While keeping basin of river Cauvery in focus, discus the impact of demography on cropping pattern, water use pattern and land use pattern.

Published: February 18, 2018

River Cauvery also Known as Dakshina Ganga, is the lifeline of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The demographic changes have increased the pressure on the river. The increasing population has brought considerable changes in cropping pattern, water use pattern and land use pattern.
Changes in Cropping Pattern

  • Tamil Nadu’s cropping pattern has changed from two crops per year to three crops per year.
  • Karnataka has seen farmers switching over to water intensive crops like paddy in place of traditional ragi and millet.
  • Sugar cane cultivation has become a characteristic of Cauvery river basin.
  • Coffee-growing system that has shifted from stream-fed shady plantations to irrigated plantations

Water use pattern

  • In efficient modes of irrigation leading to increasing salinity of the soil.
  • Industrialisation along the river stream has resulted in increased demand of water.

Land use pattern

  • Declining forest cover, state of forest survey has shown reduction in forest area by over 10% in 2013 when compared to 2003 along the river basin.
  • Increase in the number of agro based industries like sugar factories.

The population is increasing at an exponential rate but the catchment area and the water flow across the river is reducing due to ecological imbalances. This has made crisis inevitable. Therefore there is a need to bring fundamental shift in approach towards river management from right based approach to responsibility based approach.

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