Bengaluru: Change of cropping pattern and judicious use of water are two important things that need to popularised in the wake of the conflict between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over sharing of Cauvery water, said Ms Sunita Narain, director general, Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi.
Participating in an interaction with people on social media Facebook on 'Cauvery Water Dispute' on Thursday, she said in future, they need to be extremely wise in the use of water, be it farmers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or people living in cities dependent on Cauvery water.
Farmers of Tamil Nadu grow summer rice crop which was never part of the tradition. In fact, water is scarce during the summer and they are not supposed to use it for paddy cultivation.
The same is true in the case of Karnataka farmers who grow summer paddy crop and sugarcane which are water consuming crops. Cities like Bengaluru have four Cauvery drinking water projects and water for all the four stages comes from Cauvery. The situation calls for less use of water by farmers and much more less use by cities.
On the deforestation of Western Ghats and its impact on the Cauvery region, Ms Narain said during her visit to Kodagu recently, she could see where River Cauvery was born.
“If Cauvery is alive today, it is because of growing coffee under tree shades, paddy cultivation that helps in recharging underground water and growing spices which creates a perfect eco-system to keep the river live. Unfortunately, two states which have been fighting for Cauvery water do not encourage catchment areas, so important in keeping the river alive. If people of Kodagu start growing sun coffee by cutting trees, support unbridled urbanisation and destroy paddy fields in low-lying areas, the Cauvery will die....