WATER : Resource Augmentation, Management & Policies

WATER : Resource Augmentation, Management & Policies
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WATER : Resource Augmentation, Management & Policies

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Publisher: Asia Tech Publications
ISBN: 9788187680130
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PREFACE
A nation's water resource is the richest wealth it can be proud of, apart from its heritage, language and culture. The distribution of this wealth in different parts of the Planet Earth is skewed and unequal. Some terrain segments are entirely deprived of water for various reasons. The paucity of the water wealth has affected roughly half of the world population one way or other. This population devotes considerable time and efforts daily to carry water to their homes from long distances. As if it is not enough, the very same water that they bring home after so much of labour often inflicts a host of diseases such as diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, worm infestation and fluorosis to them and their offspring, because they collect this water from a source that is neither protected nor treated. Sometimes that water gets infected during storage. There is no precise current estimate on how many people world over perish daily due to the non-availability of protected water and water-linked infections, but a 1992 statistics say that as much as 25,000 children alone die every day due to water-borne diseases. This rate of mortality is growing with each passing year, and reports of water-related mortality are coming in from those countries where they were not reported earlier. Such statistics and bare facts are indeed depressing, and are the root cause for this book. I had no idea of water scarcity in my early phase of life. I realized that the water scarcity was a reality as late as around 1970 through the print medium, as th ere w ere reports that several districts in Tamil Nadu such as Ramnathapuram and Tirunelveli and Rajasthan's desert districts faced water crisis. Between the yearsl976 and 1985,1 had the privilege of ferrying across the mighty Brahmaputra River several times at different places in the post monsoon period. I was awe-struck by the vastness of the Brahmaputra River near Guwahati, Tezpur and Dibrugarh. I wishfully thought that if there were one such river in every State of India, there would not be water
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Preface
scarcity in the whole country, and that its water would immensely benefit many of our cities and towns. In December 2002, in a scientific meet held at Hyderabad on the theme of Remote Sensing, a young rem ote-sensing scientist based at Guwahati had told me that he was keen to learn remotesensing techniques in sustainable development of water resource, as he was trying to find solutions to augment water resources in and around Guwahati. He said that several areas in Guwahati face water scarcity at regular frequency in recent times. The information about the scarcity of water in Guwahati, which is situated right at the left bank of mighty Brahmaputra River, stunned me. In the early-1990s, the World Bank functionaries have observed that if the Indian government did not formulate a sensible Water Policy and also take concrete steps to conserve and develop water resources, India might have to face serious problems in economic slow down and downward trends in the agriculture and industry sectors. Ironically, after a decade, this statement has relevance not only to India, but to the whole world as well. There are instances in many parts of the world, including India, that despite availability