Disaster Management: Case Study of Vulnerability Assessment of Tehri Dam, Uttranchal
Posted: 6 Aug 2012 Last revised: 27 Aug 2012
Date Written: May 16, 2009
The aim of the study is to do a Critical Appraisal of Vulnerability Assessment (both in terms of physical and social-economic) of Tehri region and the dam, Uttranchal and how it would be affected with the increase in the magnitude of climate change, there is a great possibility of increase in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters hitting the Indian sub continent. The report of IPCC (Inter Governmental Panel for Climate Change) indicates an intensification of the global hydrological cycle affecting both ground and surface water supply. Tehri dam is one of the world’s highest and most controversial Hydroelectric Project. The controversy lies from the environmental perspective mainly due to two reasons. Firstly the region where the dam is being constructed is geographically and geologically a seismic prone zone thus leading to a high possible threats of landslides, earthquakes. Secondly lots of voices were raised due to the displacement of thousands of people to other areas who were living there for ages. The dam would be also highly affected by climate change, as changes in the total amount of precipitation, its frequency and intensity has been predicted, such changes when on surplus side may affect the magnitude and timing of runoff but shall create drought like conditions when these are on the deficit side. Himalayan glaciers are retreating and glaciers are the main source of water for the river. Initially due to melting of glaciers the water level will rise in the river thereby increasing the risk of flooding in the river which is termed as “Glacial Lake Outburst Flood” but in the later stages once the water stored in these glaciers finishes up it would impact the flow and runoff of the river thereby reducing the availability of water for generating Hydroelectric Power. Therefore, assessing the vulnerability of the dam and its surroundings would help in planning strategies for Disaster Management in the near future.
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