The chapter discusses the resource balance between the demand and availability of water – a critical resource for agriculture and livelihood security – in global as well as Indian context. The data and discussion of basin wise balances of surface and ground water indicate widely varying severity of ecological limitations of water resources over regions due to uneven spatial and temporal distribution of precipitation in India. It critically discusses all the important options of water resource development – like large storage development, inter-river linking, micro water shed development, and ground water conservation. It further reviews the ground water revolution of India augmenting agrarian productivity as well as its attendant problem of conflicts over the rights of its use, and policy issues relating to water institutions for equitable sharing of the scarce resource. It further discusses the sources of qualitative degradation of the resource, its valuation and control including government policies and actions.
Keywords: Water Balance, Water Resource Development, Micro-Water Shed, Water Conflict, Water rights and Water institutions, Water pollution, Valuation of Water Pollution, Water policy and Government Action
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