Water management expert hopes for international cooperation
E. L. James, water management expert and member of the Working Group of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, has called for an integrated approach in river basin management, international cooperation to avoid upstream-downstream imbalances and wise use of tidal areas. He was delivering the seventh Dr. K.N. Shyamasundaran Nair Memorial endowment lecture organised by the Centre for Gender Studies in Agriculture and Farm Entrepreneurship Development (CGSAFED) of the Kerala Agricultural University (KAU). He pointed out the need for a congenial aquatic ecosystem for fishing and farming.
“Integrated river basin management calls for planners and environmental managers to work with the entire community of water users in the basin. To achieve this, one has to move away from management structures and plans of the past as they were meant to benefit only a limited population of the basin. Public awareness programmes should target the general public, NGOs, government departments and farmers,” he said.
Dr. James spoke about lack of understanding on linkages between the hydrological, geomorphological, and pedagogical processes and the plant nutrient dynamics, and implications of soil and water resources conservation and development in the whole river basin environment.
“Resource development managers from different sectors such as soil specialists, irrigation experts, hydrologists and civil engineers look at land units differently. Mono-disciplinary perceptions often result in a tangle of boundaries of land management units when maps of field information for different natural resources have to be combined,” he added.
KAU Director of Extension P. V. Balachandran presided. Director of Academic Studies P. K. Asokan, A. Augustine, C. T. Abraham and P. S. Geethakutty, Head, CGSAED also spoke.