There are about 4700 completed large dams in India – almost half of which are more than 25 years old – with another 400 under construction. The total water storage capacity of these existing dams is about 283Bm3. They have played a key role in fostering rapid and sustained agricultural and rural growth and development – a key priority for the Government of India since independence. Irrigated agriculture and hydro power development have been major pillars of the government’s strategy to ensure food and energy security.

Rainfall, which occurs mainly in intense and unpredictable downpours within short monsoon seasons, is of high temporal and spatial variability and does not meet year-round irrigation and other water demands. Considering this, storage of water is essential for India. However, many large dams are in need of modern safety measures and monitoring instrumentation,” said Joop Stoutjesdijk, Lead Irrigation Engineer and Project Team Leader. “The project will help rehabilitate and modernize over 220 large dams in the states of Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, and Tamil Nadu.”

In addition, the Project also aims to strengthen the institutional, legal and technical framework for dam safety assurance within the Government of India and in the participating states.