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Multi-Purpose River Projects and Integrated Water Resources Management

Last Updated : 16 Aug, 2023
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Three-fourths of the world’s surface is covered with water yet just a little extent of it represents freshwater, that can be put to utilize. Water is an inexhaustible asset. Multipurpose waterway projects are water assets projects made arrangements for different purposes like water systems, hydropower age, water supply for drinking and modern purposes, flood control, and route. These are projects filling an excess, assuming a significant part in the economy and improvement of a country. It is regularly seen that most of the multipurpose waterway projects in India are a mix of water systems and hydropower. Lately, the state-claimed Hydroelectric Power Goliath NHPC has consolidated a joint endeavor firm Ratle Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd for executing the 850 MW Ratle project in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Individuals in old India fabricated numerous pressure-driven structures like dams, fake lakes, tanks, and waterways to store and redirect water for the water system.


Multi-Purpose River Projects

Multi-Purpose River Projects

A dam is a design that shapes a boundary across a stream to direct the progression of water. Dams can be ordered into a few sorts in light of their level and material utilized for development. We have constructed many enormous dams across significant streams in India. The basic role of dams has forever been to give water to the water system. Present-day dams are additionally used to produce power and supply water to businesses and families. Dams are utilized to control flooding in flood-inclined regions by managing the progression of water downstream.

The supplies made behind a few dams are utilized for reproducing fish. Dams can likewise be utilized to redirect water into existing more modest streams to advance inland routes. A few dams are well-known vacation destinations and amusement spots. Dams are called multi-reason stream projects because of the numerous ways that they propose to deal with our water assets. A dam makes a colossal repository of water that lowers huge stretches of the encompassing region.

Significant advantages of huge multi-reason projects go to enormous landowners and industrialists, while the nearby, poor, landless individuals have essentially nothing to acquire. Better water system offices draw in ranchers to develop more water-concentrated business crops, prompting over-water systems and expansion in soil saltiness. The development of dams causes biological issues too like square the relocation of fish, disturbing the natural equilibrium, and endangering a few sea-going animal categories.

The unexpected arrival of huge amounts of water from dams brings about enormous scope of flooding in plain regions. Huge dams hinder the free progression of stream water, bringing about questions between various states over water sharing, and furthermore over the sharing of expenses and advantages of the task. Naturalists partner enormous dams with causing seismic tremors, the spread of water-borne illnesses, and the debasement of soil. The greater part of the multi-reason waterway projects in India up to this point have not met their ideal targets.

Some Major River Valley Projects in India



States Benefiting

Damodar Valley Corporation Damodar (Tilaya, Maithon, Panchet hill, Konar) Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand
Bhakra Nangal Satluj (Bhakra, Nangal, Govind Sagar Lake) Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi
Hirakud Mahanadi (Hirakud, Tikarpara Naraj) Odisha, Chattishgarh
Tungabhadra Tungabhadra (Tungabhadra) Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka
Chambal Chambal ( Gandhi Sagar in MP, Rana Pratap Sagar in Rajasthan, Kota Barrage Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan
Rihand Rihand (Govind Vallabh Pant Sagar Lake) UP, Bihar
Kosi Kosi (Hanuman Nagar in Nepal) Bihar, Nepal(International Project)
Nagarjuna Sagar Krishna (left bank and right bank canal)  Andhra Pradesh
Sardar Sarovar or Narmada Valley Project Narmada Gujarat, Rajasthan

Principal Goals or Advantages of Multipurpose Project 

  • Age of Power: They produce slick, contamination-free, and least expensive energy which is the foundation of industry and horticulture. As indicated by the monetary overview 2005-06 these produce more than 30,000 M.W. power.
  • Flood Control: These activities control the flood since water can be put away in them. These undertakings have changed over many ‘streams of distress’ into waterways of aid. Model River Kosi. 
  • Soil Conservation: These moderate the dirt since they delayed the speed of the water. 
  • Water system: They inundate the fields during the dry seasons. Many trenches have been dug and they water dry regions.
  • Afforestation: Trees are deliberately planted in and around supplies. This aids in safeguarding “Wildlife” and the regular biological system. 
  • Water Navigation: They accommodate the Inland water routes through principal streams or channels. It is the least expensive method for transporting weighty products. 
  • Fisheries: These give ideal conditions for the rearing of fish. Choose assortments of fish are permitted to develop.
  • Places of interest: These ventures are very much-minded and are deductively evolved. So these become the focus of vacation spots. 

Hindrances of Multipurpose Project 

  1. Significant expense: The underlying expense of building the dams is extremely high. It requires a ton of capital and designing abilities and current apparatus which isn’t accessible in India.
  2. Antagonistic Impact on the Environment: An immense assortment of vegetation, as well as human settlements, get lowered into the water of the repository shaped by the dam.
  3. Unfavorable impact on the fruitfulness of the dirt: Due to the development of dams, there are no yearly floods in the river. What’s more, in light of this the dirt of the downstream locale doesn’t get supplement-rich “residue”. This decreases the richness of the dirt. 
  4. Unfriendly Impact on amphibian life: Due to the development of a dam on the waterway, the fish in the downstream area do not get adequate supplement material. 
  5. Non-accessibility of water over time: Most of the streams in India stream just for not many months. So water isn’t adequate to construct a dam. 
  6. Questions between various states: States have disagreements about sharing of water, the level of the dam, etc. 
  7. The uprooting of nearby networks: The neighborhood individuals frequently need to surrender their territory and work and their small access and command over assets for the more prominent nourishment for the Nation. 
  8. Change in editing design: They give a guaranteed method for the water systems to ranchers. Because of this, the greater part of the ranchers has changed the editing design moving to water-concentrated and business crops. This has prompted the salinization of soil promoting natural irregularity. 
  9. Regulating and damming of waterways influence their normal stream causing unfortunate dregs to stream and unreasonable sedimentation at the lower part of the supply, bringing about rockier stream beds and less fortunate territories for the stream oceanic life.
  10. Dams additionally part streams making it hard for sea-going fauna to move, particularly for production. The supplies that are made on the floodplains likewise lower the current vegetation and soil promoting its deterioration throughout some stretch of time.

What are Multi-Purpose River Projects?

Multi-purpose river projects are large infrastructure projects that aim to provide a range of benefits to a region, including flood control, irrigation, drinking water, hydroelectric power, navigation, and recreation. Integrated water resources management (IWRM) is a holistic approach to water management that takes into account the interlinkages between different water uses and users. IWRM aims to optimize the use of water resources for social, economic, and environmental benefits.

Multi-purpose river projects are often implemented as part of an IWRM approach. These projects can have a range of positive impacts on a region, including reducing floods and droughts, improving water quality, providing new sources of water for irrigation and industry, generating hydropower, and promoting tourism and recreation. However, multi-purpose river projects can also have negative impacts, such as displacing people from their homes and disrupting local ecosystems. It is therefore important to carefully consider the potential impacts of multi-purpose river projects before they are implemented. In particular, it is essential to engage with local communities and stakeholders to ensure that any negative impacts are minimized and that the benefits of the project are shared equitably.

Benefits of Multi-Purpose River Projects

Multi-purpose river projects are often hailed as a panacea for water resources management. They are perceived to offer the combined benefits of water supply, flood control, irrigation, hydropower generation, navigation, and wastewater treatment. While it is true that multi-purpose river projects can provide many benefits, it is important to consider the trade-offs involved before embarking on such a project.

Water is a vital resource for all life on Earth. It is essential for human survival and plays a central role in economic activity. In many parts of the world, however, water is scarce. This scarcity is exacerbated by the effects of climate change, which are predicted to lead to more extreme weather events and changes in precipitation patterns. With an increasing global population and demand for water rising, it is essential that we find ways to use water more efficiently and reduce wastage. One way of doing this is through the development of multi-purpose river projects. Multi-purpose river projects can help us to make better use of our limited water resources by providing multiple benefits from a single infrastructure investment. For example, a dam built for irrigation purposes can also provide hydropower or help to regulate downstream flows during periods of heavy rainfall.

Challenges of Multi-Purpose River Projects

Multi-purpose river projects are often complex and challenging to manage. They can involve a variety of stakeholders with different interests and can be located in remote or difficult-to-access areas. In addition, multi-purpose river projects can have a range of environmental impacts, both positive and negative. Effective management of multi-purpose river projects requires an understanding of the various stakeholders involved, the potential environmental impacts of the project, and the best ways to mitigate those impacts. It also requires strong communication and coordination among all parties involved.

Case study: Three Gorges Dam in China

The Three Gorges Dam in China is one of the world’s largest and most controversial multi-purpose river projects. The dam was completed in 2003 and is designed to improve navigation, flood control, and hydroelectric power generation. The Three Gorges Dam has had a profound impact on the environment and people of China. The reservoir created by the dam has displaced over 1 million people and inundated countless ancient archaeological and cultural sites. The dam has also blocked the migration of fish and other aquatic creatures, disrupted local ecosystems, and caused large-scale erosion downstream.

Despite these impacts, the Three Gorges Dam has been a huge success in terms of its primary objectives. The dam has helped to Control floods that have historically wreaked havoc on central China; increased shipping traffic on the Yangtze River; and generated electricity for millions of people. The Three Gorges Dam is a reminder that even the most well-intentioned engineering projects can have unforeseen consequences. It is also a testament to the power of humans to harness nature for our own purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. What is a Multi-reason waterway valley project?


Multi-reason stream valley projects are the dams or series of dams that are built across waterways to appropriate water, which is subsequently utilized for different purposes, for example, Irrigation, Navigation, Generation of power, Pisciculture, Tourism, and so forth.

Q 2. For what reason are multipurpose undertakings and huge dams confronting opposition?


As of late, the advancement of multipurpose ventures and huge dams are confronting a ton of public investigation and opposition. That is on the grounds that these huge undertakings cause restoration and resettlement on an exceptionally enormous scope. Individuals who are resettled are not as expected redressed. The relocation of individuals and the normal fauna and verdure is a major expense that is paid for these activities. Developments like Narmada Bachao Andolan and the Tehri Dam Andolan are a few instances of obstruction.

Q 3. Multipurpose ventures and dams have been the reason for some new friendly developments. Name two such friendly developments and compose the basic foundations for these developments.


Protection from these tasks came from social developments, e.g., ‘Narmada Bachao Andolan’ and ‘Tehri Dam Andolan’. Their main issues were as per the following:

  • At first, the ecological worries were of most extreme significance.
  • Dams have brought about enormous scope relocation of nearby networks.
  • Neighborhood individuals need to surrender their territory and vocation.
  • Nearby individuals don’t profit from such ventures as they are even denied of the neighborhood sources on which they have little control.
  • Numerous settlements and agrarian grounds are lowered and submerged.
  • Recovery of the dislodged people is presently the excellent worry of these developments.

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