data are required to assess the present and future availability covering
quantity and reliability aspects of potable water fulfilling high quality standards and to design
measures to improve the water quantity and quality;
Industrial water supply: data are required to assess the present and future availability of
process/cooling water fulfilling certain limited quality standards;
Discharge of effluents: data are required to identify and monitor the type, quantum and
concentration of pollutants in the effluents;
Agriculture: data are required to assess the present and future water availability vis-à-vis water
needs for crops;
Irrigation: water quantity and quality data are required for the design and operation of irrigation
schemes, spillways and reservoirs. Spillway design requires data on extreme rainfall and river
flows, whereas the design of reservoirs calls for data on the historical river regime.
For the operation of the system data on water demands, rainfall, river stages and flows (quantity
and quality) in real-time and as forecasts are needed;
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 2: Hydrological information needs Page 2 - 2
Hydropower: data are required for the design and operation of micro, mini and macro-
hydropower systems, often in combination with water use for irrigation and flood management
measures. For the data requirements see under irrigation;
Forestry: data are required on the variation of groundwater levels and on water quality;
Fishery: data are required on water depth, flow velocities and water quality;
Flood management: design includes e.g. embankments along rivers and canals, culverts and
bridges to bypass floods under roads and railways. It requires data on temporal and spatial
distribution of extreme rainfall, on discharge extremes and river stages; such data is needed to
derive at return periods of extreme values to be encountered;
Nature conservation: environmental protection: data are required on the natural river stage and
flow regime, flow velocities, variation of groundwater levels, water quality and of effects on
Recreation data are required on water quality conditions, water levels and flow velocities;
Navigation is not of much economic importance on the rivers under the Hydrology Project, for
the present, but is mentioned here as a (potential future) surface water function for the sake of
2.2 Priority settings, legislation and constraints
2.2.1 National Water Policy
Data needs of governmental agencies follow from their mandates embedded in legislation and
water policies. The National Water Policy sets the following water allocation priorities:
• Drinking water needs of human beings and animals are the first to charge on any available
• Industrial and other uses.
The priorities may, however, be modified if considered necessary in particular regions with
reference to area specific considerations.
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 2: Hydrological information needs Page 2 - 3
2.2.2 Constitutional and Legal Aspects of Water Resources
Under the Indian Constitution, every State Government has the power to legislate in respect of
water, and can exercise this power for the whole or any part of the state. The state's authority
extends to all works for use and control of water within its jurisdiction. Thus, water and its
development is primarily a state subject.
The Union has the power under the Constitution to legislate through Parliament for the regulation
and development of interstate river basins. Thus, the authority of the State Government over
water can be exercised within such limitation as may be imposed by law by Parliament, but the
Union - except with the State Governments concurrence - cannot acquire the rights of user or of
constructing water development works within a state. Except with regard to a few specific
projects (for example the Damodar Valley Development), Parliament has not considered it
expedient to impose any general limitations on the development of interstate rivers and their
Parliament gave authority to the Central Government under the River Boards Act of 1956 to set
up a River Board for any interstate river, but the Boards are entirely advisory and cannot restrict
or control State Governments regarding water. The Constitution authorises Parliament to provide
for the adjudication of any dispute between the riparian States regarding use of water in an
interstate river or basin by law. Using this provision, Parliament passed the Interstate Water
Disputes Act of 1956, which sets out the conditions under which a water dispute can arise, and
authorises Central Government to refer any water dispute, which cannot be settled by interstate
agreement, to a judicial tribunal for adjudication. In this respect, any of the riparian states can also
ask GOI to set up a tribunal. The tribunal findings are regarded as final for a specified period of
the award - typically about 50 years.
Under the rights laid down by the Constitution, the power to legislate the control of groundwater
development rests with the State Governments. The degree to which the states have exercised this
power to date has been minimal.
As clearly documented in the SAR, the monitoring networks, equipment and practices and
exchange of data is lacking and need strengthening and upgrading. The problems can largely be
attributed to weaknesses in the institutional infrastructure within the agencies and between the
agencies. The agencies are short of skilled staff, due to lack of training and frequent transfers in a
weak-hydrological oriented environment; a career in surface water hydrology e.g. does not exist.
This resulted in an overall neglect in maintenance of instruments and installation and lead to their
dysfunctioning. Money was not available for replacements. Procurement procedures and
disbursements of funds are often very lengthy, which frustrates timely implementation and
reduces motivation and enthusiasm of the concerned staff. Standardisation of equipment,
procedures and exchange of information are strongly hampered by the absence of an interagency
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 2: Hydrological information needs Page 2 - 4
2.3 Hydrological Data User Groups (HDUG)
During the Inception Phase the Mission met with the Hydrological Data User Groups (HDUG) in
the various states to make a preliminary assessment of the hydrological data requirements. This
information is an important input in the design of the observation networks and the databases and
processing procedures. In most states the composition of the HDUG appeared to be very limited.
Often the HDUGs comprised hardly more than the data providers. NGOs and private companies
were usually not included. Therefore, a critical review is required of potential data users to be
included in the HDUGs. Based on the functions of the surface and groundwater systems the
following list of potential data users can be drawn up:
• State Surface Water Department
• Central Water Commission
• State Ground Water Department
• Central Ground Water Board
• India Meteorological Department
• Irrigation Departments
• State Pollution Control Board
• Water Supply and Sewerage Board
• Geology and Mines Department
• Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board
• Public Health Department
• Hydropower Corporations
• Thermal Power Corporations
• Industries and Commerce Department
• Agricultural Department
• Fisheries Department
• Forestry Department
• Development Authorities
• Roads Department
• Railways Department
• Drought Monitoring Cell
• Tourist Board
• Remote Sensing Agencies
• Ministry of Transport (for navigation)
• Ministry of Environment and Forest
• Chambers of Commerce
• Water Users Associations
• Farmers Development Agencies
• Environmental Protection Organisations
• Tourist Organisations
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 2: Hydrological information needs Page 2 - 5
• Industries: e.g. Paper Mills, Fibre Industries, Cotton Mills,
• Engineering Consultants
The States have expressed a desire for assistance by the Consultant in the identification of
information needs. Accordingly, the Consultant has been requested to prepare and appropriate
draft questionnaire for consideration by the HDUG.
Items to be addressed in the questionnaire include:
• description of data user (name, sector, mandate, provided services, staffing and financing)
• water system use (present and future) with respect to quantity, quality and responsibility
• data use and requirements (parameters, type, required as forecasts, real time or historical
data, frequency of availability, in what form, accuracy, consequences if not available,
appreciation of present status of data supply).
2.4 Hydrological Information System (HIS)
After the analysis of the hydrological data needs in view of considerations discussed in the
preceding sections, the components of the Hydrological Information System can be developed and
the activities specified. A Hydrological Information System, generally, comprises of the following
• an observation network, to obtain the field data;
• a data centre, to validate, process and disseminate the data;
• communication systems to transfer the data from the field to the data centre and exchange
data between databases, and provide information to data users.
Basically, the HIS should provide information on water as a resource to technical administrators,
data users, and the public. This information should aim at meeting a variety of purposes such as:
• assessing total water resources;
• to plan, to design, and to operate water projects;
• to assess the impacts of such projects on the future economy and future environmental
• the impact on urban hydrology and afforestation;
• to provide information to the public against naturals or manmade hazards caused by
excess or too little water.
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 2: Hydrological information needs Page 2 - 6
The HIS should be able to provide information on water as a source, its spatial and temporal
distribution, its dependability, and finally its quality. With fast growing population and rapid
urbanisation there is an ever increasing demand for water related information. The HIS has to be
designed and observation network planning has to be done for quick start of the project. Later on
modification can be carried out as per need of data users. Based on a first analysis of the
information on data needs and of the number and type of data providers a provisional set up of the
HIS has been made, which is presented below.
The data collected by the state organisations will be stored in hydrological databases located at the
State Data Centres. The data collected by the central organisations in the states will also be
available in the hydrological databases at the district/circle/regional offices and the headquarters
of the central organisations. A database therefore consists of:
• a meta information system, which describes the availability of data in all databases, and
• a state/organisation specific information system, containing the field and processed data
of a particular state or central organisation
State and central organisations will be linked with the general database in the Data Centre
through Data Processing Centres (DPC). A DPC comprises a local database embedded in a
dedicated surface/groundwater database management and processing system. Each state and
central organisation will operate its own dedicated system to execute its data validation and
processing activities. These dedicated systems communicate with the state database only for
storage and retrieval of field and/or processed data. In this set up the HIS comprises the following
Network component, (field offices and stations) including:
• surface water quantity and quality network;
• ground water quantity and quality network;
• meteorological network.
Data centres, comprising:
• data collection and primary processing centres at the sub-divisional and divisional
• data processing centres (using dedicated software) at the state and central surface and
ground water organisations and at the meteorological office in the State;
• the state hydrological databases at the State Data Centre;
• hydrological databases at the regional and national headquarters of the central
Communication systems, to exchange data between:
• sites and the (sub)-divisional offices;
• (sub)-divisional offices and the data processing centres;
• data processing centres and the state database;
• databases of the states and of the central organisations.
The hydrological data users will be accommodated in the state surface or groundwater data centres
to communicate with the hydrological database, using the dedicated database management and
processing systems available in those centres. These components and the communication between
them are depicted in Fig. 2.1 below.
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 2: Hydrological information needs Page 2 - 7
Figure 2.1: Outline of the HIS
Hydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 2: Hydrological information needs Page 2 - 8
In the HIS the following activities take place:
At the station:
• sampling of hydrological, hydrogeological and hydro-meteorological parameters;
• manual elaboration of flow velocity measurements;
• analysis of water and sediment samples;
• entry of data in registers and transfer of the registers and forms filled-in to the sub-
At the sub-divisional office:
• collection and storage of field data ;
• entry of field data in computer files;
• recomputation of discharges from flow velocity measurements;
• ground water levels from DWLRs;
• primary validation of field data;
• feed-back to the station in case of erroneous data;
• transfer of data to the divisional office;
• inspection and maintenance of sampling equipment at the stations;
• station catalogue for each station.
At the divisional office:
• collection of computerised field data from the sub-divisional offices;
• analysis of water quality samples and entry of the results in computer files;
• transfer of field data to the surface or groundwater data centre;
• administration and accounting.
• validation of data
At the data processing centre:
• collection of the computerised field data from the divisional offices;
• entry of field data in the local database;
• transfer of field data to the state database;
• retrieval of data from the state database for validation;
• secondary validation, correction, completion and compilation of the field data;
• transfer of the processed data, for which the organisation is responsible, to the state
• preparation of yearbooks.
At the state/regional (i.e. central) data centre:
• management of the database;
• updating of the data availability;
• control of access by the state and central organisations;
• control of access by HDUs;
• communication with other data centres.
The general layout of the HIS will be determined in a workshop in November 1996 and more
details are provided in Chapter 5.
State Data Centre
DPC - CWC
Sub - Division
SSW - DPC
Sub - Division
SGW - DPC
Sub - Division
DPC - CGWB
Sub - Division
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 1
Chapter 3 Implementation issues
The development of an integrated Hydrological Information System as outlined in the previous
Chapter involves a number of different elements and aspects. The individual system elements to
be developed are the networks for generating primary data in (units of) the participating
organisations dealing with surface water, groundwater, hydrometeorology, and water quality,
together with the relevant data processing and validation systems. This entails a scientific
review for total optimization and representative character of each network, to enable
development of an overall HIS by integration through data exchange of independent systems in
the different organisations. The individual data collection and processing systems will thus
become deconcentrated elements in the HIS.
Across these system elements there are three general aspects to be addressed in the Project.
These are the institutional constraints faced by each implementing organisation in becoming an
active participant in the HIS, questions regarding database management in and between the
systems to allow integration through communication, and development of knowledge, aptitude,
and practices of personnel (to be) assigned to the different organisations. The interrelation of
these main Project activities is depicted in fig. 3.1 below.
Information System Development
Human Resource Development
Integrated and Interactive
Hydrological Information System
Fig. 3.1 Relation between main project activities
G W W Q
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 2
The identification Mission to the Project States has looked into the first issues to be dealt to be
to make progress on institution development, technical development and training. Among these
issues, those that are State specific are summarised in Annex 2. This Chapter discusses issues
of a general nature for each of the main project activities.
3.1 Institutional strengthening
3.1.1 General observations
There are two levels of intervention to be considered:
• organisation development to improve the internal structure and operations;
• institutional development to improve inter-organisational coordination and cooperation.
The Project addresses organisational strengthening in terms of improving the infrastructure and
facilities of the organisations involved and capacity enhancements to develop a reliable and
sustainable information system. Basically, the agencies are supported with additional inputs,
like buildings, equipment, vehicles, incremental staff, and an O&M budget. However, by
themselves these inputs in individual organisations do not necessarily result in integration of
the HIS. This integration must be achieved through adjustment in existing organization
structure, positioning of Hydrology wing, reorganising and strengthening the communication
links between various levels within and between organizations.
There is a need for institutional development in terms of improving the hydrological
information system itself, i.e. the assessment of actual hydrological data user needs and the
design of the data collection network accordingly. Apart from standardising hydrological data
collection methods and developing uniform data formats, this involves clarification of each data
producer's mandate in relation to other data producers (including e.g. Public Health
Engineering, Water Supply and Sewerage Board, and the State Pollution Control Board) and
which actual data needs exist among the data users. Only thereafter an adequate data collection
network can be designed. Subsequently the required interaction and interlinkages between the
various agencies can be worked out, particularly regarding coordination and cooperation:
• between State organisations;
• between State and central agencies;
• between the States.
Between State organisations. First, this involves joint design of an integrated network for
surface water stations, groundwater stations, meteo-stations and water quality sampling sites.
Second, cooperation could focus on administrative and financial procedures that might stand in
the way of (a) using joint or adjoining offices, laboratories, data centres, libraries, (b) cross
validation, joint analysis, studies and surveys, publications and training, (c) joint use of
transport facilities or drilling equipment.
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 3
Between State and central agencies. The complementarity of the State and Central agencies
should be worked out in more detail, e.g. in terms of data requirements for macro and micro
planning, respectively. This would enable adjustment and expansion of both data collection
networks accordingly. Data needs analysis among hydrological data users should also make
clear who is to produce the required data.
Between the States. Policy making in Indian government follows three principles of authority
applied side-by-side: central, concurrent, and state. Water affairs are strictly controlled by the
states. This has made it very difficult to come to overall water resource allocation, whether at
the National Level or per river basin/ catchment area/ watershed. The Hydrology Project
emphasises standardising and integrating State information systems, and promoting interaction
between the State networks and organisations.
A new, doubled or tripled network of observation wells or gauging stations with different
frequencies of taking measurements and with computerised data recording, might require a
different set-up of district offices with a revised staffing pattern and other transport
In all States the SW and GW organisations consist basically of the same units, but are often
structured and staffed differently. In most States the organisations have been brought under one
Secretary and Engineer-in-Chief. However, sometimes surface and groundwater wings are
headed by respectively a Chief Engineer and a Director, sometimes by two Superintending
Engineers. Harmonisation of staff levels is suggested.
Moreover, SW and GW organisations have traditionally different territorial boundaries and
headquarters. It should be explored with the States to which extent these differing
administrative structures can be harmonised. Combining divisional offices, labs and data
centres could greatly improve operational as well as cost-efficiency.
Release of funds. All States have committed to the Project and agreed to make budget
allocations over the six years of the Project. However, only few States have actually approved
and released the funds for 1996/1997. A special account for a Revolving Fund under the Bank
Loan could be looked into. Such a Fund would provide working capital for expenditures for a
limited period of time, and would be replenished through reimbursements from the Project
account by the World Bank. However, despite the appealing nature of a revolving fund system,
it must be noted that restructuring of state and/or national procedures for the benefit of a single
project will be very difficult unless this benefit is recognised in a much broader context and it is
agreed that it does not stand in the way of existing higher-level regulations for budgeting and
Irrespective of whether Revolving Funds can be established, the current procedures for
budgeting, financial approvals and disbursements, etc. should be reviewed to eliminate existing
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 4
Financial sustainability. An upgraded and expanded monitoring network, with additional staff,
modern equipment, and an increased vehicle fleet is expensive. The project budget covers all
capital investments and also the incremental O&M costs. However, this applies only for the
duration of the Project. Once the Project is completed the States will have to bear the O&M
cost themselves. For some States this seems to be a heavy burden for the recurrent budget.
Project budgets. It has been observed that there is a rather wide variation in recurrent cost
estimates among agencies (ranging from Rs 114 to 42 million for a six year period).
Staff motivation and quality. It is essential that initial postings are of well-qualified and
motivated technical staff. Apart from the fact that this is required to get a completely new
Water Hydrology Wing started, it will also attract other competent staff to join, which should
create the momentum that is required. Since staffing will almost exclusively be done through
redeployment, it should be avoided that other sections of the Irrigation Department or Public
Works Department indiscriminately send their redundant and low-performing staff over to the
new organisation for Hydrology. Having no background or training in Hydrology, they will
require a basic skills training in combination with adequate on-the-job training.
Redeployment. In most organisations the establishment ('sanctioned staff strength') is
considerably higher than actual staffing level. Vacancies can only be filled through
redeployment, other than in cases where exceptional expertise is required. Also additional or
incremental staff requirements must be met through redeployment from the own Department.
In most States the sanctioning of (additional) posts is still pending. The Consultant believes
redeployment might take much longer than anticipated, because in most cases personnel to be
redeployed have yet to be identified and accept the new posting.
Personnel budgets and sustainability. Since there is no actual increase of Government staff in
the Project, the provision for 'incremental' staff as budgeted in the SAR means that State
Governments experience a temporary budget excess for staff salaries and allowances. This
excess may be reallocated to other budget priorities by the States. This could become a
problem if such alternative use of funds would not be limited to the duration of the Project.
After all, upon completion of the Project all financial responsibility will return to the
implementing organisations, at which time they have difficulty in making their presently
existing budgets available again. It is recommended that this issue be taken up by the NLSC.
Phasing of new postings. The Consultant recommends integrated planning of redeployment.
Staff should only be transferred once the new duty station (data centre, lab, gauging station) is
operational, the equipment is available or installed, and the staff can be given the necessary
Laboratory and Data Centre staff. All the staff assigned to the labs will need thorough
training. This also applies to the personnel for the data centre. As there will be for some staff a
major change in their job, the hydrology organisation may require assistance in drawing up job
descriptions, together with job specifications listing the qualifications of prospective staff. In
line with anticipated gaps between these specifications and capabilities among staff expected to
be redeployed, a preliminary identification of training needs must be made.
Engineers, hydrologists and geologists. If incremental staff positions are to be filled through
redeployment, e.g. of Irrigation Engineers to water quality laboratories and the computer data
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 5
centre, the staff involved would not have the required background in chemistry or computer
operations. Consequently, the Consultants foresee considerable training problems to achieve
adequate operational standards.
State Water Data Centres, monitoring stations, laboratories. Plans have been submitted for
approval by the W.B., which indicated that uniformity of buildings for State Water Data
Centres is under study. Most States requested support from the Consultant to draw up a
building plan, Terms of Reference and tender documents for the civil works to be executed.
The Consultant will provide guidance to the States in this regard.
Procurement pressure. As the Hydrology Project has been underway for some time before
commencement of the Consultant's activities, there is notable pressure to increase procurement
targets for the short term. This practice is not feasible in some States where funds are yet to be
released. Attaining targets is even more difficult due to unrelated general government decisions.
For example, the ban on procurement of vehicles. However, the Consultant has learned that for
replacement of old vehicles a special sanction can be requested from the Principal Secretary.
3.1.7 Hydrological Data Users
Linking data users and providers. A general finding is that, where agencies have a particular
need for hydrological or meteorological data, they usually cater for this need themselves. For
example, in Kerala the SPCB has a network of sampling sites and laboratories, and the SEB has
a comprehensive network of stations. As these data are crucial to the organisations' individual
operations (planning and decision-making), they will collect, process and store the data strictly
in accordance with their requirements in terms of formats, relevancy, quality and continuity.
This shows the fundamental difficulty for implementing agencies to provide this type of high-
quality data for use in an integrated system, i.e. one that meets said requirements for all users,
when there exists no direct link to actual planning and decision-making on water resource use.
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 6
3.2 Surface water and Hydrometeorology
3.2.1 Surface Water
The SAR indicates improvement of existing observations systems as a primary activity for all
the participating states and central organisations in peninsular India. This needs to entail not
only improvement in the data collection infrastructure and avoidance of duplication between
the states and CWC, but also a review of network planning so that the networks are adequate to
meet the needs of basin water resources evaluation, support basin water planning and
management and the design of the hydraulic infrastructure.
Guidelines and national practices . The guidelines and national practices in the field of
hydrometry is an area that is weak as reported in the SAR and as noticed during the
Identification Mission. Often the sampling interval used for stage gauging, particularly at the
sites located on smaller streams, is far too large to obtain a reliable picture of the river regime,
particularly with respect to the extremes. From the day-time recordings it appeared in a number
of cases that floods passed the stations in the night. In some states no observations are taken
during Sundays and holidays, thus creating serious gaps in the records.
Discharge measurements . In most states, particularly in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil
Nadu, discharge measurement is either sparingly done or not done at all. At high flows in all
the states the use of non-standard floats is a common practice. Only in Maharashtra and Gujarat
hydrometry is practised at some of the stations in a way to get reasonably accurate estimates.
Even such hydrometry is by sectionalising 15 to 20 segments and taking velocities at 0.6 of the
depth (0.6D). Taking velocity measurements at 0.2/0.8D or occasionally full velocity profiles to
check the accuracy of practices has not been observed.
Sediment measurements with depth integrated sampling is often not done in the stations
visited by the Identification Mission. Sediment sampling for obtaining a representative sample
is not well known or appreciated. Often samples are collected near the banks. Analysis
procedures at site laboratories need a fresh look and review. Bed material sampling also needs a
fresh look. Measuring of concentrations, coarse, medium, and fine fractions of suspended
sediment and the use to which the same will be put is not clear and is not well known.
Current practice fixes upstream and downstream gauges 100 meter away on either side of
centre line gauges. Separating distance has to be appropriated considering the prevailing bed
slopes and other phenomena such as wave celerity, backwater effect, etc.
State and central coordination. To avoid duplication and ensure that monitoring networks take
into consideration the local effects and the data needs, close interaction of IMD, CWC, and
state surface water department was envisaged in SAR through SLCC (State Level Coordination
Committees). Frequent meetings of the SLCC are not taking place and this aspect of
interdepartmental technical coordination is also not reflected in the agenda of such meetings so
far held. In the matter of choice of appropriate sites, in the absence of guidelines joint
inspections would have provided needed technical inputs. Such technical interaction has also
not taking place.
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 7
Staffing and operational costs. Many states face the problem of staff deployment on one side,
while they want to continue synoptic discharge measurements at every station. Some states
have reported that discharge measurement is done more than once in a day in the flood season.
Where a stable stage-discharge relationship is present, there is scope for continuing only stage
readings and discard discharge observations synoptically. Such a selected approach can result
in staff reduction and saving in operational costs. Some of the states are planning to have a
number of FCS and AWS for sampling climate variables other than rainfall. Since the
meteorological variables such as temperature, humidity and evaporation or sunshine data are
more uniformly distributed, a dense network of FCS may not be cost effective.
HDUG. In most states a state level HDUG have been formed but the membership needs
considerable expansion to cover all users. The HDUG meetings have to be held more
frequently, for the data generators and users to interact. Many of the hydrological data users
whom the Mission had opportunity to interact with are unaware of their water data
requirements, except for making very general statements of what work is being undertaken by
them. It has been suggested that a suitable questionnaire will be made available by Consultants
for use by a select group of the state, to individually interact with the users and finalise their
replies to the questionnaire in order to define the user needs.
Data validation is within the state and central organisations needs improvement. Basically only
recalculation of velocity measurements is practised. Consistency checks, whether with
neighbouring stations or with meteorological observations, are often not being carried out. The
present lack of data validation is partly due to the absence of exchange of information between
the state and central organisations.
R & D. The SAR lists the following generic research and development items:
• improvements to reservoir instrumentation and management;
• reservoir sedimentation surveys;
• monitoring of return flows;
• improvements to real-time Water Resource Management, including improved telemetry
• flood forecasting studies.
The tasks are to be identified and the approach needs to be specified for implementation and for
monitoring. In states where sophisticated reservoir surveys are planned, no documentation was
available specifying the concept, approach and work plan. In case of states proposing to study
return flows, no documentation existed specifying the project, study area and control points,
where measurements are needed.
In states proposing real-time water management, no plan exists as to how the real-time system
should function. In the case of telemetry systems operational plans, radio survey and frequency
allotment from WPC of GOI are all not available. Studies are also needed for setting up
forecasting systems and possible forecast lag times. The mission advised the states to involve
some research institutions and frame the appropriate documentation.
Sophisticated instruments included in the SAR, as can be made available under the project,
and specifications and procurement thereof can however be monitored separately.
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 8
Improvement of existing hydrometeorological observation networks for all the 8 participating
States and Central organisation is an important activity under Hydrology Project. For achieving
this target, a review of network planning is necessary jointly by IMD, States and Central
organisations to avoid duplication and to give due representation to areas (sub-basins) where
the network is sparse.
Reliability of data . At present, the States have no definite information on the functioning of
most of the rain gauges and Climate Stations. The reliability of data collected is to be
established. Related to this, data of most of the rain gauge and climate stations maintained by
the States are not accepted by IMD due to non-standard or defective instruments and bad
exposure conditions. Additionally, data processing and tabulation procedures in many of the
states could be improved. To help remedy this situation, the reliability of rainfall and climate
data collected by the States is required to be established through joint inspections with IMD.
States which have autographic meteorological instruments do not undertake the tabulation
work. A close coordination between States and IMD is necessary so that useful data are
collected, processed and stored under IMD’s technical control.
Review of network planning . Several State and Central agencies are maintaining
meteorological networks but there has been an incomplete review of network planning. The
Consultant advised all the States to have joint discussions with IMD and CWC and review the
rain gauge and climate networks, keeping in view the spatial and operational needs. Joint
inspection and installation programmes should be carried out.
Procurement process . The procurement process has been delayed in all the States, although
IMD has already circulated the specifications of meteorological instruments. Procurement of
instruments for which specifications have been circulated should be taken up as soon as
possible. Due to the non-availability of incremental staff and vehicles, the initial planning of
inspection and installation programmes could not be finalised.
Untrained staff. Mostly untrained staff is manning the State rain gauge and climate stations. In
addition, many of these staff are only part-time employees. Thus, most of the states have
difficulties in deputing their field staff to the IMD training centres located outside their State on
administrative grounds and language problems. IMD has been requested to depute their trainers
to the states for giving basic training to field staff. Training of Supervisors, and Senior Officers
is arranged at IMD training centres at Pune. Training of all staff could be planned in batches
together with nodal agencies like IMD, CWC and CGWB, so that continuous and regular
training programme becomes available to all states.
3.3 Ground Water
The construction of computerised groundwater data bases and the establishment of integrated
modern monitoring networks are major objectives of the HP. Successful implementation of
these objectives will contribute significantly to improve water resources assessment and
enhance optimal management. The computerised HIS as envisaged will provide up-to-date
information as to the groundwater system and its reflection to natural fluctuating conditions,
increased exploitation and associated water quality issues.
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 9
It should be stressed that although quality issues under HP are dealt with under a separate
heading, they form an integral part of the groundwater and the surface water issues and should
be considered together. Basically, the water quality monitoring aims at differentiating between
natural background conditions and anthropogenic interference effects. Since water quality
reflects the hydrogeological flow regime, both groundwater levels and quality parameters
should be monitored and analysed over integrated networks.
All participating agencies share the view that such a system is urgently required to meet
increasing groundwater demands and quality deterioration. This should pave the way for a
smooth implementation of the HP objectives. The implementation procedures include
conceptual as well as practical and technical issues, which together will guarantee the creation
of the comprehensive and efficient HIS envisaged. The main procedures which may follow
progressively and parallel when possible, include:
• Identification of the data requirements of all state and national parties concerned with
groundwater, including consumer organisations, monitoring, exploration and research
institutions and management and decision makers entities;
• Formulating standard procedures and layouts of data acquisition, storage .and retrieval
for routine work;
• Design and development of integrated automatically recorded water table monitoring
networks, which is accompanied by water quality monitoring schemes;
• Computerisation of historical GW data which include all the available information
related to monitoring as well as production wells, aquifer parameters and quality data;
• Design and operation of data bases and processing systems;
• Training courses and on the job follow ups;
• Research and development applied in pilot projects.
3.3.2 Present Situation
Very little progress could be achieved during the year 1995-96 in all the participating States
and Central Ground Water Board (Regional Offices) due to delay in obtaining Government
sanctions for the necessary budget and staff requirements of the project. The program
envisaged for 1995-96 has been readjusted in the programs for the years 1996-97 and 1997-98,
so that all the physical works envisaged in the Project could be completed by the end of the
year 1997-98. In case of the ground water sector of the project, the most important physical
activity is the construction of purpose built observation tubewells (key wells) and as per the
projected plans this work will be by and large completed during the years 1996-97 and 1997-
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 10
Procurement of equipment.. In all the States, the necessary preliminary actions related to the
procurement of equipment and construction works have been taken up. Most of the States have
prepared the draft tender documents for works and material/equipment required and have either
submitted them or prepare them for approval.
Coordination. Coordination between the State Ground Water Organisations and respective
CGWB Regional Offices generally is good, except in Madhya Pradesh, where there is
considerable scope for improvement. During the meetings of the Hydrology Data User Groups
(HDUG) held during the visits of the Consultants to the participating States, it was noticed that
the groundwater users are not well represented in the HDUG. Proper representation and
intensified activities are necessary to ascertain the actual requirements of GW data users,
authenticate the multi-use data collection procedures and standardise the GW data formats for
storage and retrieval.
In case of the Central Ground Water Board, action for procurement of all equipment required
by its various regional offices under the Hydrology Project, rests with the Central Head Quarter
Office. Similarly the Central Head Quarter Office is to finalise a model tender document for
construction of observer tubewells by private contractual job, duly approved by the World
Bank, and send it to all its regional offices. This model is to be followed by the regional offices
for floating tenders for construction of observation tubewells. In all its regional offices, the
incremental staff required for the Hydrology Project has been positioned, except for the staff
required for the data centres and a few other personnel.
Training. The mission identified the need for proper training to the staff involved in various
activities under the HP, related to establishment and maintenance of the modernised
groundwater observation well networks, Groundwater Information Systems and upgraded
chemical laboratories. While framing the training programs, the different work culture and
different practices prevalent in the States have to be taken into consideration.
3.3.3 Strengths, weaknesses and need for support
Joint committee. All the State Groundwater Departments and the concerned Regional offices of
the Central Ground Water Board have agreed on the establishment of a joint committee to
coordinate site selection of “key wells”, on which Digital Water Level Recorders are to be
installed. Committee activities should be documented by detailed location maps and documents
with all pertinent details (location, depth, construction design, aquiferial unit to be monitored,
etc.). This action is supposed to yield an overall integrated layout of the state and central
monitoring networks which will reflect best the respective hydrogeological regime, without
duplications and overlapping "key wells". All the states also agreed, in general, to synchronise
the frequency of manual water level measurements in their respective network observation
wells with the frequency exercised by the Central Ground Water Board.
Computerised data bases. All the State GW Organisations and CGWB Regional Offices are
generally weak in the development of computerised data bases. Karnataka and Maharashtra are
somewhat more advanced in this regard and in Gujarat all the historical hydrogeological data
have been computerised under an externally aided Water Resources Development &
Management Project. All the states need immediate support for developing data bases. It is,
therefore, necessary that a workshop on the design and operation of databases is organised by
the Consultants, to provide necessary know-how and training to concerned officers of the state
and central agencies. Continuous advice and support in the implementation and the initial
operation stages should follow to ascertain the assimilation of proper computerised techniques
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 11
and procedures. To start with, all participating agencies should be advised in computerising
their historical hydrogeological data into common spread sheet and data-base software.
Formats and procedures. Each of the agencies involved in the HP have different formats and
procedures for monitoring, processing and presentation of data. The need for integrated data
bases requires a coordinated approach to standardise their operations. Consultants support is
required to review the present situation, advice on standard formats and procedures for data
acquisition, processing and dissemination and conduct a workshop to discuss their
modifications and adoption.
Specifications. Specifications for all the hydrological equipment required under HP have been
finalised and formally supplied to all the participant State Ground Water Organisations and the
Regional Offices of the CGWB.
Specific issues related to the implementation of the Hydrology project in each State, that
emerged during the discussions with the officers of the State Ground Water Departments and
the concerned Regional offices of the Central Ground Water Board are discussed in Annex 2.
3.4 Water Quality
Existing situation.. Responsibilities with respect to monitoring and preserving water quality in
the country appear in practice to be diffuse. This is particularly so with respect to surface water.
With the country's economy and industrialisation experiencing rapid growth, and an ever
increasing population pressure, water quality needs to be given much more priority than it
It is now widely recognised that rapid industrialisation and urbanisation processes as well as
use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture contribute considerably to the deterioration of
quality of precious water resources. Enhanced water quality monitoring should, therefore, be
undertaken as a matter of urgency, to provide a firm basis for the planning of eventually
required remedial measures.
The existing pattern for water quality monitoring is a project oriented approach, where
organisations with information needs are making their own measurements at the specific
location(s) of concern to them. This approach does not contribute to long term understanding of
Identification of mandates and objectives of water quality monitoring. In order to have an
effective implementation of the Hydrology Project with respect to water quality monitoring, the
mandates of the agencies involved must be defined. At present, the mandates of the central and
state agencies participating in HP with respect to surface water and groundwater quality do not
appear to be well defined, in particular at the state level. Additionally, documented mandates
and objectives of the central organisations are not necessarily known at the Regional or
Coordination between agencies. Coordination is required between State and Central agencies
involved in surface water and groundwater quality monitoring. This is necessary to avoid
overlap between their monitoring networks, and to develop complementary policies and
strategies with respect to water quality monitoring and pollution control. Cooperation to ensure
equal professional standards in the various chemical laboratories is also necessary.
Several agencies which are not involved in the Hydrology Project are also monitoring water
quality, including, among others, the Central and State Pollution Control Boards, Ministry of
Environment, Public Health Departments, Water Supply and Sewage Boards, and Agriculture
Departments. At the very least, these organisations should be members of the HDUG. Other
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 12
possibilities of involving these organisations with the development of the HIS should be
Water Quality Monitoring Programs. Because the mandates of the HP agencies are not clear, it
is difficult to evaluate the monitoring activities which they are conducting, especially the
networks (i.e. location of monitoring, frequency of sampling and parameters of analysis). The
states and central organisations do not have a good rationalisation of their existing programs,
nor of the expansions that are planned.
Organisation within agencies. Where there are two or more chemical laboratories within one
agency, there must be one 'head chemist' who has technical oversight of all the laboratories so
that they are functioning in a similar and coordinated manner. Regular visits to all the
laboratories to check operating procedures and data processing would be required as part of the
coordination task. An inter-laboratory quality control could also be implemented in this
Laboratory Design. Many organisations will be having new laboratories as part of the
Hydrology Project. It has been seen during the visits to the States that there is are large
differences in the planned laboratory accommodations, ranging from 60 m2
to 600 m2
recommendations at this time are for approximately 200 m2
) for a Level II lab, and
approximately 250-300 m2
) for a Level II+ lab. These areas are also consistent
with the budget provisions for laboratory civil works as given in the SAR. Detailed recommen-
dations as to the set up of laboratories including special instrument room, microbiology room,
wet laboratory, sample storage, offices, etc. will be prepared by Consultants in the very near
future (October/November 1996) and distributed to all organisations.
Use of level II+ laboratory specialised equipment. Few of the organisations upgrading or
establishing Level II+ laboratories have given much thought as to how they will use new
equipment such as AAS or GC. In many cases, organisations do not know the functions or
capabilities of these items. Given that these are both expensive and sensitive instruments (thus
requiring regular use and maintenance), some attention and planning for their use should be
made before procurement. This planning will need to be consistent with the objectives of the
water quality monitoring.
Procurement of laboratory equipment. In all cases, equipment procurement should be tuned to
the availability of laboratory space and trained staff who can use the equipment. For many
organisations, timely procurement of laboratory equipment may be difficult if new laboratories
are not yet completed (in several cases land acquisition is still not finalised and completion of
construction may still take 2 years). If existing laboratories have sufficient space, new equip-
ment procurement should proceed and equipment can immediately be used.
Where existing space is not sufficient, or where completion of civil works is required,
temporary space should be found if possible. Exceptions to this can exist if an organisation
already has one established laboratory, and the need for additional laboratories is not
completely justified (the Kerala Groundwater Department is an example). In such a case, it may
be better to strengthen the existing laboratory and proceed in a step-wise manner to set-up new
In all cases, it is recommended that because they are quite sensitive instruments, the GC and
AAS for Level II+ laboratories should only be installed in their permanent location. This may
cause problems with the procurement schedule as required by the World Bank, if new building
completion still needs several years.
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 13
Sample Collection. Too little attention is being given to sample collection for water quality.
Examples from surface water include lack of Dissolved Oxygen samplers at most of the CWC
stations. Also, many groundwater organisations report collection of stagnant samples in some
of the groundwater tube wells. In the future, procedures will have to be given more attention,
especially as the analytical results of pollution related parameters (heavy metals and organic
compounds) can be strongly affected by sampling and sample preservation procedures. In the
groundwater departments, the introduction of new sampling procedures for tubewells using
compressors or pumps will need attention, as will the use of field monitoring kits. Procedures
for preserving and transporting samples to laboratories will also have to be established.
Level I laboratories. More attention needs to be given to the functioning of Level I site labora-
tories where measurements of temperature, and analyses of EC, pH, and Dissolved Oxygen are
made. Field visits to some of the Level one labs indicated a variety of problems from sample
collection to 'drifting' pH readings. Especially because the field observers carrying the water
quality tasks probably do not have any background in making chemical measurements, one of
the main (surface water) laboratory chemists should have responsibility for the functioning of
Level I labs. There should be a regular program to visit/inspect Level I labs and provide needed
Analytical Quality Control. Procedures for laboratory quality control as yet do not exist in any
of the laboratories visited. Procedures will need to be established for quality assurance of
results: within 1 laboratory (intra-laboratory control); between 2 or more laboratories of a
single organisation (inter-laboratory control); and between laboratories of different
organisations (also inter-laboratory control). These procedures will be necessary to ensure that
results from different laboratories are comparable. It is, for example, quite possible that the
analysis of the same sample in a CGWB laboratory and a SGWD laboratory could yield signifi-
cantly different results, which hampers the development of a sound common data base of
groundwater quality data in a state.
Staffing. Many of the existing laboratories are understaffed with respect to qualified staff. At a
number of agencies vacancies exist and there are difficulties in filling these. Given that labora-
tories require specialist staff, these additional and vacant posts can generally not be filled
through re-deployment. Many of the agencies indicate that vacancies at higher positions are
typically filled by promotion, and new hires (if any) occur at the junior positions. This in many
cases has resulted in staff with many years of experience, but no real expertise, initiative or
motivation at the senior positions. Many of the State agencies have indicated that new
laboratories to be established will probably be headed by transfers and promotions from the
existing laboratories. Such procedures may result in laboratories that are not in charge of well
qualified staff. In many cases, recommendations have been given to have new hires of well
qualified chemistry staff with a minimum requirement of M.Sc. chemistry.
Staff capabilities to tackle water quality problems need to be (further) developed in all agencies
participating under the HP. This includes the capability to take up pollution studies and to use
the results of water quality monitoring for the planning and implementation of water resources
development and management measures. Few laboratory staff appear to be involved in further
analysis of water quality data or in water quality studies. Often analysts know little of whatever
use is made by their own or other agencies of the published water quality data. Feed-back
between those who use the data and those who monitor the data appears to be extremely rare.
Staff often appears to be frustrated due to a lack of career opportunities as a specialist and,
perhaps more important, the pervasive lack of interest and priority of the higher echelons in
water quality as an issue. The fact that almost all laboratories are under the command of
(geo)hydrologists or civil engineers is often felt as a disadvantage, prohibiting proper interest
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 14
for the subject. A general lack of (scientific) interest in water quality was often reported to exist
in the higher echelons.
Within the new Data Centre units at State and Central levels, a water quality specialist would
need to be employed to:
• undertake a primary analysis of historical and new water quality data;
• prepare annually comprehensive overviews of the current state of water quality and the
aquatic environment in the concerned state or region;
• conduct in close cooperation with the chemists of the laboratories surface water and
groundwater pollution studies;
• initiate remedial action as the need arises.
3.5 Data base management and communication
Surface water data. As concerns CWC, the manually or automatically recorded data are sent to the
sub-divisional centers, where the data are to be computerized after routine validation. The validated
data will be forwarded to the next level of hierarchy, i.e. data center at the division level where the
data are to be further reviewed and validated and forwarded to the regional centres of CWC. For the
states the final destination of the processed data are the state level data banks. The states will
transfer some of the data to the national level to create a comprehensive national level data bank.
Ground water data. Raw data are collected manually or through Automatic Water Level Recorders
for a large number of observation wells at a pre-determined frequency. The frequency of manual
observations is generally low. In CGWB, the data are generally sent directly to the regional offices
for data entry and validation, from where the consolidated data are forwarded to the central office.
In case of state GW boards, the data are collected at the district offices, entered into the computer
after due validation and sent to State Data Centres via Regional offices.
Status of computerisation in participating agencies. Some of the states and central agencies have
made isolated attempts to computerize its hydrometric data. These attempts were largely due to
personal initiatives and not based on any systematic programme, while the adopted systems are of
little use for the project. There is a wide variation among the participating organizations in matters
of computer proficiency, literacy and awareness, but whatever is there is insufficient to support the
program without adequate further training. For example, there is little familiarization with operation
in a Windows environment. The computer hardware available among the agencies is generally of
little substance. It is observed that all available computers function as stand-alones and are MSDOS
based. There are no file servers in use. Lotus-123 is often used for data-entry and data storage,
while dBASE is used by exception.
IMD has a computer center at Pune. The computer facilities are updated from time-to-time. It does
not use database software for the storage and retrieval of the data. The CWC has just initiated its
Software applications. Certain special application software is available with a few agencies.
Several CGWB regional offices have the GIS based MODFLOW software for Ground Water
Simulation Modeling. GIS peripherals and software are found in only a few places, but such
software is not fully exploited either due to either lack of skill or missing modules.
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 15
System design. System design and development calls for a high level of technical expertise, usage
of appropriate development tools and adherence to standards. It is recommended to engage
experienced developers who would function under close coordination of the concerned specialist
Hardware specifications. The SAR provides details of hardware sets to be procured for various
operating levels of the project. Considering the speed of technological developments in computers,
the specifications and cost estimates as given in the SAR need to be revised. Availability of well-
defined specifications is essential to ensure compatibility among all the systems to be procured, and
Consultants will provide the same as soon as possible. This will, however, require analysis of user
requirements at various levels of the system (system requirements). The specification of the
systems should be critically weighed against the users capability and requirements. Very
sophisticated system may introduce negative factors like problems in systems maintenance, reduced
user friendliness and a demanding operating environment. The problem of maintenance of
equipment in remote areas with difficult accessibility should also be taken into account.
Procurement.. The procurement schedule should be phased in line with the progress of other
infrastructural development. The procurement and installation should also be coordinated with
training. It is proposed to acquire some of the common and inexpensive systems at the beginning,
mainly to be used for training and the transfer of historical data from paper to magnetic media. As
the development of the systems at various levels takes place, the procurement of more specialized
and expensive systems can progress simultaneously.
Acceptance of systems. The consultants will lay down various checks and tests to be conducted for
acceptance of different categories of computer equipment. These will consist of guidelines and
procedures which will ensure that the supplied equipment is received as per specifications. The
acceptance will cover both hardware and software so that there is complete uniformity and
compatibility in the operation of the system among all the agencies.
Installation of Systems. Draft specifications for space, power supply, environment and other
conditions for various types of systems will be provided by the Consultants for approved by the
specification committee of CWC and CGWB.
Communication. The communication concept through computers is yet to be properly understood
by the participating agencies. This applies to both communication within the agency and between
agencies. In general the collector of information is the owner of the information. He controls the
access to the information by data users, who gets the information in the form of papers, as the data
are generally not stored on a magnetic medium. Consultants will examine the state-of-art of
communication networks in India (which develops at high speed) and propose a compatible system,
in order to achieve maximum benefits from the project.
Manpower. The concept of a Data Center and its responsibility for data management is yet to be
properly understood by the agencies. Normally, there is no trained staff available to manage the
activities of the data centres to be established. Consultants will examine the volume of data inflow
and accordingly suggest optimal manpower requirements for the Data Centres.
The computerised database system will have several levels starting from data collection at the site,
right upto the National Data Centres. It may be described at four operational levels, each with its
specific staffing and training requirements:
• data entry at collector level;
• data supervisory staff;
• database manager;
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 16
• database systems administrator.
Training.. The required training for HIS can be subdivided into the following categories:
• familiarization training for the introduction of Pcs;
• training of data entry operators;
• training of middle level supervisors with limited knowledge of database trouble shooting and
• systems managers with ability to do more complex tasks of database administration and
3.6 Training services
The project will introduce standard procedures for data collection, processing, validation and
management including the use of software for routine quality control and general water
resources analysis. The basic objectives of the training programme are:
• to ensure that these standardised procedures are followed uniformly throughout the project
• to sustain the staff capabilities developed during the project period by continuous internal
training within the agencies without further external support by institutionalising training.
Specific issues noticed in the SAR and during the Inception fact finding are listed below. Most
of these issues have to be on the agenda of the National and State Hydrology Training
Committees (NHTC and SHTC)
3.6.1 Institutional setting for training
• The National Hydrology Training Committee (NHTC) with members and representatives
from the participating central and state agencies has the overall responsibility of the
organisation of the training programme. Proposals for training courses, workshops and
seminars would be reviewed and approved by NHTC to ensure standardisation of training
materials and maintenance of training quality.
• The training consultants function as advisors to the NHTC and State Hydrology Training
Committees. The training consultants will assist NHTC in consolidating, monitoring and
assessing the effectiveness of training.
• Central and State level training institutes are as yet to be identified for Water Quality
Monitoring, Data Base Management and Training Development.
• The nomination of State Level Training Coordination Committee and Training
Coordinators is as yet not completed.
• As a matter of policy, all training for sub-professionals, and junior professionals who are
large in number and who perform routine tasks, will take place at State level Institutes.
Some National Institutes still prepare for nationwide Staff training. For instance, IMD
proposed a four week course to about 2600 hydromet observers at the IMD training
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 17
centres in Calcutta, Pune and Madras. Participation cost have been budgeted twice, both
by the participating agencies and IMD.
• Not all State level Water User Organisations arrange for the capacity to undertake selected
parts of training development under own management. Training design, evaluation,
selection and mobilisation of participants should definitely be kept in their own hands as
these matters closely relate to in-house human resources development. Production of
training materials may, in the HP context, take place at Central Institutes but site specific
adaptations, translations etc. will always require some internal desktop publishing
3.6.2 Human resources development context for training
• Training should, by definition, improve existing and new job-related skills, knowledge and
attitudes. To secure this, all job descriptions for hydrology staff should be reviewed,
amended and made available to the Training Institutes to serve as terms of reference for
their work. This should avoid the tendency to overdevelop training courses into academic
education programmes which do not really prepare for a particular job in an organisation.
• Job descriptions are also needed for the new posts suggested in the HP.
• Steps should be taken that trained personnel is retained for longer periods, without routine
• Competent middle level professionals in each participating agency should be identified for
deputation to the training of trainers programme. Selected candidates should have a
personal interest in training and have basic communication skills. A career in training
should not be promoted as a last option for redundant personnel.
• Deputation to study tours and post-graduate courses may be used as incentives for staff
with demonstrated professional interests and career prospects in hydrology.
ydrology Project Inception Report Chapter 3: Implementation Issues Page 3 - 18
3.6.3 Technical validity of training contents and standardisation
• Training contents should be based on standardised procedures, equipment, formats etc.
• To agree on technical validity may appear a time consuming and sensitive exercise. Many
parties have or may claim a say in the HP training contents. Strict production and review
procedures will be set to avoid delays.
• Most State Agencies already made preparations for staff training delivery, based upon the
outline given in the SAR. They rely heavily on State WALMIs to coordinate and deliver
their progammes, in particular at the junior level. It is not unlikely that some WALMIs will
face managerial difficulties in combining all State hydrology staff training with ongoing
commitments in regular irrigation related training.
• Consultants informed the State agencies that the training programme would commence
immediately after the standardisation workshop and Training of Trainer's. Some states
nominated training coordinators and also took initiative to start basic computer course in
• Maharashtra has taken a singular lead in planning the training component for the state. A
state level coordination sub-committee was constituted to oversee training. Four engineers
were deputed in 1996 to post graduate courses in Hydrology/Water Resources.
• As regional offices of CWC and CGWB expect Headquarters to develop training the
regional offices did not work out any training plan.
• Equipment related training (operation, maintenance) should be arranged through suppliers
and related clauses should be included in the tender documents.
3.6.4 Delivery planning
• Training delivery can effectively commence after the redeployment of staff within the
participating agencies. This was also stressed during the NLSC meeting on July 24, 1996.
• Training in hydrological observations should be scheduled in the lean pre-or post-monsoon
periods, to avoid disruption of ongoing work.
• Data entry and data management course modules are for those who have undergone basic
computer course module. This was also suggested by the Chairman of the NLSC meeting
on July 24, 1996.
• Normally, senior professionals would not be available for more than one full training week.
Training duration also has its limits at lower staff levels. For example, the proposed
hydromet observers course by IMD (for automatic and standard rain gauges) is preferably
reduced from four to two or three weeks.
• Approvals for overseas study tours usually take about 4 months.
• The daily allowance given to the trainees is usually less than their daily expenditures on
board and lodging at the hosting Training Institutes.