The Cauvery River water-sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamilnadu led to Bengaluru Bandh on 26 September 2023. India is facing a below-normal monsoon in 2023. August month saw a 36% rainfall deficit than normal, never recorded in the last 122 years.

People are experiencing hot climates like in summer.

Why is it happening?

Everyone knows that 71% of the earth is with water in the form of oceans, rivers, glaciers, etc., and we depend on clouds to bring rain to our places. But, in recent years, there have been cases of extreme climates created over ocean surfaces- either much warmer than usual (El Nino) or much cooler than usual (La Nino).

Any abnormal condition in the oceans will affect us. The monsoon gets impacted by El Nino as the currents of the air (Jet stream) become wavy affecting the monsoon wind’s direction and strength, weakening the monsoon and creating drought-like conditions.

Jet stream flow during normal and warming conditions

Jet stream flow during normal and warming conditions

Not only does it weaken monsoons, but also causes heat waves that result in agricultural crop failures and create water scarcity.

The situation across India, except in some areas has suffered because of the lack of rain. In some states like Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand excessive rainfall, floods and landslides were seen. It is attributed to warmer air, which holds more moisture than colder air, and once clouds burst, we saw how homes got washed away. Global warming contributes to these heavy rains as gases like carbon dioxide, released from automobiles retain more moisture in the air than usual.

A house destroyed due to floods

A house destroyed due to floods

What is the interlinking of rivers and how does it help?

With climates becoming unpredictable day by day, the interlinking of rivers can help mitigate conditions like droughts and floods.

Rivers across India

Rivers across India

Leaders and statesmen, former Prime Minister of India, Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Architect of Hyderabad, Nara Chandra Babu Naidu pushed for the idea of interlinking of rivers.

These leaders foresaw the conditions India might face in future and proposed the interlinking of rivers as a sustainable solution that can help states control floods and manage drought conditions.

The way it helps people

● Effectively manage droughts, and floods and supply drinking water to everyone.
● Helps in food security as farmers get water independent of monsoon

The interlinking of rivers also comes up with its own set of challenges critics like Rahul Gandhi and Jairam Ramesh speak about the issue of environmental impact and population displacement.

But, when the positives outweigh the negatives and when eminent leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chandra Babu Naidu pitch for it, then we must seriously work towards implementing it.

Water security is important for us and our children’s future.