RIVERS AND CLIMATIC CHANGE: FUTURE CONFLICT OR COOPERATION
Climate change is working on the impact of changing climate in the region likely to increase the variability of water resources affecting human health and livelihoods. Therefore, special impetus should be given towards mitigation at micro level by enhancing the capabilities of community to adopt climate resilient technological options. The adaptation strategies could, inter alia, include increasing water storage in its various forms, namely, soil moisture, ponds, ground water, small and large reservoirs, and their combination, which provides a mechanism for dealing with increased variability because of climate change. The adaptation strategies could also include better demand management, particularly, through adoption of compatible agricultural strategies and cropping patterns and improved water application methods, such as land leveling and/or drip/ sprinkler irrigation as they enhance the water use efficiency, as also, the capability for dealing with increased variability because of climate change. Similarly, industrial processes should be made more water efficient. Stakeholder participation in land-soil-water management with scientific inputs from local research and academic institutions for evolving different agricultural strategies, reducing soil erosion, and improving soil fertility should be promoted. Planning and management of water resources structures, such as, dams, flood embankments, tidal embankments, etc., should incorporate coping strategies for possible climate changes. The acceptability criteria regarding new water resources projects need to be re-worked in view of the likely climate changes.
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