54. Do you think that it is possible to interlink all the rivers of the country?

Demand for fresh water is growing day by day. Water consumption includes:

  • Drinking and household needs
  • Industry and commerce
  • Agriculture

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Water consumption in every field is growing day by day. 70% of total water is used for agriculture. If all the farmers adopt the innovative, scientific Drip Irrigation Method, 80% of water used for agriculture can be saved. River linking project is necessary to divert surplus water in some rivers to Deficit Rivers by creating a network of canals to interconnect the rivers. Thus Interlinking River Project can transfer water from areas having surplus water, to water deficit areas in the country. But the flow of the river should not be obstructed at any stage in its course from its origin to the sea where it ends. Interlinking River Program will help the people living in drought- prone zones by providing them with sufficient water for irrigation. In this way we can make the best model of water management and it will satisfy irrigation needs of farmers all over the country. But if we wish to keep our rivers flowing from bank to bank, we must minimize our use of water for agriculture by adopting the Drip Irrigation Method. In this way we will be able to conserve both groundwater and water stored in dams. It is since long that we have been talking about the ambitious Interlinking River project. This project has been implemented successfully in Ugamedi village of Gadhada taluka where rivers have been interlinked. The Keri river flows 3 kms away from Ugamedi village. It is a clay river and it receives water, flowing from a great distance. Another river in Ugamedi village is the Sonal river. It is a small river and it receives water, coming from a nearby area. In the 4 kms area around the Sonal river, a huge and wide pond- 700 feet wide and 26 feet deep- was constructed. This pond connected with the Sonal river could not be filled up with the water of the Sonal river alone. So 4 feet wide pipes were connected with the Keri river and a slope of 9 feet was constructed so that the rain water might come into the Keri river. Then 20% of this water was sent to the Sonal river through pipelines. This project was beneficial not only to Ugamedi village but also to 10 surrounding villages. Thanks to Laljibhai T Patel, the main donor and the village water conservation committee of Ugamedi and all the people of the village- it is due to their dedicated and tireless efforts made under the efficient guidance of Saurashtra Jaldhara Trust that people will acquire this water for centuries to come. The people of Ugamedi village deserve appreciation for making their village the best model of River Interlink Project. Experts should pay a visit to the village to witness this successfully implemented river interlink project.