ROLE OF RIVERS AND LAKES IN THE ECONOMY OF INDIA
The Ocean holds about 97 per cent of the Earth's surface, while 3 per cent is found in the glaciers and the ice, below the ground, is found in the rivers and the lakes. Rivers are important for the country's economy because the water from the rivers is a basic resource esential for the survival of human existence and for important human, agricultural and industrial activities.
(a) The Indo- Gangetic - Brahamputra river system laden with alluvial soil deposits renders the agricultural land tracts most fertile and best for rich plantation - rice, wheat, sugarcane, cotton, jute, maize, oilseeds, fruits and vegetation, the flora and fauna.
(b) The deltas of the rivers - the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery are known as the Deltaic Alluvial ( coastal alluvium).
(c) As agriculture depends upon the vagaries of the monsoon season, the rivers - The Ganga, the Indus, the Beas, the Brahamputra, the Mahanadi, the Krishna are best utilized for irrigation facilities and makes the land fertile for the cultivation of crops.
EMERGENCE OF CIVILIZATIONS
Ancient civilizations having emerged on the banks of the rivers laden with fertile soil -- the Harappan Civilization on the banks of the Indus river, the Egyptian civilization on the Nile river banks and the Aztec ( Mexican) civilization on the Lake islets of Texcoco, handicrafts and cotton, jute industries, paved the way for great civilizations to emerge on the river beds.
The rivers have immensely been utilised for the purpose of manufacturing river- water as a coolant and for the launch of hydro- electric power generation projects -- Bhakra - Nangal - Beas Dam reservoirs supply water for the irrigation of 12.5 million acres of agricultural land in partner states - Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
(b) SOLAR POWER STORAGE technology projects in the states -- Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala paved the way for the installation of solar power generation panels on a large scale with the sole aim to bring about the reduction in the consumption of commercial and private electricity across the country.
In January, 2016 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande installed the foundation stone for INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE (ISA) in Gwal Pahari, Gurgaon so to promote and develop solar energy and solar products for countries lying wholly or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
DRINKING WATER FACILITY
The natural fresh (sweet) water contained in the river basin forms the most essential element necessary for the survival of all life -- humans, marine and animal life.
NAVIGATION AAND TRANSPORT
Inland waterways in the form of rivers, canals, backwaters and creeks serve as a mode of navigation and transport, eg -- the Ganges - Bhagirathi - Hooghly rivers, the Brahamputra, the Barak river, the rivers in Goa, the backwaters in Kerala, Inland waterways in Mumbai and the deltaic regions of the Godavari - Krishna rivers.
The rivers as a tourist spots provide the tourists a wonderful insight into the historical, cultural and traditional aspect of India.The major rivers -- Bhakra Beas Dam, the Ganga, the Brahamputra, the Krishna - Godavari , the Narmada and the Kaveri river system has been developed as the major tourist destinations for recreation, hiking and adventure sports, and fishing activities.
The famous Dal Lake in Srinagar, Pahalgam waterfront in Kashmir, Nainital, Udaipur lake in Rajasthan, are the lakes developed as the major tourist destinations and people from acros the globe make a visit so to have a glimpse into the historical and cultural aspect of the rivers and lakes of India.