Toxic foam observed in Bengaluru lakes
Three major lakes in Bengaluru -- Bellandur, Varthur, and Yemalur -- look like a giant pool of foam these days. Some residents even thought that it resembled snow! The foam has been formed due to high content of ammonia and phosphate coupled with very low dissolved oxygen. This occurs when untreated sewage flow into the lakes. Per the Centre for Science and Environment, the phenomenon is a serious threat to wetlands in urban India.
Kerala's Mazhapolima project wins accolade at the World Water Forum
The Mazhapolima project has received an international award at the World Water Forum, Korea, for exemplifying an innovative project in water conservation. The project aims to recharge groundwater through roof-water harvesting and has helped tackle the acute drought situation prevailing in several areas in the State. Over 20,000 open wells have been recharged under the project since its implementation in 2008.
CPCB lists Musi amongst the most polluted river, while Telangana disagrees
Per a recent report from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the Musi river in Telengana has been listed among the most polluted rivers in the country and its water has been reported as most dangerous. However, the Telangana State Pollution Control Board disagreed with CPCB's report and is all set to prepare its own report. Although CPCB has found increased levels of BOD in the river, the State Government says that the Musi is polluted only in about an 80 km stretch.
Soon, a Web Geo Portal and Mobile App for monitoring of IWMP watersheds
The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO, in partnership with the Department of Space and Department of Land Resources (DoLR) and the Ministry of Rural Development has taken on the task to design and develop a Web Geo Portal ‘Shrishti’ and Mobile App ‘Drishti’ for monitoring of IWMP watersheds through Bhuvan. Under the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), a total of 8214 projects covering 39.07 million hectares have been sanctioned in 28 States.
53% samples of packaged drinking water in Maharashtra found unsafe and substandard
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did a survey of 95 water samples across Maharashtra from April 2014 to March 2015 and discovered that the 53% of those samples were unsafe and substandard. 28 of the samples had high bacterial count while 23 did not meet the quality standards. Pune and Solapur have reported the highest number of unsafe samples. Cases have been filed against the erring units under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
Lead image source: Kashif Masood via The Hindustan Times
This is a roundup of important news from April 28 - May 4, 2015. Also read last week's policy updates.