The Concept of Ecological Flow

Chapter
Part of the Geography of the Physical Environment book series (GEOPHY)

Abstract

The importance of flowing water in the ecosystem was realized when the issues of dying rivers and the imminent threat to freshwater supply came to fore. Subsequently, there were efforts to understand the limit of maximum permissible withdrawal of water from a river so that its hydro-ecological functions are not drastically hampered. The term ecological flow means not only the quantity but also the quality of flowing water and also its cultural and aesthetic value. It identifies the required quantity, quality and distribution of flow patterns from the source to mouth of a river, preserving the life in and around the channels. The drastic reduction in flow in most of the river has the ecological cost. The already identifiable indicators of the ecological damage are longitudinal disconnectivity of the flowing channel, the falling level of the groundwater table and the loss of biodiversity. The greater common good of the human society does not lie in the abuse of the rivers; the future of civilization depends on fixing critical limits for the exploitation of water sources and allowing the rivers to flow.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environment DepartmentWest Bengal Pollution Control BoardKolkataIndia

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