ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sustainability of Big Dams in Himalayas

Sustainability of Big Dams in Himalayas THE monsoon climate in south Asia has always encouraged ideas of storage of the abundant monsoon run off in the Himalayan rivers. From a purely hydrological point of view, storage and wider distribution of the great amount of water that flows in the Himalayan rivers during the monsoon provide an excellent solution to the ever increasing water demands from the drier plains of the Ganges-Brahmaputra basin. In the case of Asia, the projections indicate that in the year 2000, the amount of water demand will touch 22 per cent of the available water resources. This is the highest among all the continents |Biswas 19951. The situation in the GBB is surely one of the most acute within Asia. Large parts of the GBB. specially in India, are the location of highly productive irrigated agriculture and last growing industrial economics. They have generated large demand tor water and hydro-power. The Irrigation Commission (1972) of India has estimated that by the year 2000, the requirement of irrigation water in the Ganges basin would be about 200 BCM. The hydro- potential in the Indian parts of the Ganges and Brahmaputra basins is estimated at 45.635 MW at 60 per cent load factor [Narasimhan and Singh 1994|. In the case of Nepal, the economically exploitable potential at 50 per cent load factor has been estimated at 45,824 MW [ WECS 1992|. The domestic supplies in the number of urban areas scattered throughout the Ganges basin is fast proving difficult to maintain. For downstream country Bangladesh, the construction of storage dams in the Himalayan catchments of the Ganges basin is recommended as an ideal mechanism for the storage of monsoon Hows that can augment dry season flow at Farakka IChoudhury and Khan 1983).

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