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Integrated Monitoring and Analysis of Water Resources

Focusing on the Essentials

Welcoming the debate on the assumptions underpinning water resource monitoring in India triggered by the Mihir Shah Committee report, the authors suggest that the proposed National Water Commission should focus on providing integrated data and science to help water managers and policymakers, avoiding getting directly involved in planning or regulation. 

The term “integrated water resource management” has been popular in water resource management circles for several decades now. The concept, in principle, is about recognising the manner in which water moves and thereby links all manner of users—upstream with downstream, surface with ground, domestic with non-domestic, and so on—and managing water in a way that recognises these linkages. Achieving this laudable goal has, however, been difficult for a variety of reasons, including the fact that these linkages—especially the link between surface water and groundwater—are hardly recognised in the way we monitor, analyse, and present information on water resources.

The move in 2015 by the Ministry of Water Resources to set up a committee

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