India not a water defict country. Neglect and lack of monitoring behind country's water scarcity: CWC
As per the report, Reassessment of water availability in India using space inputs, by the Central Water Commission (CWC) with technical support of the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Hyderabad, it has been revealed that India is not a water deficit country but is reeling under water scarcity on account of severe neglect and lack of monitoring of water resources and development projects. The study warned that any further neglect in the sector will lead to water scarcity in future and recommended that imposing regulatory measures to prevent the misuse of water and introducing rewards and punishment to encourage judicious use of water is the need of the hour. Also, the report called for water users across the country to make efforts to conserve water. (Mongabay)
Tiware dam breach in Ratnagiri kills 20 people
On July 2nd, following torrential rains, the Tiware dam in Chiplun taluka of Ratnagiri district breached late in the night creating a flood-like situation in seven villages downstream. The incident took 20 lives; many are still missing. Locals alleged that the 14 year old dam had developed cracks in its wall, which caused its breach. However, in a shocking claim the state water minister has blamed a large number of crabs gathering around the dam for its breach. The state chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry in the matter which will be helmed by a special investigation team under a secretary rank official. (India Today)
17 percent of notified cities and towns in India face water shortage: Government
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has prepared a list of cities and towns facing water shortage in the country.
The list states that out of a total of 4,378 urban areas governed by municipal bodies, nearly 756 - or 17% of urban areas in India are facing acute water scarcity.
Among the states, Tamil Nadu has the maximum number of such urban areas followed by Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. To tackle the crisis, the Centre has ordered states and urban local bodies (ULBs) to carry out focused activities in two phases; from July 1st to September 15th, and then again from October 1st to November 30th. Also, ULBs have been asked to set up a cell for effective monitoring of rainwater harvesting. (Times of India)
Monsoon dips to 21 percent, no sub-division under large-deficiency
The data from the India Meteorological Department shows that the overall monsoon deficiency, which was 33 percent at the start of July, has dipped to 21 percent. However, 24 of the 36 sub-divisions in the country have received deficient rainfall, with the deficiency being highest in the east and northeast parts of India, followed by the southern peninsula. Also, the data indicates that central India has received fairly good rainfall over the last week. Along with this, the Central Water Commission has reported that out of the 91 major reservoirs, 62 of them have storage 80 percent or less than normal. (First Post)
Extreme weather events led to 2,400 deaths in India in 2018-19
As per the information from the Ministry of Home Affairs, it has been revealed that 2,405 people died in India in the financial year 2018-19 due to extreme weather events such as cyclonic storms, flash floods, landslides and cloudbursts. Although the Ministry accepted that global warming may lead to increase in frequency or intensity of weather events, it denied any direct linkages between natural disasters and climate change. The government informed that steps are being taken under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) to tackle the issue and the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project is being implemented in eight coastal states for coastal communities. (Times of India)
This is a roundup of important news published between July 3 - 9, 2019. Also read policy matters this week.