Water crisis affects power generation

News this week
An NTPC thermal plant (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)
An NTPC thermal plant (Source: IWP Flickr Photos)

Acute water shortage impacts thermal power generation

The country has lost nearly 5,870 million units of power generation due to the nonavailability of water till February in this financial year. Moreover, the loss of generation has significantly increased over the past three years. Power minister Piyush Goyal, however, has informed that many water conservation methods have been adopted by the thermal power plants like installation of closed cycle systems and ash water recirculation systems, stoppage of discharge from ash pond effluent among many others. Along with this, the plants located within 50 km radius of sewage treatment plants have been mandated to use treated water for their operation. 

Jal Surakshaks to monitor Maharashtra’s groundwater

The Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA) in Maharashtra has hired 30,000 Jal Surakshaks or water caretakers to monitor the groundwater situation in the state at micro levels which includes panchayats and blocks. The agency is sensitising the Jal Surakshaks on the importance of groundwater, the need for monitoring it and also training them to handle basic water-level measuring instruments, processes for identification of wells and digitally sharing the information. The additional workforce will help the agency in improving the groundwater monitoring and conduct more surveys in a year, that would help enhance planning the water usage.  

Soon government will come up with sediment management policy: CWC

In a national seminar on Sediment Management in Indian Rivers, the Central Water Commission has announced that it will soon come up with a comprehensive national sediment policy to tackle floods in the country during the monsoon season. The policy will enlist measures to scientifically desilt rivers which have, over the years, lost the capacity to hold water due to deposition of excessive silt. The government has also sought help from the IITs to chalk out a long-term strategy for sediment management of the country’s rivers. 

First check dam across Bhavani river gets completed

Despite strong opposition from Tamil Nadu, the Kerala government has succeeded in completing the first check dam proposed across the inter-state Bhavani river. The project that envisages the construction of half-a-dozen check dams aims to address the drinking and irrigation water shortage in Attapaddy. The 77-metre-long and one-and-a-half-metre-high check dam has been constructed at a cost of Rs 95 lakhs. The construction of the check dam is the first major initiative of the Kerala government to utilise 6 TMC of water awarded from Bhavani basin by the Cauvery Tribunal 10 years ago.  

Technology invented for removing arsenic and iron at the same time

Assam researchers have invented a simple technology called Arsiron Nilogon that can remove arsenic and iron together from contaminated water at less than one paisa per litre. The filtrate comprises two containers--one for the chemical treatment of water by using three easily available low-cost chemicals and the other for sand and gravel for clean water extraction. At present, the procedure is in practice in a water supply scheme of the Public Health Engineering Department, 75 schools and several hundred households in Assam. 

This is a roundup of important news from March 13 - 19, 2017. Also, read the policy matters this week.