Setting up a Cauvery Water Management Board is the most ideal solution to settle the on-going Cauvery water conflict as per the directions of the Supreme Court, chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC), Mr G.S. Jha said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.
“The Cauvery Water Management Board is to be set up within four weeks‘ time with representatives both from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu,” said Mr Jha while addressing an ASSOCHAM conference on ‘Governance framework for harmonising water-energy usage.’
Highlighting the importance of water storage, he said “We cannot think of bringing security unless we are able to create storage and then release water as per the requirement.”
He added that farmers are not getting commensurate benefit on investments made in the water sector. “Benefits have to be really translated in to the tangible benefits which are to be accrued to the farmers as individual farmers’ fields are not able to receive water.”
There is a need to empower, train and tell the farmers that application of more water is not going to yield more production, rather it will make their fields water-logged.
Earlier in his address at the ASSOCHAM event, Mr S.D. Dubey, chairman, Central Electricity Authority (CEA) said that it will be bringing out the National Electricity Plan by the end of this month.
“We have already submitted it to the Power ministry in September, it is a perspective plan in terms of power transmission, distribution and generation for upcoming period,” said Mr Dubey.
“Once it is approved by the ministry, then we can come out with certain figures pertaining to the same,” he added.
“We would be putting it in the public domain to invite comments from the public,” further said the CEA chairman.
While addressing the conference, Mr Sunil Kanoria, president, ASSOCHAM said “Parallel to power, water should be priced. Reasonable pricing strategy can help curb wastage. Technology intervention is required for optimizing usage of water in thermal power plants, efficient ground water based irrigation, recycling and conservation of water and rainwater harvesting.”
“Flood control strategies also need to include the use of smart geo-spatial techniques for flood forecasting and construction and strengthening of embankments at critical locations,” said Mr Kanoria.
“Water is national priority. It would be pertinent to interlink rivers to ensure availability of water in drought prone, rain-fed regions,” he added.
“A beginning can be made at intra-state level e.g. Bihar and Madhya Pradesh or Ganga-Cauvery linking through canals. Loss of water could be checked by deploying solar panels for achieving energy security in parallel to addressing water related issue,” further said the ASSOCHAM chief.
He also said that no real estate builder should be given permission unless there is provision for group water storage, rain water harvesting and treatment and recycling of waste water for secondary use. “Industry licence should also be subject to mandatory provision for treatment and recycling of waste water.”