Severe water crisis grips southern India

News this week
Parched land during drought in India. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Parched land during drought in India. (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Southern India reels under drought-like conditions

All the southern states, except Telangana, are facing drought-like conditions. Tamil Nadu is the worst hit with 80 percent deficit in water storage in the state’s reservoirs, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. The collective water storage in 27 reservoirs spread across these drought-hit states has reduced by nearly 100 tmfct in 20 days. Concerned over drinking and irrigation needs in the coming months, the Centre has issued advisories to state governments to take urgent actions for optimal use of water.

India’s Silicon Valley will be uninhabitable by 2025: Experts

According to studies by the Indian Institute of Sciences, rapid urbanisation and expansion between 1973 and 2016 have led to a decline of 88 percent in the Bengaluru’s vegetation, while water bodies have seen a decline of 85 percent between 2000 and 2014. Along with this, the rise of the IT sector has also created problems of e-waste in the city which is causing an increase in water pollution. With the decline in water levels coupled with water pollution, experts have predicted a severe water crisis which will make Bengaluru uninhabitable by 2025 with residents potentially having to be evacuated.

First ever across-the-river census for Gangetic dolphin launched

For the first time, the Centre has launched an across-the-river survey in Ganga to ascertain the population of aquatic life in the river. The survey also includes the endangered Gangetic dolphin. Wildlife Institute of India will conduct the survey and create baseline scientific data for the government to take suitable measures to improve the river water quality. Counting has already been completed for the stretch from Narora in Uttar Pradesh to Bijnor. The next leg, which includes the stretch from Allahabad to Varanasi, will be launched soon. 

Groundwater in 22 of Karnataka’s 30 districts gets contaminated

According to the reports of the Central Ground Water Board and Ground Water Directorate, the concentration of harmful chemicals such as nitrate, fluoride, arsenic is beyond permissible limits in the groundwater of 22 of Karnataka's 30 districts. The reason behind this is the increasing number of borewells due to the plummeting water levels in reservoirs across the state resulting in an increase in the concentration of chemicals in the groundwater. Authorities have now been ordered to be careful in giving permissions for new borewells.  

Soon Greater Noida will have an agency to stop groundwater depletion

The Greater Noida authority will be hiring a private agency to carry out a detailed survey on groundwater depletion in the district and come up with ways to conserve groundwater and harvest rainwater. The decision comes following the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order of February 29 last year to take effective steps to curb groundwater depletion and prepare a roadmap for its conservation. Despite Greater Noida West been categorised as ‘over exploited', builders continue to take up massive digging that causes drastic groundwater depletion in the area. 

This is a roundup of important news from February 26 - March 5, 2017. Also, read the policy matters this week.