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Arkavathy: A Changing Waterscape

TG Halli Reservoir on the Arkavathy River to the west of Bangalore was once the main source of water to Bangalore. Today, both inflows into the river and catchment tanks are drying. Climatic factors alone, cannot explain the steep decline. ATREE's research shows that groundwater pumping and eucalyptus plantations play a major role in explaining the decline. When we examine the underlying causes of these changes, we find that farmers in the catchment are responding to pressures of urbanisation. Rainfed farming is no longer viable, farmers either dig deeper and go in for commercial crops or place their land under eucalyptus and switch to other occupations. Ultimately, this is a story of absent or fragmented institutions. Ground and surface water are a single interconnected resource and must be managed as such. We need watershed institutions that can regulate and allocate the available water resources in a fair and transparent fashion.

Read more at https://www.atree.org/research/ced/lwl...

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