Author: Bob Yirka

Models suggest interlinking rivers in India to meet water demand may adversely impact monsoon rainfall amounts

Source(s): PhysOrg, Omicron Technology Ltd

A team of civil engineers and meteorologists at the Indian Institute of Technology, working with colleagues from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the University of Hyderabad, has found, via modeling, that a plan to interlink rivers in India to capture rain runoff could inadvertently have a negative impact on the amount and location of monsoon rainfall.

In their study, published in the journal Nature Communications, the group used a variety of modeling techniques to test the possibility of unintended changes to weather patterns in India as interlinking projects are undertaken.

Officials in India have a clear problem on their hands—their country has a population of 1.4 billion people, the highest of any country in the world. And it is still growing. Such growth is presenting a host of problems, including how to feed so many people, sustain and manage water. This last problem has become dire—for India to feed its people, it must grow more food and that will require more water. But is decreasing.

To meet the demand, scientists and have proposed and instigated a plan that entails digging canals between to interlink them, with the idea of capturing more . Instead of allowing most of its rainfall to run off into rivers and then to the sea, the country plans to divert some of that water into other rivers that can be shunted into drier areas, where it can be used for irrigation. But doing so, the researchers on this new effort insist, could have unintended and perhaps disastrous side effects.

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