February 26, 2005

2005: Highlight # 19

Water from the Narmada river basin is shared between four states. What do changing water uses in the basin mean for basin water allocation? Singh and others discuss... 

Changing Water Use Hydrology of Narmada River Basin

Implications for Basin Water Allocation

O.P. Singh, M. Dinesh Kumar and Santanu Ghosh

During the past two and a half decades, several changes have taken place on the socioeconomic front in the Narmada river basin, with impact on water use patterns and the hydrological system. Changing water use hydrology can have serious implications for the sanctity of the allocation norms that form the basis for sharing of flows from the basin, enforced by Narmada Control Authority (NCA) for the party states. This is serious, and a potential source of conflict, particularly when recent records have shown flows lower than the estimates.

Private lifting of water from surface sources in the basin is heavily underestimated. Increased diversion of water through gravity systems means increased recharge and increased availability of water for agricultural wells in the region. Increased green water use would have significant implications for surface flows, as the basin hydrology gets altered because of this.

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