World Water Development Report 2020: Tropical countries to be worst hit by water stress
According to the World Water Development Report 2020 released by the United Nations (UN) on March 22, World Water Day, nearly 52 percent of the world population will be living in water-stressed regions by 2050 as climate change affects the water cycle and makes it harder to manage resources. The report estimated that countries in the tropics, mountains, island nations and those in the far north will be the worst hit by the water stress.
The report highlights the need to adapt through a combination of natural and technological options; mitigate by reducing sources of carbon emissions; enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases; and get countries the finances they require to help adapt and mitigate.
Bengaluru, Bhopal among cities with the best water designs: Report
As per a report titled, Cities with the Best Water Designs, by the World University of Design (WUD), Bengaluru, Bhopal along with Gujarat's Dholavira and Madhya Pradesh's Dhubela are among the cities and towns in India with some of the most interesting urban projects that manage, protect and conserve water supply. Globally, the cities which have led in adopting design as a strategic element in innovation processes to solve the looming water crisis are South Africa's Cape Town, Mozambique's Beira, and Peru's Lima. The report further pointed that it is time to seriously introspect on the importance of efficiently designing and managing the water resources in urban city planning. (Outlook India)
State-run power plant in Bhavnagar polluting groundwater
Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Ltd (GSECL), which is running a lignite-based power plant in Padva village of Ghogha taluka of Bhavnagar district has been alleged of dumping untreated effluents into a nearby check dam. The samples from the Gujarat Pollution Control Board have shown that the total dissolved solids, chemical and biological oxygen demand in an open well in the village and a nearby check dam are beyond the permissible limits. The claims further point out that the effluents seep in and pollute the groundwater of the rural areas in the vicinity which has harmed the agricultural crops and drinking water potability in the area. (Counterview)
Good news for Chilika lake as three flagship marshland species spotted
During a survey to estimate the occupancy of fishing cat in Chilika lake, Odisha, the presence of a viable, breeding population of the fishing cat was found. Along with this, the survey revealed the presence of two otter species -- smooth-coated otter and Eurasian otter. The latter’s presence in Chilika is especially significant as little is known about its distribution and abundance in India and it was not recorded previously from the lake. At present, the Irrawaddy dolphin and migratory birds are the focus of research and management interventions in Chilika. However, there is a need to develop a habitat management plan, introducing and following monitoring protocols for the three flagship species. (Down to Earth)
Unabated mining weakens base of a bridge on the Sutlej river
In Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, a km-long Agampur bridge on the Sutlej river is on the verge of collapse due to illegal mining taking place near the bridge for years. One of the piers of the bridge has shifted by a foot while another by a few inches away. The unabated illegal mining near the bridge lowered the riverbed, leading to increased flow of river water which washed away sand around the piers. The issue was reported to the Public Works Department in 2016, when around six out of 32 piers was removed, but nothing has been done after that till date. (The Tribune)
This is a roundup of important news published between March 12 - 21, 2020. Also read policy matters this week.