Tamil Nadu and Kerala squabble over Siruvani waters

News this week
Water flows from the sluices of the Siruvani dam. (Picture courtesy: Deccan Chronicle) Water flows from the sluices of the Siruvani dam. (Picture courtesy: Deccan Chronicle)

Tamil Nadu objects to Kerala diverting excess water from Siruvani dam

Following the Tamil Nadu government’s objection to Kerala withdrawing water over and above its share from the Siruvani dam, the latter has stopped withdrawal from the check dam at Attapadi. As per the Parambikulam-Aliyar project agreement, Kerala is allowed to withdraw five cusecs from the Siruvani dam. The Kerala government had earlier requested Tamil Nadu to immediately release 400 cusecs of water to save standing paddy crops which the latter refused. Kerala’s move to withdraw excess water is seen as an arm-twisting tactic to obtain more water from the Aliyar reservoir.

Netravathi basin's ecology and biodiversity threatened by unplanned development

A recent IISc report on the carrying capacity of the Netravathi pinpoints unplanned development as one of the major threats to the river’s ecology and environment. With a catchment area of 4,409 sq km, the Netravathi is part of the ecologically fragile Western Ghats. Researchers advise against the diversion of waters from the basin as it could affect the sustenance of streams in the system. The report mentions that hydroelectric projects and unscientific tourism could have adverse effects on local biodiversity.

Excess water from Godavari to be diverted to Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh

The government plans to divert excess water from the Godavari river to help irrigate farmlands in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh. Quoting that 3000 tmc of water from the Godavari river was getting wasted into the sea, union minister Nitin Gadkari informed that a detailed project report was being prepared to ensure the rivers in the region are interlinked for the benefit of the farmers in the region. The Cauvery is expected to receive 175 tmc of water if the project comes through.

Environmentalists oppose construction of new dams in the Yamuna basin

Environmental activists have voiced their concerns about constructing new dams in the Yamuna basin. The Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh governments recently agreed to the draft interstate agreement for the construction of Lakhwar, Renuka and Kishau dams on the Yamuna and its tributaries. Field investigations conducted by a non-governmental organisation reveal that the proposed Kishau dam will affect eight Himachali villages and nine more from Uttarakhand. 

Maharashtra to measure groundwater reserves in its urban centres

Following the Union Ministry of Water Resources’ direction, Maharashtra plans to measure groundwater reserves in urban areas across the state. New guidelines and assessment techniques are expected to be employed and a comprehensive report will be submitted to the government by September 2018. The collected data would be helpful to initiate long-term planning for the utilisation of groundwater in the state. 

This is a roundup of important news from February 20-26, 2018. Also, read the policy matters this week.



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