Sustainable Water Allocation in Umarkhed Taluka through Optimization of Reservoir Operation in the Wardha Sub-Basin, India

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Climate change is causing shifts in seasonal weather patterns and variation in seasonal time scales in India. Factors including uneven distribution of water, faulty agricultural practices and water policies, low prices of farm products, and debt are leading farmers to commit suicide in Umarkhed Taluka of the Yavatmal District. This study aimed to develop a sustainable solution to water scarcity in the surrounding watershed by introducing optimization modeling in reservoir operation. Past studies have conducted different hydrologic analyses to address the water scarcity issue in this region. However, none of the studies incorporated optimization in their models. This study developed an integrated hydrologic and optimization model that can predict the daily reservoir releases for climate change scenarios from 2020 to 2069 based upon Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP-4.5 and RCP-8.5) climate change scenarios from 2020 to 2069. The integrated simulations were able to deliver around 19% more water than the historical discharge at the most downstream station of the Wardha Watershed. The simulated approaches store less water than the actual unoptimized scenario and deliver water when there is a need at the downstream locations. Finally, because the downstream locations of the Wardha Watershed receive more water, a localized storage system can be developed and a transfer method can be utilized to deliver sufficient water to the Umarkhed Taluka.