Integrated River Management

The transformation of Kerala from a water rich state until the 1970s to a state with serious seasonal water shortage/ scarcity for upto six months coincides with the decline of our river systems. Reviving these river systems, to the extend possible is vital in ensuring future water security for the state.

Several favourable factors make Chalakudypuzha river an ideal candidate for piloting a comprehensive and integrated river revival and river basin management programme. In 2009, RRC and CPSS jointly prepared a concept note for the same and this was subjected to wide discussions in the river basin and was also shared with experts across the country.

Most of the activities of RRC and Chalakudypuzha Samrakshana Samithi (CPSS), over the last two decades, are steps towards the dream of a rejuvenated river.

  • One of the areas that demand our continuous engagement is summer water management. We kept updating the water status periodically to the Local Self Governments and suggested measures to manage the available resources. One meeting of LSG heads was also organised. Even though the communications were well taken, water management still is not a priority for most of the LSGs.

  • A renewed effort to get support for preparation of a river action plan, aimed at integrated river revival and management plan was initiated. Informal discussions were held with officials of Kerala Forest Research Institute, the Kerala Agriculture University and Centre for Water Resource Development and Management. The response was very positive, but due to the floods of August 2018, everything turned upside down and we had to shift our focus to a series of post flood activities.

  • The floods of August 2018 devastated the basin. Maximum level of flood waters had exceeded even the 1924 flood levels. About 50,000 households in the basin were inundated. A large part of the team's effort was then chanellised to engage in flood relief work. The organisation has time and again reiterated the need for participatory institutional mechanism for implementing water management.