‘Diversion of Nethravathi a big mistake’

‘Diversion of Nethravathi a big mistake’

Prof Sivakumar Muttu Cumaru, associate professor of the University of Wollongong Australia, inaugurates the workshop on ‘Coastal Reservoirs as Sustainable Strategy for Water Security’ at NITK in Surathkal.

No water will be taken from Yettinahole to Bengaluru as there is no water in the Yettinahole flood water river diversion project, said Prof T G Sitharam, director, IIT Guwahati.

River linking or diversion of a river is a big mistake, he stressed, while highlighting the importance of coastal reservoirs at a three-day workshop on ‘Coastal Reservoirs as Sustainable Strategy for Water Security’ organised by the Department of Applied Mechanics and Hydraulics at the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (NITK).

When two rivers are close to each other, they can be linked, he reminded.

Desalination plant

“It unacceptable that a city with 4,000 mm rainfall is going for a Rs-650 crore desalination plant. There is no water scarcity and patterns of rainfall have changed. The annual average rainfall remains the same at 1,000 mm,” Sitharam stressed.

The director said that coastal reservoirs were a sustainable strategy for water resources development as the west-flowing rivers were largely clean. A coastal reservoir across River Nethravathi can provide water to entire Karnataka. According to a study, 385 tmc of water flows into the ocean during monsoons, he added.

“With the help of such reservoirs, it is also possible to create wetlands. A coastal reservoir causes zero environmental damage or large scale displacement. Instead, it can also minimise coastal erosion and provide sand for the construction industry. There will be no water scarcity if farmers take an initiative to reduce consumption of water in agriculture, which stands at 82% currently,” he suggested.

Sarovar Maala patent

Sitharam had submitted a patent application for his ‘Sarovar Maala’ project. “Under this project, if 12 coastal reservoirs were built from Gujarat to Kolkata and connected with a pipe, India’s water problems would be solved,” he said.

Sitharam was also felicitated on the occasion.

Sivakumar Muttu Cumaru of University of Wollongong, Australia; Shu Qing Yang, associate professor of University of Wollongong Australia; H Ramesh, workshop coordinator; and Amba Shetty, head of the department, were present at the workshop.