Indian-American develops tool for efficient use of water


Washington: Greater accuracy in climate forecasts permits better estimates of how much rain is likely to fall, months in advance. An innovative water management method developed by an Indian-American scientist would rely on these forecasts to plan for droughts or excess rain in order to make efficient use of an area’s water resources.

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Accordingly, water managers can plan better for potential shortages due to drought, says Sankar Arumugam, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), who led the study.

Arumugam did his M.Sc from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and B.E from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, respectively, in 1996 and 1991.

Using his method, managers could encourage stakeholders to put water-use restrictions in place and launch a water conservation campaign before the drought even arrives.

Managers could also use this approach to determine how best to take advantage of surplus water supplies. For example, hydropower facilities could generate additional power instead of spilling the excess water, said an NCSU release.

Arumugam says water management is becoming more important due to increasing global population – which means greater water demand – and global climate change, which could stress both humid and arid regions with the former getting wetter and the latter becoming drier.

These findings were published in the November issue of Water Resources Research.