The peninsular river water grid, linking Mahanadi with the Gundar river in Tamil Nadu, was the only long-term solution for the water scarcity in the state, which has assumed alarming proportions, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said today.
Delivering the convocation address at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University here, she said that the state's surface water potential had been fully harnessed and there was over-exploitation of groundwater.
Since there was an immediate national need for inter-basin transfers of surplus water by interlinking rivers, she had urged the Chairman of the Task Force on Interlinking of rivers to get the project completed in the 10th plan period, she said
Apart from championing the cause for interlinking of rivers, she had started a state-wide campaign for Rain Water harvesting, watershed development and conjunctive use of rain water with ground water, Jayalalithaa pointed out.
Emphasis had been laid on sea water desalination and recycling of waste water to maximise water availability, she said, adding that conjunctive use of different sources of water like rainfall, river sources, ground water, seawater and even wastewater must be holistically planned.
"Principal crops should be identified for each region and it should be our endeavour to identify new technologies, genetically modified crops, drought resistant, high yielding and easily processable alternative crop varieties among coarse grains like millets, pulses and oilseeds", she said.