Importance Of Water Management In River Management

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There are several government organisations at Central and State level, with overlapping and competing jurisdictions responsible for water management in India. Decentralised water management system often generates conflicting objectives and lead to competing claims. Such competing claims often aggravate disputes, especially when management decisions are formulated without adequate involvement of the local communities and water users. The National Water Policy 2002 proposed the establishment of an appropriate river basin organisation to aid in the planning, development and management of river basins as a whole. This would ensure that the available water resources are put to optimal use with regard to existing agreements/ awards (GoI, 2002). For…show more content…
Wherever a major river, lake, or aquifer system is shared by two or more states, decision makers and managers face a challenge of achieving equitable and sustainable use of the water resource. However, in the case of the Mullaperiyar conflict where the management and utilisation of water is by one State and the burden of risk completely falls on the other, ‘hydropolitical cooperation’ becomes increasingly critical for enabling rigorous scientific inquiry and analysis into the eminent risks. The conflict raging over the Mullaperiyar, brings into focus the need for inclusive river basin management framework for water management and conflict resolution, as inter-basin conflicts are overlaid with various boundaries of interest- spatial, temporal and institutional that pose grave challenges to simplistic conceptions of river basin management. It has been pointed out that the planning and management of basin water allocation and uses are embedded in a broader political context where numerous non-water issues are at work (Venot et al., 2011). These include the political expediencies and incumbencies that influence decisions on water resource development, the trajectory of conflicts and to a large extent, the resolution mechanisms relied upon. In the case of inter basin diversions, where two or more basins are linked through water transfers, these…show more content…
It is a classic situation where the conflicts over the resource go way beyond the river basin boundaries to become the statement of state sentiments. It therefore becomes important to reconcile river basin imperatives to these wider interest boundaries that are created through inter- basin water transfers and the inevitable linking of the basins involved. Pani (2010) had observed that a multi-dimensional and inclusive approach which recognizes the divergence between the basin and the non-basin areas that utilize the waters is required to resolve inter-state river water disputes. The entirety of the challenges that make up the Mullaperiyar issue can be envisioned only within an inclusive concept of river basin from a historical perspective that recognizes the irrefutable interconnections between the basins that has increased the basin water demands and the wider boundaries of disparate state and political interests that would always influence basin based decisions. The Mullaperiyar conflict forewarns us of the immense challenge to river basin based management posed by the proposed ‘Interlinking of Rivers of India’ scheme in which large scale

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