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Protect Our River Routes

Protect Our River Routes

River can be defined as a hydrological, geomorphic, ecological, biodiversity rich, landscape developing natural system that plays key role for the freshwater cycle, balancing dynamic equilibrium between snowfall, snow-mass (including glaciers), rainfall, surface water, ground water and providing large number of social and economic services to the people and serves ecosystems in its watershed.

Quality of river

Continuous optimum flow is an inbuilt quality of a healthy river system. Perennial healthy river is a living eco-system. Environmental flow is that optimum quantity of continuously flowing water which is essential for the discharge of river’s natural responsibility. The natural responsibility also includes eco-system safety, providing environment for survival of dependent creatures and vegetation.

Drop in the flow leads to degradation of river health, unsafe conditions for the survival of aquatic life, unfavourable environment for discharge of its natural responsibility and therefore when the continuous non-monsoon flow stops, the river dries temporarily, the hydrological cycle breaks and the river lose its functional natural identity. Water is the source of life. It covers 70% of the Earth. But only a small portion of this precious natural resource is fit for human consumption. Out of the earth’s total water, 97% is stored in oceans which is not fit for human consumption. The further 3% is stored in various sources like rivers, lakes, and under-ground aquifers. Our current life is totally dependent on rivers. The river systems provide irrigation, potable water, cheap transportation, electricity, as well as livelihoods for a large number of people all over the country.

Most of the rivers are under immense pressure due to various kinds of human activities among which indiscriminate extraction of construction grade sand is the most disastrous one; Sand mining. This in turn imposes severe damages to the physical and biological environments of these river systems. Flowing healthy rivers are the lifelines of the dynamic water resource. Every healthy river-system performs its natural function and is a precious source of potable water. It also provides suitable environment to aquatic life. Freshwater habitats are home to some of the richest biodiversity on Earth. Many fish species can’t spawn if the river is too slow or shallow.

 

The first step to managing water resources fairly and sustainably is understanding the river’s natural cycles of river flows that change across the seasons, and to mimic the natural cycle of flows.