The Interlinking of Indian Rivers in India and Its Implications on Environment

The Interlinking of Indian Rivers in India and Its Implications on Environment

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  • Date Submitted: 10/25/2008 6:09 AM
  • Category: Technology
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The Interlinking of Indian Rivers in India and its implications on Environment

M. Feroz Khan
Scientist, Reservoir Division of CIFRI, Hessarghatta
Lake Post, Bangalore – 560089, India

1. Introduction

The availability of freshwater at various spots on the Earth's terrestrial surface will continue to be determined by the hydrological cycle, till such a time when technologies like desalination of seawater is practiced on a reasonably extended scale. The rapid growth in the demand of freshwater driven by growth in the global population and of the economies, has led to this natural resource becoming scarce in many parts of the world. As a result, the ratio between the number of people and the available water resource is worsening day by day. By 2020, the global population is projected to touch 7.9 billion, which is 50 percent larger than that in 1990 (Dyson, 1996). Because of this rapidly growing human population, the world may see more than a sixfold increase in the number of people living in conditions of water stress - from 470 million today to 3 billion in 2025 (Postel, 1999).

In the global picture, India is identified as a country where water scarcity is expected to grow considerably in the coming decades. Further, drought conditions resulting from climatic variability cause considerable human suffering in many parts of the country, in the form of scarcity of water for both satisfaction of basic needs and crop protection. The project for interlinking of rivers of India emanates from a desire of the political leadership of the country to bring a permanent solution to the negative impacts of drought and water shortages in these parts (IWRS, 1996). Such a desire is, without question, worthy of applause because satisfaction of domestic water needs should be considered as a human right and be given the top priority.

The interlinking project is based on the National Perspective for Water Development as...

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