Hyderabad, Musi River watershed

The Musi River which flows through the city of Hyderabad is associated with an ancient irrigation system comprising a series of (natural/engineered) wetlands. The river receives over a 1.2 million m3 /day of wastewater (both domestic and industrial) from the city which is only partially treated and used for irrigation, either directly via a system of irrigation canals or after storage in sedimentation tanks. The wastewater is a significant resource in this semi-arid peri-urban environment where the cultivation of fodder grass, paddy and vegetables has provided economic benefits to many inhabitants of the area.

Year round cultivation, which generates large return flows from irrigated fields, contributes to a large share of the aquifer recharge. Shallow groundwater is also pumped locally for irrigation on terrains where canal water is not accessible, or where it is too polluted for certain crops, especially paddy rice. A catchment where preliminary baseline studies have been carried out is situated 10 km down stream of the city where the areas adjacent to the river are irrigated with canal water. The Musi River wetland near Hyderabad will be hydrodynamically characterised (WP3) and modelled (WP5) so that the natural cycles of water, salt, nutrients and selected pollutants can be described. This model will be used to optimise the performance of a combination of passive and engineered forms of treatment.

Musi River watershed
Musi River watershed down stream of Hyderabad city. Wastewater irrigated areas (green) Periurban watershed catchment (blue line), bore wells (BW), dug wells (DW) and open wells (OW)