Andhra CM seeks debate on water transfer between basins

Says efficient irrigation management will help in resolving scarcity
CM Jagan, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat and others mixing water from different rivers at the ICID in Visakhapatnam on Thursday| Express
CM Jagan, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat and others mixing water from different rivers at the ICID in Visakhapatnam on Thursday| Express

VISAKHAPATNAM: Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy suggested that the broader debate should revolve around the transfer of water from one basin to another during the monsoon season, which is increasingly uncertain due to global climate changes.

Speaking at the 25th International Congress of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) on the theme ‘Tackling Water Scarcity in Agriculture’ in Visakhapatnam on Thursday, Jagan said, “Short, intense rainfall periods necessitate efficient water transfer between basins. The canal and drainage systems play a crucial role in making this transfer possible. As the capacities of existing dams would continue to be the same, the canal irrigation system should be widened most cost-effectively to achieve this purpose.”

Addressing the conference attended by water experts from across the world, the CM noted that at present there is a situation where the period of rainfall is shorter but with massive downpours. During this period, effectively transferring water from one basin to another basin would be the biggest challenge to address and tackle water scarcity in agriculture, he stated.

He highlighted the challenges faced by the State, particularly Rayalaseema and the western parts of the South Coast, which often suffer from droughts due to poor rainfall. “Being the lower riparian State concerning major interstate rivers like Vamsadhara, Nagavali, and Godavari, we experience water shortages during lean monsoon years and excessive flooding during intense rainfall,” the Chief Minister said and added that efficient irrigation management is the key to addressing water scarcity issues.

He stressed that the period of heavy rainfall and flowing rivers offers an opportunity to address water scarcity. Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, addressed the conference and drove home the point that India is the largest user of groundwater in the world.

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