R. Rajinikanth and T. V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore


Large dams and reservoirs in India, as elsewhere, have entailed massive infringements into natural ecosystems and human settlements. Dam proponents affirm that appropriate steps can minimize the impacts of these incursions, including Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment (CEIA) and preventive / ameliorative measures. CEIA is an effective tool in identifying and evaluating the impacts of the water-affiliated projects like construction of dams and reservoirs etc, commensurate to physical, chemical, biological and socio-economic aspects of the environment and are useful in reducing the adverse consequences of the project, through suitable mitigation measures and monitoring programmes.

Importance of wetland monitoring is determined by the fact that it registers the changes in water, soil, flora and fauna and reflects integrated environmental changes, capable of affecting all biotic components of the environment, including human beings. In this context, a study is being undertaken in Sharavathi river basin (Karnataka) to identify and analyze the qualitative impacts on water and soil, biodiversity and socio-economic aspects in the catchment area due to the construction of Linganamakki dam. A monitoring is being conducted (February 2001 - till date) to evaluate the status of water, soil, vegetation and bird diversity in Sharavathi catchment and suggest appropriate watershed management based on their priority of impacts. A brief description of current status of the river basin, wetland monitoring sites and sampling-analyzing tactics are included in this paper along with suitable mitigation measures (Best Management Practices) for the long- term sustenance of these ecosystems.

Citation : R. Rajinikanth and T. V. Ramachandra, 2001. River valley projects impact assessment and mitigation measures. Proceedings of National Conference on 'Control Of Industrial Pollution and Environmental Degradation', Department of Civil Engineering, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, Sept 14th & 15th 2001, pp 262-275.
* Corresponding Author :
  Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, INDIA.
  Tel : 91-80-23600985 / 22932506 / 22933099,
Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
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