In what way, can floods be converted into sustainable source of irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India?

A major portion of the territory of India experiences flood during monsoon season in June-July. And several other places like Uttarakhand experience the same due to abrupt rainfall.

The incidents eventually cause surface runoff, crop damage, wealth, and life losses. It could be avoided by the following methods

Inter-basin transfer: It is the moving of the water from a surplus area to a shortage area. India has been practicing the method for a long time. Some of the examples in India are the Beas-Sutlej link project, Ken-Betwa link project, Telugu Ganga Project, etc. It also helps in the development of inland navigation.

Barrage and Dams: During monsoon season, dams and barrages store excess water to prevent floods. Later it releases the water in a regulated manner or uses it in power generation (In the case of Dams). For example, Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) was set up in 1948 by following the Tennessee Valley Authority in the USA. The main objective of DVC was flood control but it has been generating and transmitting power since 1953.

Rain-water harvesting: Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rainwater to use it in the future for different purposes. The rain-water can be stored in wells, tanks. Countries like China, Argentina, and Brazil practice rooftop rainwater harvesting to use it for drinking, irrigation and to avoid the depletion of groundwater.

Irrigation: Some of the south Indian states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu are heavily drought-prone. River interlinking projects could transfer direct water to those areas or the barrage could store water for future uses. It would definitely be beneficial to maintain continuous agricultural growth.

All the methods stated above could have the ability to convert floods into sustainable sources of irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India.

Question for UPSC Mains:
In what way, can floods be converted into sustainable source of irrigation and all-weather inland navigation in India? (250 words)

Published: October 30, 2017 | Modified:August 19, 2020

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