Case Study

Case Study on Dam Automation

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 by MSPL. .. 42 comments.

Upper Wardha Dam Automation Project


The Upper Wardha Dam is located at Shimbhora Village near Morshi in Amravati district, Maharashtra. Upper Wardha project is a multipurpose project providing water for irrigation, drinking water supply and for industries.

Before establishing a new System:

Manual rainfall measurement

Manual River stage gauging

No communication means

Reservoir Level from gauges

Gate Measurement very crude methods

Calculations manually based on historical data

Considering the limitations of a Manual System, to avoid error arising out of human element, for establishment of the Perfect and Real time Measurement, for a Real time data communication, for providing a good Decision Support based on Real time data, Automatic Calculations, Real time automatic control and Operational Ease need of Automation is raised.


Strategies for System Implementation:

Flood Management is critical because major storage is against Gates

Any mistake in flood computation, anticipation or gate operation  may lead to heavy floods on D/s along with loss of precious storage.

Major Constraints:

D/S floods

D/S communication due to bridge

Submergence of substantial area, villages

Storage loss

Loss to property and life



The System is comprised of:

Rain gauge stations                                                9 Nos.

River gauge stations                                               4 Nos.

Flow measurement                                                 2 Nos.

Reservoir Level Measurement                                  2 Nos.

Gate Measurement system                                   16 Nos.

Control system for spillway

Control system for HR gates

Control System for gallery pumps

Control System for Area Lighting

Alternate power source


Rain Gauge will be used to measure daily, annual and average Rainfall in the given area.

River Gauging Station includes Level and Discharge Measuring Sensors used to measure Level of water and Discharge in the catchment area.


Operation of the System:

9 nos. of automatic rain gauges installed in total CA so as to represent approximately equal area for each station. Area represented by each station is verified by 'Theisson's Polygon' method.

The integrated syphon mechanism delivers high levels of accuracy across a broad range of rainfall intensities.

Each unit consists of a collector funnel with leaf filter, dual output reed switches with varistor protection as well as dual rainfall discharge outlets for water collection and/or analysis, an outer enclosure with quick release fasteners, and base which houses the tipping bucket mechanism.

An integrated syphon control mechanism for better accuracy. The bucket tips when precipitation of 1.0 mm has been collected. A pulse from each tip is sensed by the reed switch and logged to a data logger.

Real-time inflow forecasting based on rainfall data and river levels is been established

Spillway gates have been automatically controlled for Flood Routing as per ROS & Gate operation Schedule Automatic Remote control of Canal Head Regulator gates from control room as per the Rotation Planning

Event Logging and Responsibility Assignment is done.

Communication System:

The data from wide spread remote stations received at Data Center through various communication media like GSM/GPRS or VSAT.



Wide geographic coverage

Independence from terrestrial communication

Infrastructure High availability

Communication costs independent of transmission

Distance Flexible network configuration

Rapid network deployment

Centralized control and monitoring


Key points of the System installed:

Automatic Control System for Area-Lighting 

Computerized Control System for Gallery Dewatering Pumps

Low voltage Galley Illumination System

140 KVA DG sets with Auto Mains Failure panels as back-up Power Source.


Outcomes and Resulted Benefits:

The system provides the real time monitoring and control of the reservoir operations for the flood regulation, storage optimization and water distribution management.

The system can be further improved by adding the Rainfall  Runoff relationship for flood forecasting and including the monitoring and control system for canal network operations.

The system is useful for the flood regulation and distribution management and can be implemented on other projects.

For the flood regulation the scope of system should be basin wide enabling the regulation from chain of dam with the integrated operation.

Improved Storage without endangering Dam Structure

Easy and Hassle-free Flood Regulation

Improved Water Distribution Management

Prevention in Avoidable Losses

Safety to the property and lives