Land and Water Resources

The natural resources of a river basin have an extensive, long-term influence on the river system – both valuable and harmful inputs (such as water, sediments, nutrients, wastes, and pollutants) and biotic components. River basin management requires detailed information of land resources in basin.
The land with least anthropogenic interference is considered as ‘land resource’ and includes mountains, hills, grasslands, forests and barren land. There are five major factors which affect land resources: rock, soil, slope, vegetation and erosion. To understand and evaluate the diverse impacts of these agents, it is necessary to compile a complete inventory of the land resources such as forests, grasslands and soils. Alongwith its partner institutes, cGanga is initiating discussions for developing land resource planning framework and monitoring impacts.

Similarly, the relationships between river, surface water and ground water are inextricably entwined. This includes man-made and natural water resources of the basin streams, water falls, natural drainage, well, stepwell and small rivers. In order to create a better understanding of the basin, a periodic evaluation and audit of water resources is required.

Having this information on land and water resources is a pre-requisite for formulating strategies and modifying plans. cGanga is in the process of compiling atlas of rivers for different states and geographical regions. This documentation exercise considers existing as well as extinct and near-extinct rivers, and depends on historical information from archives and also folklore and narratives old generation. Such an exercise also reveals the status of river health and highlights the cases which require urgent attention e.g., rivers facing near-extinction could be revived and revitalized by timely attention and efforts. In addition, having an idea of already existing usable resources would save revenue, time and effort in setting up auxiliary infrastructure required for various projects.

While formulating policies and implementing plans, energy audit in various sectors is also important. There is a need to know how much water is required for various industries so that excessive usage could be controlled. It has been observed that many industries use excess water which diverts major portion of this resource from other sectors which face shortage or lack of resources.

The main study activities on Land and Water Resources Portfolio thus cover inventory, accounts and audit.