Climate change and over exploitation of water resources have put pressure on rivers. Discuss what remedial measures should be taken to save rivers.

Industrialisation, Urbanisation and population explosion have strained the water resources of the country of which rivers are the most important and exploited resource.Annual per capita water availability which was 5177 cubic metres in 1951 has declined to 1545 cubic metres in 2011, against the international threshold for water stress pegged at 1700 cubic metres.
Thus the remedial measures to save river are:
a)Sewage treatment would play an important part in preventing contamination of river from untreated water from cities and towns.Under Namami Gange programme Sewage treatment plant are to be installed near cities.
b)Industries polluting the rivers with untreated effluent need to be shut down or ordered to treat their effluent discharge.
c)Sound agricultural practices need to be adopted to prevent surface run off from fields which contain fertilisers, pesticides etc.
d) Improved sanitation facility to make banks of rivers open defecation free.
e)Floodplains and riparian vegetation are the important  part of the river ecosystem and hence protection of floodplains is necessary for river health. Planting of trees along bank can provide environmental, social and economic benefits.
f)River basin institutions with multi-sectoral expertise and the ability to understand and model the impact of human actions in the basin that can harm rivers, can and will help us revive our rivers. 
g)Creating public awareness about the importance of rivers and impact of pollution on them.
Cleaning of rivers needs participation from all the stakeholders like government, citizens, private sector, NGOs towards restoring river health.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Climate change and over exploitation of water resources have put pressure on rivers. Discuss what remedial measures should be taken to save rivers.
TOI

Published: October 2, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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