India now has 46 Ramsar sites as four new wetlands add to the list

Wetlands are an essential component of our ecosystem (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)
Wetlands are an essential component of our ecosystem (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)
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Four more wetlands get the Ramsar tag

 There are 46 Ramsar sites in the country, as four new wetlands have been added to the Ramsar Convention. These include two wetlands in Gujarat, the Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary and Wadhvana Wetland, as well as the Sultanpur National Park in Gurugram and the Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary in Jhajjar district of Haryana. 

The Ramsar Convention is the only global environmental treaty that deals with the wetland ecosystem. Gujarat now has three Ramsar sites with Thol and Wadhvana joining the list. The state's first Ramsar site was Nalsarovar. There are 140 species of water birds at Thol, which lies 28km from Ahmedabad, and 327 species of birds at Wadhvana, which is 45km from Vadodara. (The Times of India)

IPCC sixth report predicts more intense heat waves and heavier rainfall for India

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released its sixth assessment report titled 'Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis'.

The report shows that India will experience more intense heat waves and increased precipitation during the rest of the 21st century. Furthermore, the report warns that 12 Indian coastal cities could become nearly three feet under water by the end of the century due to climate change. In the Asian region, heat extremes have gone up while cold extremes have gone down, and both trends are expected to continue.

In the global context, the report finds that climate change is having a significant impact on every region of the planet. Over the next 20 years, the global temperature will reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming, predicts the report. (The Print, India Today)

Country has 47,873 rural habitations with problems with drinking water quality: CGWB

Of the 47,873 rural habitations reported by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) that have issues with drinking water quality, 20,956 are located in Assam, which tops the list, followed by Rajasthan (12,160), Bihar (3,966), Odisha (3,465), West Bengal (3,092) and Tripura (1,335). In 3076 of these habitations with poor water quality, Community Water Purification Plants (CWPPs) have been installed.

In addition to this, there are 1,132 rural habitations in Punjab, of which only 107 have CWPP installed. Punjab groundwater has been  found to contain arsenic above permissible limits in ten districts, lead in six districts, cadmium in eight districts, chromium in ten districts, and uranium in 16 districts, according to CGWB data. (The Tribune)

Indian floods have killed 5k and displaced 7 crore people in 15 years, reports the Global Flood Database

India is one of the five countries in the world exhibiting a steep increase in the population exposed to severe floods, according to the Global Flood Database released by Cloud To Street, a global flood tracking and risk analytics platform, with authors from NASA, Google Earth Outreach, and renowned international universities.

From 2003-2018, the extreme weather events caused the deaths of more than 5,000 people and the displacement of around seven crores of people in the country. Data analysis also shows that nine of the ten major floods that have occurred in the country for nearly 20 years were caused by heavy rainfall and one by a tropical storm. The database also shows that nearly 90 percent of flood events occurred in South and Southeast Asia, within large basins such as the Indus, Ganges-Brahmaputra, and Mekong rivers. (The Times of India)

IIT Guwahati and Brahmaputra Board collaborate to evolve technology for restoring river banks

The Brahmaputra Board and IIT Guwahati have signed an agreement to develop innovative technologies that will aid in managing rivers like the Brahmaputra. According to officials, the collaboration involves experimental and computational research as well as promoting academic visits by students and officials for the benefit of all.

This MoU will facilitate speedy field implementation of the indigenous river model BRAHMA (Braided River Aid: Hydro-Morphological Analyzer) that IIT has developed. Another MoU has been signed between IIT Guwahati and North Eastern Hydraulic and Allied Institute (NEHARI) to create a synergy in the field of research and allied activities relating to basin, flood and river bank management. (Outlook)

This is a roundup of important news published from July 27- August 9, 2021. Also, read policy matters this fortnight.

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