Water level in India’s major reservoirs and river basins in a precarious state: CWC
According to the data released by the Central Water Commission (CWC), water levels in India’s major reservoirs and river basins have fallen to 21 percent of its average for the last 10 years. The data has also revealed that except the Indus, the Narmada, and the west-bound rivers of the south, the water level in all the river basins is less than the average of the last 10 years. The worst affected are the Kutch, the Tapi and the Sabarmati in Gujarat; the Godavari, the Krishna and the Cauvery in southern India, and the Mahanadi from Chhattisgarh to Odisha in eastern India. The precarious state of the reservoirs have pushed thousands of villages across western, central and southern India towards a possible water crisis.
Cyclone Fani wanes in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh but will show its effect in Kerala
The India meteorological department (IMD) and officials of the state emergency operations centre (SEOC) have issued a yellow alert for Ernakulam, Malappuram and Wayanad districts in Kerala as the cyclonic storm Fani intensifies. Although the cyclone is moving away from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, it shows its effects in Kerala in the form of heavy rain, lightning, strong winds and rough seas. Some SEOCs have issued precautionary measures for the public like not parking vehicles along roadsides, under trees or power poles in hilly areas, avoiding beach visits, etc.
Waterborne diseases on the rise in Ahmedabad in April
As per the health bulletin issued by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), a total of 1,024 people were hospitalised with complaints related to waterborne diseases in the last 28 days of April. With the rise in temperature, along with waterborne diseases, heat-related illnesses are also on the rise. Of the 1,024 cases, 632 were of gastroenteritis, 134 of jaundice and 257 cases were of typhoid. Health officials are advising people to drink filtered and boiled water if they suspect the water is coloured or stinking, apart from providing free chlorine tablets.
Study shows economic growth is reducing faecal pollution in groundwater in North India
As per the study conducted by IIT Kharagpur, economic growth is reducing faecal pollution in the groundwater in North India, Faecal pollution plays a key role in spreading waterborne diseases in the densely populated Indo-Ganges-Brahmaputra river basin. The study made first-time observations on the significant reduction of faecal coliform pathogen concentration in the spatially variable groundwater from 2002 to 2017. The study determined the economic development trends and correlations using night-time light data instead of gross domestic product (GDP) or other economic growth data.
Scientists find an answer to plastic pollution
Researchers, led by Avinash Ade at Savitribai Phule Pune University have found an answer to one of the biggest environmental problems—plastic pollution. The researchers have identified certain fungi with high polythene degradation potential from mangrove rhizosphere soil collected from 12 different locations in five coastal states—Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. Among the 109 fungal isolates that the researchers obtained, Aspergillus terreus strain MANGF1/WL and Aspergillus sydowii strain PNPF15/TS have been found to be the most efficient polythene degraders.
This is a roundup of important news published between April 24 - 30, 2019. Also read policy matters this week.