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- பணிப்பாளர் பெயர்டி.ஆர். விராஜ் எதிரிசிங்க
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Isotope Hydrology Section (IHS) of the SLAEB is working in the field of water management and dam safety by
- (i) Providing consultancy services to the national institutes, organizations, universities etc… on national needs
This includes expertise service for the projects/programs on groundwater investigations and leakage/seepage investigations of dams and reservoirs.
- (ii) Providing research based information/data on water resources management and dam/reservoir safety and sustainability. IHS conducts researches in collaboration with water sector institutes/organizations and dam owner institutes with the support of International Atomic Energy Agency
- (iii) Providing analytical services for isotopes and chemical parameters in waterOnly with precise information on the availability and renewability of water resources can country makes sound decisions about sustainable water resources management. Isotopes provide unique information about water resources characteristics in a cost efficient, accurate and easy-to-use way. Isotopes are waters fingerprints. They provide information on the age, origin and renewal rate of groundwater, its dynamics, as well as the vulnerability to source of pollution, salt water intrusion and climate change.
Isotope hydrology utilizes the natural variance in the composition of water resources. During evaporation and condensation of water, the concentrations of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes change. As a result, in different parts of the hydrologic cycle, water is naturally tagged with isotopic fingerprints, which vary according to the history of a particular body of water and its route through the hydrologic cycle. There are other isotopes in rainwater, such as tritium and carbon-14, whose concentration decreases with time. These data enable experts in making evidence-based decisions on sustainable water resource management.
Isotope Hydrology: Tools to unlock waters secrets
Water resources are being increasingly stressed by multiple factors, including growing population, grater food production, irrigated agriculture, energy production and climate variability and change. One billion people around the world currently have no access to safe drinking water and only about 15% of the worlds population enjoy relative abundance.
A key requirement for assuring adequate water supplies and their sustainable management is to improve the assessment of water resources. Such assessments are severely lacking in most of developing countries. The greatest proportion of the earths available fresh water is located underground, and this vital resource is often poorly understood and poorly managed.
Applications of Isotope Techniques in Water Management and Dam Safety
Isotope techniques allow rapid understanding of hydrological systems that may otherwise require years or decades of monitoring. Therefore it is cost effective. In some cases it is unique.
Isotopes are commonly employed to investigate:
- Recharge Mechanism of groundwater:
- Identification of groundwater recharge sources
- Recharge areas
- Mixing of different water sources
- Groundwater Dating:
- Identification of modern recharge
- Groundwater movement and residence time
- Infiltration rates in unsaturated zone
- Identification of paleowaters
- Delineation of protection zones
- Groundwater pollution and salinization:
- Identification of pollution sources
- Origin of nitrates
- Origin of groundwater salinity
- Microbial denitrification processes
- Mixing of sea water
- Surface water/groundwater relationship and interconnection between aquifers
- Dam safety & sustainability:
- Leakage /seepage problems
- Effect of dam reservoir on surrounding areas
- Investigation of geothermal resources:
- Source of thermal waters
- Residence time
- Subsurface history (rock-water interaction, mixing with fresh water)
- Estimation of reservoir temperature
Most commonly used isotopes are 2H1 , 3H1 , 18O8 , 13C6 , 14C6 , 15N7 and 34S16