Presented by Vladimir Smakhtin at the Ministry of Water Resources, New Delhi, India, November 4, 2014.
The flows of India’s rivers are increasingly being modified by dams and weirs and abstractions for agriculture and urban use. These interventions have caused significant alteration of flow regimes mainly by reducing total flow and affecting its variability and seasonality. An Environmental Flow (EF) is the water regime provided within a river, wetland or coastal zone to maintain ecosystems and their benefits. Environmental Flows describe the quantity, quality and timing of water flows required to sustain freshwater and estuarine ecosystems and the human livelihoods and well-being that depend on these ecosystems. This presentation looks at how the EF approach has been tested in India and describes a project to apply EF methodology to the upper Ganga.