Deltas Sinking and Shrinking as Dams Curb Steady Flow of Fresh Water to the Coast

Published: 28th January 2015 09:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th January 2015 09:09 PM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: The deltas across the country are sinking and shrinking as dams and reservoirs has stopped the flow of fresh water to the sea besides the riuse in sea level, according to R Ramesh, director of National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management.

Ramesh told Express on the sidelines of Multi Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on Coastal and Marine Zone Management at the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation that the dams and reservoirs have reduced the water flow to the coast and this is a global phenomenon.

He said that the major reason behind sinking and shrinking of deltas is sediment trapping by the dams built on the upstream rivers, which has resulted in oceans eroding and eating away deltas.

He said his Centre is also identifying the hotspots along the coastline that are vulnerable to pollution. He said National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management has launched a study on the Indian coast and has completed nearly 50 per cent of it.

“We have completed the stretch between Kerala to Tamil Nadu and Kerala to Gujarat. Now we have to study the stretch between Goa to Gujarat and also between Tamil Nadu to West Bengal,” said Ramesh.

He said the study would identify eutrphication of estuaries as well as dangerous algae blooms besides various other factors. “We have hired the ship from National Institute of Ocean Technology and are conducting the study. The hotspots will be identified once the data will be collated,” he added.

He also said a national guideline for the development and implementation of Indian Coastal Zone Management plans in India has been developed. Currently, it is being implemented in Gujarat (Gulf of Kachchh), West Bengal (Digha to Sankarpur and Sagar Island) and Odisha (Gopalpur to Chilika and Paradeep to Dhamra). This will soon be implemented in other states also, he added. He said the ICZM guidelines would only be implemented in the vulnerable areas.


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