India is a country of variety cultures. In Hindu culture peoples worship the river. During this process the person take a handful of water and calls up on the Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Godawari, Narmada, Sindhu, Kshipra and Cauvery to manifest themselves in that water. A simple message here is not to religion, but of reverence to water, water as precious, water is basis for sustenance of life and water as a symbol of purity, clean water is an essential component of healthy environment to support the life system. On this planet though 97% of global water resources are locked up in oceans estuaries and marshes making it unusable due to salinity. Yet the balance 3% available in the form of rivers and lakes is more than ample to meet the requirement of terrestrial and aquatic life forms. This, however, is possible if the water resources and the associated eco-systems are judiciously used. The task of balancing the ratio of available and exploitable water resources and monitoring their quality attains paramount importance in the tropical and subtropical context where the equatorial wind patterns due to monsoonal hydrological cycle result in highly uneven rain for distributions. Denudations of forests loss of topsoil due to excessive erosion and severe environmental pollution further aggravate the normal glaciological and monsoonal patterns of sub-continent. Thus, India, despite of vast potentials in its rivers, faces perennial problems of droughts, floods and grossly polluted water resources.
There are large numbers of rivers in the country, which run to a total length of over a 45000 K.m. These rivers fall under 113 rivers basins having a total catchment area of 3.12 million sq.k.m. Out of these 113 river basins 12 major basins each with a catchment area of over 20000 sq. Kms. along with their tributary system account for 85% of total surface flow and hence about 80% of total population of the country. Half a century ago most of the Indian rivers maintained pristine status and amply met the water needs of their basin population and adequately supported the diverse and rich faunal and floral composition. But over the decades with the population explosion and rapid pace of industrialization, indiscriminate exploitation of nationís river line sources took place both qualitatively and quantitatively, with the result almost all river are grossly polluted in one stretch or the other and has affected the hydrology and ecology badly.