Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Conflicts over water

Water is essential for our existence and is fast becoming scarce. Rapidly increasing population and limited water resources  give rise to conflicts over water.
Conflict through use: Unequal distribution of water leads to inter-state or international disputes.
International conflicts

  1. Conflict over water from the Indus between India and Pakistan
  2. Conflict over water from the Colorado river between Mexico and USA
  3. Conflict over water from the Shatt-al-Arab between Iran and Iraq
  4. Conflict over water from the Bhramaputra between India and Bangladesh

National conflicts

  1. Sharing of Cauvery water between Karnataka and Tamilnadu
  2. Sharing of Krishna water between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
  3. Sharing of Siruveni water between Tamilnadu and Kerala
Construction of dams or power stations:
For hydroelectric power generation, dams are built across the rivers, and this initiates conflicts between the states.

Conflict through pollution:
Rivers are also used for industrial purposes. They act as reservoirs for supply of fresh water and also a receptor of waste water and rubbish from the industry. Water crossing borders that has been polluted by wastes from one country develops into an international conflict.

Management of water conflicts
  1. Concerted efforts are required to enforce laws that check these practices to control water pollution
  2. In order to overcome the problem of sharing river water in a country, the concept of interlinking of rivers has been suggested
  3. Rivers should be nationalized, the National Water Authority and River Basin Authority should be given powers to ensure equitable distribution of basin water.

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