'Replacing rice could help India reduce water use'

News this week
Rice field in Assam (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Rice field in Assam (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

India could address its water, food security by replacing rice cultivation: Study 

According to a new study, India can reduce its irrigation water use to one third by replacing the water-intensive rice crop with less water-intensive cereals like maize, finger millet, pearl millet and sorghum. These cereals not only consume less water but are also nutrient-dense and will considerably increase the production of iron and zinc by 27 percent and 13 percent respectively. Thus, the study has found that by changing the cropping pattern of the country, India can address its water crisis while providing food security. 

Rain deficiency causing adverse impact on Kharif crop sowing

Until July 6, the rice growing West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Odisha have observed over 20 percent below normal rainfall thus, having an adverse impact on the sowing area of paddy. Even Saurashtra in Gujarat experienced rain deficiency which has severely affected the sowing of cotton in the region. In total, this year, the sowing of kharif crops was 14 percent below last year’s level. As per the government, however, the foodgrain output this year would surpass the 2017 record and the shortfall in acreage will be made up in the coming weeks. 

Global Environment Facility approves fund to restore mangroves of Bay of Bengal

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has given its go-ahead to the second phase of the Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BOBLME) project that aims to protect the Bay of Bengal. While the first phase of the project fostered transboundary cooperation and built trust between states, the second phase is all set to promote sustainable fishing, reduce marine pollution and improve the lives of approximately 400 million people who live along the coasts of the Bay of Bengal. The project will involve all eight countries--Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand--along the coastline of the world's largest bay. 

Arunachal Pradesh stares at severe water shortage

The state which is soon expected to become India’s hydroelectric powerhouse is staring at water scarcity. According to Arunachal's Minister for Environment and Forests, Nabam Rebia, the state will soon face a water shortage as grim as that of Shimla because more than 200 rivers and streams across Arunachal Pradesh have dried up. The reasons behind drying water bodies are the rampant destruction of forests along with thinning glaciers in the Eastern Himalayas due to climate change.

Altered cropping and rainfall patterns alter nature's timetable

According to a study, the altered cropping and rainfall patterns owing to climate change are responsible for unseasonal nesting of Sarus cranes, a globally vulnerable species. The study was conducted in Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh between 2004 and 2017. The changing climate patterns have also affected the timing of important ecological events such as flowering in plants and reproduction in animals. 

This is a roundup of important news published between July 3 - 9, 2018. Also, read policy matters this week.

 

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