Stretched

  • 30/12/2007

The challenge of development lies in balancing competing water demands

Hirakud is only the tip of the iceberg. Across India, industrial demand for water is set to grow exponentially. If this demand is not carefully planned, water will become the biggest point of conflict between industry and the people who currently use this water. In the industrialized world, industry and urban households use over 70 per cent of the water resources, while agriculture gets 30 per cent. In traditional water economies like India, the reverse is true: agriculture consumes over 70 per cent and industry and urban areas the rest.

The transition towards the industrial economy can thinly stretch water resources. This is what is happening in Orissa. In the past seven years, 70 industries were allocated water from various river basins in the state. Since the Brahmani has been extensively exploited, the Mahanadi has emerged as the next big source. Half the upcoming industries in the state are in the Mahanadi basin. Within the Mahanadi, the major burden of meeting water demand

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