Focus On Environmental Assessment Needs For Water Resources Development Projects In India
Free (open access)
L. S. Deshpande & P. S. Kelkar
This paper presents a situation analysis of water resource development projects in India and the need for environmental assessment of such projects. The finite water resources will not be adequate unless measures such as rainwater harvesting and inter-basin water transfers are implemented. An approach for the sustainable development of such projects must be adopted through proper environmental assessment. Apart from technical/scientific interventions it is necessary to create awareness to utilize water resources optimally. The mitigation measures must be interwoven while preparing the project document. The benefits accrued must take into consideration the damages posed to the environment. The paper presents details about the impact of river action plans carried out in India. The paper also emphasises the need for an appropriate environmental impact study with a holistic approach towards water resources development. Keywords: environmental assessment, water resources development, sustainable development, rainwater harvesting, inter-basin transfer. 1 Introduction Water is the elixir of life. India is blessed with a bounty of fresh water. The Himalayas, the Vindhyas, the Eastern and Western Ghats intercept the monsoon rainfall and thus the rivers flow in abundance during a short period of rainfall. The distribution of rainfall, however, is such that India, perhaps, is a unique country facing both flood and draught concurrently. The floods are experienced in some parts and at the same time some other part is anxiously waiting for rains,
environmental assessment, water resources development, sustainable development, rainwater harvesting, inter-basin transfer.