Choice to be made between large scale water projects and decentralized water collection systems,says Ramaswamy Iyer

A talk on the choices between development, dams and water projects

Sometome back, in one of the interviews discussing large dams (with ADB) Ramaswamy Iyer said,

If we say "No" to big dams, we should be prepared to say "No" to those other things as well. But this requires a rethinking of what we see as "development," and at the moment, it is difficult to imagine such a radical exercise taking place.

 

 Ramaswamy Iyer

Ramaswamy Iyer delivering the keynote address at WHSC 2009 (Photo: Praveena Sridhar)

In today's keynote, he emphasized on similar issues, and remarked that choices would have to be made - between large scale water projects and decentralized water collection systems.

Some notes on the talk:

  • To control rivers, consrtuct dams and undertake large scale projects, was a matter  of pride for a hydrologist. 
  • Ground Water was promoted widely during the 1980s.
  •  1990 saw India become the biggest user of ground water. 
  •  India has exploited ground water the most, in the world and it is also the country which relies on ground water as the major resource of freshwater
  •  Now, small scale has begun to make sense!
  •  All measures to recharge ground water should be stricly in harmony with the environment.
  •  Setting up dams is not the perfect way to harvest rain water it has adverse effects.
  •  NGOs and Civil Society Organizations play an important role in Rain Water Harvesting.

 (With inputs from Tushar Gupta)

 

Please click here to find the complete transcript of the speack here. Thanks to Ramaswamy Iyer for sharing his transcript with us.

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