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India Water Week 2013 9th January 2013, YIGYAN BHAWAN, New Delhi


THE SCOPE •River basin development stages •Water Services and Environmental Services. •Why talk about environmental flows.  Interconnections  Hydo-solidarity  Sharing water, sharing benefits

•Legal and Institutional aspects •Questions that need to be answered


       

Drinking Water supply Agriculture water supply Industrial water supply Urban water supply Generating Hydropower Cooling water for thermal power generation Maintaining Navigational depth Ecosystem services


Its not only about Water quality or fish migration but about good ecological status Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: sythesis, Island Press, Washington, DC.


Fluvial processes

Church, M., 2002. Geomorphic thresholds in riverine landscapes, Freshwater Biology, 47: 541–557.


From: J Keller, A Keller and G Davids, 1998, Jnl of Applied Irrigation Science


Phase I: Exploitation (a) Direct surface diversion and shallow GW pumping (b) Building storage and distribution: deep GW use Phase II: Conservation (c) Demand reduction and efficiency increase (d) Water treatment, reclamation and salt disposal Phase III: Augmentation (e) Water transfer from distant basins (f) Freshwater creation and desalinating sea water Net

Withdrawals + Minimum Instream Flow Needs > Supply During Minimum Flow


Hydrological boundaries do not coincide with the administrative boundaries

Water flows down gradient across the landscape: more complicated than sharing common pooled resources Between terrestrial (land-based) conditions and water resources Relationship between upstream and downstream entities

  

water quality and quantity, upstream and downstream entities, and various components of the hydrologic cycle


All users obviously become increasingly interdependent.

Efficiency of water use increasingly becomes a public issue

Strategies to improve and manage efficiency differ from one part of the system to another

Increasing the effective efficiency of water use and reducing or reversing the degradation of water quality in a given water-use cycle affects all subsequent cycles.

Requires increasingly efficient, effective management (conjunctive use) of both surface water and groundwater

Managing closing water systems requires flexibility to be able to move water where and when it is needed to maximize the water multiplier


Sovereignty is emphasized for water just as it is for land and other natural resources that are bound to a particular place;

Water flows downhill, potentially affecting other individuals or groups and crossing political boundaries.

Hydro-solidarity is the cooperative, unified management of shared water resources, whether at the national or the international level.

Sharing of water resources has traditionally focused on water quantity allocation and in certain cases pollution problems, and not on the maintenance of "ecosystem services" supported by water health of aquatic ecosystems


The goal of environmental flows is

to provide a flow regime that is adequate in terms of quantity, quality and timing for sustaining the health of the rivers and other aquatic ecosystems. 

The degree of ‘good health’ at which the river will be sustained is,  a societal judgement  vary from country to country and region to region .

E.g., The stated goal for environmental flows for the River Murray in Australia is “a healthy, working river – one that assures us of continued prosperity, clean water and a flourishing environment”


Scientific uncertainties • Existing conditions of ecosystems • Impact of human interventions on environment and ecosystems

Precautionary principle: “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”.

Adaptive management: An approach to dealing with scientific uncertainties, wherein, decisions are made as part of an ongoing science-based process.


Under the Indian Constitution water is primarily a State subject, but it is an increasingly important national concern in the context of: the judicial recognition of the right to water as a part of the fundamental right to life; the general perception of an imminent water crisis, and the dire and urgent need to conserve; the pollution of rivers and other water sources, turning rivers into sewers or poison and contaminating aquifers; the severe and intractable inter-use and inter-State conflicts; the

long-term environmental, ecological and social implications of projects to augment the availability of water for human use


Are we feeling (or not feeling) the pinch of polluted water bodies or not?

If yes, what can be done to acknowledge the right of the river?

What role can provision of ‘environmental flows’, among other options, play in improving the situation?

What is hindering acceptance of the right of river?

Do we have adequate policy, legal and institutional mechanisms?

Do we have sufficient regulatory mechanisms?

Do we have the capacity?


To be a part of Global efforts for better Agricultural Water Management

Join International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage 48, Nyaya Marg, Chankyapuri New Delhi, INDIA

www.icid.org


increasing Water Use Efficiency: case for setting aside gains for environmental flow  

Brainstorming Session 6

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