Water Distribution | Centre for Science and Environment

Water Distribution


Six sins that make drought invincible

It’s drought time again. Nothing new in this announcement. Each year, first we have crippling droughts between December and June, and then devastating floods in the next few months. It’s a cycle of despair, which is more or less predictable. But this is not an inevitable cycle of nature we must live with. These droughts and floods are man-made, caused by deliberate neglect and designed failure of the way we manage water and land. What we must note with concern is that these “natural” disasters are growing in intensity and ferocity.

Grand distraction called river interlinking

Last fortnight, the Supreme Court issued a diktat to the government to implement the scheme to interlink rivers. The directions are straightforward.

Policies

Already about 10 states have formulated and adopted their own water policies, and the rest are in the process of doing so. The state water policies are comprehensive and treat water as a finite resource. The need to manage water resources in a scientific manner has been recognised in the policies and hence a lot of emphasis has been given to sustainable exploitation of water and groundwater resources.

Legislations

 

There are a number of legislations on the  national level with the objective of conserving natural resources like water as well for addressing the problem of pollution. However, water  being a state subject, the importance of state legislations on the same theme is that much more. Various states have either already formulated or are in the process of drafting legislations tackling natural resources like land and water.

New national water policy in the pipeline

A new and approved National Water Policy is expected to be in place by 2013. The revised policy will take on board crucial issues such as water demand management, equitable distribution, water pricing, stringent regulatory mechanism and allocating priority to water for life-support and ecology over industry. The new approach to the water policy is likely to recognise water as finite and variable. This is supported by the mid-term appraisal report of the XIth Plan, in which the Planning Commission recognised the need to "take a holistic view of the hydrological cycle" to solve the water crisis as India's water situation is even more serious than originally assessed.

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