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Competing Demands for Water in Sabarmati Basin: Present and Potential Conflicts

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Ballabh, Vishwa; Singh, Katar
Conference: IDPAD Seminar on Managing Water Scarcity: Experiences and Prospects
Location: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Conf. Date: October 13-17, 1997
Date: 1997
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/292
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Subject(s): water resources
Abstract: "Water is essential for all forms of life and therefore it is invaluable. Although a renewable natural resource, water is exhaustible and has multiple uses and hence multiple demands. In many arid, semi-arid and hard rock regions of India, water resources have almost been completely exhausted and now water is not easily available even for drinking purposes. This paper attempts to study and analyse the competing demands for surface and groundwater and water-related conflicts in the Sabarmati basin lying within the administrative jurisdiction of the State of Gujarat in Western India. The study area is characterised by widespread industrialisation, intensification of irrigated agriculture and rapidly growing population in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar cities situated within the basin of the Sabarmati river. The study revealed that the requirement of water for domestic, agricultural and industrial uses in the basin exceeds significantly the quantity of water available. This has led to conflicts among various uses as well as users of water. Growing industrialisation has led to pollution of the river Sabarmati and its tributaries which in turn has adversely affected the health of the rural people and crop yields in the affected areas. The nature of conflict and the problem of pollution are illustrated through case studies of three villages and one city, Ahmedabad, located in the basin. It is argued in the paper that the present pattern of use of water is unsustainable and that in future more conflicts would crop up. It is suggested in the paper that there is need for evolving an appropriate institutional structure for regulating the use of scarce water resources in the basin as also to resolve various types of conflicts among water users."

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