Rivers, Dams, E-Flows
This theme involves monitoring, research and analysis of happenings in river basin development, dams, hydropower and irrigation projects and the impacts of these on people’s lives, livelihoods and ecology.
The work on this theme has involved case studies of major projects like the Bhakra-Nangal project, on-going monitoring of large interventions like Inter Linking of Rivers (ILR) and hydropower projects in the Himalayas, monitoring of changes in laws and policies, and using the environment-flows framework to look at river basin management, water allocations and river conservation and restoration.
Environmental Flows or e-flows is becoming an important method in the planning and regulation of rivers and also a legal instrument as a part of Ministry of Environment and Forest’s (MoEF) clearance process. The MoEF is now laying down e-flow requirements for clearing all major hydropower projects. Even for according environmental clearance to coal thermal power plants, it is specifying that e-flows be maintained when obtaining water supply for thermal power plants.
We plan to critically analyse official e-flow studies that have been carried out so far, with the aim to offer methodological and other inputs to strengthen the use of e-flows in India. We also hope to undertake some generic work on our own, particularly in terms of adapting internationally used methods to Indian contexts.
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