India's Waters: Environment, Economy, and Development

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ISBN 9781439872833
Cat# K13369



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  • Illustrates development of world's largest and unique river system in India, both in historic and future perspectives
  • Provides a source book for agencies involved in water resources development and environmental management, globally
  • Supplies insight from an authority in water resource management, associated with Harvard University and Fellow, International Water Resources Association (IWRA)
  • Details the development of India' water systems in terms of economical, environmental, legal and river basin development issues


Regulation of India’s rivers and other water systems has been evolving for thousands of years in the face of varying socioeconomic and technological conditions. India's Waters: Environment, Economy, and Development is a study of the current state of development, and proposed future development policies of the government of India, which is the developmental agency.

The author first addresses India’s physical and hydrological environment. He explains how the government, using his research, has estimated its usable resources and water requirements for life, environment, and economy for the next half-century. The book describes how, based on its own assessment, the government has made detailed suggestions about developing India’s water resources.

After covering the overall national study and analysis, the author addresses the current development of the major river basins— the Indus and Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) basins, as well as the Central, Peninsular and others. He follows with analysis of watershed, groundwater, and command area development. Inter-basin water transfer has been considered throughout India’s long history. This book briefly details suggestions for interlinking India’s rivers and concludes by presenting legal framework and institutional issues.

This is the first of Dr. M.C. Chaturvedi’s three studies on the waters of India. The second, India’s Waters: Advances in Development and Management, presents his proposals for revolutionizing their development, and the third focuses on development of the GBM basin, which is now an international river system. These studies are a unique contribution to the science and art of water resource development from a highly respected expert. He has designed most of the major projects in the Ganga basin and continues to teach and conduct research at the international level.

Table of Contents


Flora and Fauna
River Basins
Water Resources
Utilizable Water Resources
Water Quality

Historical Perspective
Independence and Thereafter
Political Geography
Economic Scene
Development and Participation

Development of Water for Life and Environment
Rural Water Supply and Sanitation
Urban Water Supply and Sanitation
Environmental Management
Aesthetic and Recreational Facets of Water

Development and Management for Economy
Historical Perspective
British Period
Development after Independence
Need and Impact of Irrigation
Economic Viability of Irrigation Projects
Overall Performance of Irrigation Projects
Analysis of Irrigation Sector
Hydropower Development
Flood Management
Inland Water Transport
Water for Industry

Legal Framework, Issues, and Disputes
Law under the Constitution
Legal Position before 1950
Quest for the Optimum Approach
River Basins as Units of Development
Inter-State Water Disputes
Inter-Basin Transfer of Waters
Water Rights
Groundwater Regulation
Prevention and Control of Pollution
Farmer-Friendly Laws
Need for National Water Code
Some Advances in Consideration of River Basin Conflicts

Institutional Setup and Issues
Development and Management Functions
Political System—British Raj
Development and Setup under British Regime
Institutional Arrangements in Independent India-Central
Institutional Setup in States
Engineering Services
Institutional Reforms
Organizational Issues

Indus Basin
The System
Political System and Administration
Development of Water—Historical and Early British Period
Construction of New Irrigation Systems in Punjab—British Period
Developments in Sind and Sind–Punjab Dispute
Indus Treaty
Developments in India after Independence
Groundwater Development
Waterlogging and Salinity Management
Command Area Development and On-Farm Development
Inter-State Disputes
Indus Basin in Pakistan

Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghana Basin Development
GBM Region
Historical Development
Development Policy in British Period and Since
Developments in Ganga Basin in India
Developments in Brahmaputra Basin
Development in Meghna or Barak
Developments along Nepal
Indo-Nepal Collaboration
Collaborative Indo-Bhutan Development
Indo-Bangladesh Interaction
Management of Floods
Hydroelectric Development
Development of Groundwater

Central, Peninsular, and Other River Basins
Central River Basins
East-Flowing Peninsular Rivers
West-Flowing Rivers of Kutch and Saurashtra Including Luni
West-Flowing Rivers South of Tapi
East-Flowing Rivers between Mahanadi and Pennar
East-Flowing Rivers between Pennar and Kanyakumari
Krishna–Godavari Dispute
Cauvery Dispute

Watershed, Groundwater, and Command Area Development
Watershed Management
Local Water Resources Development and Management
Groundwater Development and Management
Command Area Development

Interlinking of India's Rivers
Historical Perspective
National Water Grid
Garland Canal
National Perspective—Interlinking of Rivers
Interbasin Transfer Proposals—Overview

Current Policy and Futures Perspective
Water Resource
Water Requirement
Water Balance
National Water Policy
Some Observations


Chapters include an introduction and notes.