Water is fundamental to life. The rivers that carry the waters are lifelines for overall growth of any nation. The water hence is to be conserved and harnessed sustainably. The question of maintaining sustainability of water is not only concerned with its quantity of availability with respect to time and space but also the measures that are to be taken for ensuring its quality, equitable distribution and efficient utilisation. In an exclusive email interview with Chemical Engineering World, S Masood Husain, Director General, National Water Development Agency (NWDA), Ministry of Water Resources, says that with the growing population and rising needs, the water availability in India will be under stress when considering its supply-demand scenarios, if appropriate measures including linking of rivers are not adopted timely in a phased and consultative manner.