Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.

Places in news: Sardar Sarovar Dam


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Sardar Sarovar Dam

Mains level : NA

The Sardar Sarovar Dam is providing irrigation water in summer for the first time in history.

Sardar Sarovar Dam

  • The Sardar Sarovar Narmada Dam is a terminal dam built on the Narmada river at Kevadia in Gujarat’s Narmada district.
  • Four Indian states, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, receive water and electricity supply from the dam.
  • The foundation stone of the project was laid out by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on 5 April 1961.
  • The project took form in 1979 as part of a development scheme funded by the World Bank through their International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to increase irrigation and produce hydroelectricity
  • Called the ‘lifeline of Gujarat’, it usually has no water for irrigation during summers.

Answer this PYQ in the comment box:

Q.Which one of the following pairs is not correctly matched?


Dam/Lake River

(a) Govind Sagar: Satluj

(b) Kolleru Lake: Krishna

(c) Ukai Reservoir: Tapi

(d) Wular Lake: Jhelum

A successful model of river water sharing

  • River Narmada is a classic case of Integrated River Basin Planning, Development, and Management, with water storage available in all major, medium, and minor dams on the main river and its tributaries.
  • Its water is shared amongst four party states – Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra — in the ratio stipulated by the 1979 award of the Narmada Water Dispute Tribunal.

How has it saved water for summers?

  • During the monsoon from July to October, the reservoir operation is well synchronized with the rain forecast in the catchment area.
  • The strategic operation of River Bed Power House (RPBH) ensures that minimum water flows downstream into the sea and maximum water is used during the dam overflow period, which is not calculated in the annual water share.
  • These measures help in maximizing the annual allocation of water share.
  • Similarly, in non-monsoon months, the measures for efficient use of the allocated share typically include minimizing the conventional and operational losses.
  • It includes: avoiding water wastage, restricting water-intensive perennial crops, adopting of Underground Pipelines (UGPL); proper maintenance and operation of canals on a rotational basis.

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