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Isotope Fingerprinting of Waters of India (IWIN)
It has been estimated that by the year 2050, the demand of water will almost triple to ~1,450 cubic kilometre per year. Whichever way the demand is met, there will be large scale modification of the natural hydrological cycle in the country not just due to engineered structures and controlled stream flows but also by changing the residence time of water in aquifers and by increasing water vapour content of the atmosphere over India, significantly during non monsoon months. A national programme of research on investigating the spatial and temporal fingerprinting of water sources of India using stable isotopes is proposed for detailed study of the components of the local and regional hydrological cycles, their seasonal evolution, interactions between the various components and controls exercised by geographic factors and climatic forcing. This programme is considered vital for predicting the consequences of the impending engineered modification of the hydrological cycle of the country necessitated by increase in population and the need to rapidly develop and exploit the water resources of the country on a massive scale. The strategy is to monitor spatial and temporal variations of isotopic composition of water in all its phases and major water sources, namely (1) atmospheric vapour (ii) precipitation (iii) surface flows in streams and lakes (iv) ground water (v) Arabian Sea and (vi) Bay of Bengal, and improving hydrological flow models through combination of isotope data with conventional data of flux across hydrological reservoirs at local/regional/national levels. Although, the present proposal is for a five year period this programme has a 10 years perspective during which several new programmes of local and regional characters will also be undertaken. National Institute Oceanography, Goa is one of the several national Institutions actively involved in this national program and as a part of it a Vaisala Radio Sonde facility has been established and made operational at the POD terrace of NIO to monitor the surface and upper atmosphere parameters such as rain water, atmospheric moisture, air temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction. Director, NIO has inaugurated the facility on Friday (20/2/2009) at 5:30 P.M and witnessed the upper atmosphere sounding activities.
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