India's groundwater crisis: Gujarat's solar irrigation cooperative embarks on a solution
The world's first Solar Pump Irrigators’ Cooperative Enterprise (SPICE) has been formed in Dhundi village in Gujarat's Kheda district. Members of the enterprise have not only made a switch from diesel to solar pumps but are also selling power to the local electricity utility, thereby creating a parallel revenue stream. The project has been initiated and partly funded by IWMI-Tata Water Policy Program. By December 2016, the six members had together earned more than Rs 1,60,000 from the sale of surplus energy to the local power utility.
Storage capacity of Karnataka reservoirs lost to siltation
With the accumulation of silt in Karnataka's 11 major reservoirs, nearly 10 percent of the storage capacity, that can annually cater to at least five cities as large as Bengaluru, is being lost. The loss of storage is primarily in the reservoirs of north Karnataka. The worst affected is the Tungabhadra dam which witnesses nearly 17 days of overflow due to high siltation levels. To tackle the issue, a proposal to construct a dam that will hold 30 tmcft of Tungabhadra water is made.
Wetland panel formed in Gujarat
The Gujarat government has finally formed a 23-member state wetlands conservation authority under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules. Apart from government officials, the committee has representatives of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Bhaskaracharya Institute For Space Applications and Geo-Informatics (BISAG) among others. The aim of the committee is to examine wetlands, review conservation activities and make suggestions to the central government and financial agencies for various conservation projects.
Centre adopts two villages along the Ganga river
The Ministry of Drinking Water And Sanitation, in collaboration with Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA), has adopted two villages along the bank of Ganga river to make them model Ganga villages. The two villages are Veerpur Khurd in Dehradun and Mala in Pauri Garhwal. With the help of various stakeholders and ministries involved, these two villages will be provided with solid and liquid waste management facilities, drainage systems and groundwater recharge.
Odisha blames Chhattisgarh for providing wrong information on water
The Odisha government has blamed the neighbouring Chhattisgarh government for giving wrong information on the flow of water to Hirakud reservoir in the downstream of the Mahanadi river. As per the claims, the latter is operating the gates at Kalma barrage in an improper manner to intentionally restrict the water flow to Hirakud. The matter will be taken up with the Central Water Commission to ensure the free flow of water in Mahanadi river through Odisha.
This is a roundup of important news from May 29 - June 5, 2017. Also read the policy matters this week.