IPCC alarms India of a severe water shortage

News this week: IPCC releases its Fifth Assessment Report on climate change; Hydropower plants in Himachal find it tough to sell power; No toilet facilities in 20% of Goa households.
Himalayan lake in Sikkim (Source: Wikimedia)
Himalayan lake in Sikkim (Source: Wikimedia)

IPCC releases its climate change report, alarms India of severe water shortage

In its Fifth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned India of an acute food and water shortage, if corrective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not undertaken. Himalayan glaciers can shrink by 45% by 2100, if the average surface tempertaure of the Earth rises by 1.8 degree celsius, says the report that has also put Delhi at the high risk of floods owing to the growing encroachments on the Yamuna flood plains. 

Hydel plants in Himachal struggle to sell power

Both the public and state developers of hydropower in Himachal Pradesh are finding it tough to sell electricity due to lack of buyers. The reason behind discoms showing disinterest in buying power is that most of the discoms in the state are in debt and are resorting to power cuts. The other reason for this could be the higher price of power in Himachal Pradesh owing to the imposition of additional taxes on hydropower or delay in getting green nod, says the state government. 

20% of Goa's households do not toilets

According to latest statistics released by the Planning Commission, 20% of households in Goa do not have toilets constructed within their premises and another 18% in the state do not have access to treated water. Given these statistics, Goa has been ranked ninth amongst the most undesirable states and union territories in the country while Lakshadweep, Kerala and Delhi are ranked best on the basis of toilets facilities in households.

Yamuna river flow needs proper recharge

The flow in the Yamuna is inadequate and the Delhi stretch of the river receives only about 30% of the flow during the monsoon season, says a study published in the Current Science journal. The study further reports that in order to transport the river sediment, balance biodiversity and prevent algal choking, there is a need to maintain at least 50 to 60% of the total monsoon flow in the river throughout the year.  

TN farmers buy water to irrigate lands

Farmers in Dharmapuri district have been buying water for irrigation from private companies, owing to acute water scarcity in the district for the past one month. The reason behind the water scarcity is the failure of the Northeast monsoon this year. Most of the farmers are not cultivating paddy this time, due to failure of monsoon and are instead buying paddy straw from other districts at higher prices.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from March 30-April 5, 2014. Also read last month's policy matters updates.