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INTRODUCTION <ul><li>The world is fast running out of usable water. Anthropogenic activities are polluting and depleting this finite wellspring of life at a startling rate. Industrialization, intensive agriculture, pollution, deforestation, and construction of large dams have damaged the earth’s surface water in persistent ways. Quite simply, unless we change our ways and practices the world will be living with freshwater shortages in the coming future. Keeping in view the increasing demand for water, the government of India developed a new National Water Policy, which states that “water is a prime natural resource, a basic need and a precious national asset. </li></ul>
INTRODUCTION:: <ul><li>The present ineffective management of water ignores the potential of conservation and embraces the chimeric alternative of increasing supply. Degraded watersheds, drying local pond systems, shrinking canal networks, and wetland degradation as a result of anthropogenic activity and climate change relegate water to the status of “scarce commodity.” The ever-increasing stress caused by population growth and concomitant increased agricultural and industrial demands for water have created an apparent scenario of water shortage that requires augmentation. </li></ul>
INTRODUCTION:: <ul><li>The assessed needs could be met with more efficient utilization of </li></ul><ul><li>intra-basin resources, except in case of Cauvery and Vaigai basins </li></ul><ul><li>where limited water transfers could take place by transferring water </li></ul><ul><li>from Godavari River. Despite this report, plans were floated to combat </li></ul><ul><li>water deficits by conveying surpluses to water deficient locations. </li></ul><ul><li>Various political parties and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members in </li></ul><ul><li>Tamil Nadu felt that linking river water resources could enhance the </li></ul><ul><li>realization of water needs. These political pressures pushed the </li></ul><ul><li>proposal forward, leading to a Supreme Court direction to the </li></ul><ul><li>government of India demanding that the government take steps to </li></ul><ul><li>interlink certain major rivers of the country by the year 2012, spelling </li></ul><ul><li>the beginning of the “Interlinking of Rivers Project”. </li></ul>
CERTAIN FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT:: <ul><li>Water Despite opulent precipitation of 4,000 cubic km annually over India, 3,000 cubic km of the total is confined to the four months of monsoon, with the remaining 1,000 cubic km falling in the remaining eight months of the year. Even this precipitation is uneven. Parts of the country have abundant precipitation and others face extreme water deficits. The bulk of water during the monsoon washes into the oceans unused. Annual water resources of the country are measured in terms of run-off in the river systems, estimated by the National Commission as 1,953 cubic km. </li></ul>
EVENTS BULIDNG TO THE CONTROVERSY:: <ul><li>The idea of a Ganga-Cauvery Link was proposed by Dr. K.L. Rao, former Union Minister for Irrigation, in 1975. It envisaged a link taking off near Patna, passing through the watersheds of the Sone, Narmada, Tapi, Godavari, Krishna, and Pennar rivers, and joining the Cauvery up-stream of Grand Anicut. The link was to traverse 2,640 km and involved a lift of water 450 meters from the flood flows of the Ganga, withdrawing 60,000 cusecs (60,000 cubic feet per second) of water for 150 days in a year . </li></ul><ul><li>The plan floundered, as it involved an estimated cost of Rs. 12,500 crores ($2.7 billion) and required a large energy consumption to operate its pumps. </li></ul>
EVENTS BUILDING TO CONTROVERSIES:: <ul><li>The Central Water Commission examined this proposal and found its costs to be grossly underestimated. While the proposal was not pursued as such, it still lingers in the minds of people in times of scarcity of water as a possible resolution to the continuing dispute over Cauvery River water between the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The persistent interest by many people sustains the impetus to study inter-basin water transfer proposals. </li></ul>
FACTS ABOUT THE PROPOSED RIVER LINKS:: <ul><li>The interlinking river project is separated into two primary components </li></ul><ul><li>1. THE HIMALAYAN COMPONENT PROPOSING A CONSTRUCTION OF 14 CANALS </li></ul><ul><li>The project intends to link the Brahmaputra and its tributaries with the Ganga and the Ganga with the Mahanadi River to transfer surplus water from east to west. The scheme envisages flood control in the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins and a reduction in water deficits for many states </li></ul>
FACTS ABOUT THE PROPOSED RIVER LINKS:: <ul><li>2.THE PENINSULAR COMPONENT WITH A PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF 16 CANALS. </li></ul><ul><li>, river interlinks are envisaged to benefit the states of Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Pondicherry, and Maharashtra. The linkage of the Mahanadi and Godavari rivers is proposed to feed the Krishna, Pennar, Cauvery, and Vaigai rivers. Transfer of water from Godavari and Krishna entails pumping 1,200 cusecs of water over a crest of about 116 meters. Interlinking the Ken with the Betwa, Parbati, Kalisindh, and Chambal rivers is proposed to benefit Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. </li></ul>
FACTS ABOUT PROPOSED LINKS:: <ul><li>The river link network envisages knitting together ten major rivers across the nation, unheard of in human history. The project is likely to alter the geography of the country, impose ecological risks, and also inadvertently distribute pollutant loads across the rivers, spreading local contamination problems and raising questions of accountability for sources of pollution. </li></ul>