Hamsa Iyer

This scientist turned farmer does it all!
Dr. John Fernandez, a scientist with the National Institute of Oceanography is successfully managing his Khazan land in Batim, Goa. He rears shrimp, fish & pigs and even makes salt! Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 1 month ago

Khazans are a unique man-made ecosystem that give Goa its traditional form of farming. Khazan lands are reclaimed lands from the river or sea.

Dr. John's Khazan next to the Zuari river
Think again before you order shark fin soup!
India is the second largest shark catching nation in the world and among the biggest shark fin exporters worldwide. Sadly, that's not a statistic to be proud of. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 3 months ago

Sharks are very important to the oceans as they control the fish population and maintain the food balance. However, many species of these predators are under threat due to human interventions, specifically shark finning. 

Shark capture in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
Goa University shows state how to harvest rainwater
What started as an effort to showcase rainwater harvesting methods and their benefits at Goa University, has now become an effort worth emulating by the entire state. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 3 months ago

As a faculty of the Earth Sciences Department at Goa University, Dr. A.G Chachadi wanted to develop a facility to harvest rainwater and recharge groundwater at the campus at Taleigao Plateau. He wanted to showcase rainwater harvesting within the campus and also spread awareness on the benefits of doing it.

Aquifer recharge and RWH project at Goa University
The lost Khazans of Goa
A traditional form of agro-aqua culture practiced in Goa is dying a slow death thanks to disinterest in farming as well as an increased interest in Pisiculture. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 5 months ago

Khazans are reclaimed lands from the river or the sea. A created network of bunds protects the agricultural fields and adjoining villages from tidal flows. Khazan lands have three main features: sluice gate, poim and two types of bunds.

Bunds

Aerial view of Khazan seen in Zuari river
From farming to fishing: The journey of the tribals of Dhimbe
The many tribals who were displaced by the Dhimbe dam lost their land but not their livelihoods. They took up cage fish farming and figured out an alternate form of cultivation. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 5 months ago

Dimbhe dam is located near the tourist spot of Bhimashankar in Maharashtra. With a capacity of 13.5 million cubic meters, the dam displaced 1253 families, submerged 11 villages and partiallly affected another 13 villages when it was completed in 2000.

Cage farming at Dhimbe dam, Maharashtra
The Shirpur pattern: Is it groundwater therapy?
Three villages of the many that have adopted the Shirpur pattern in Maharashtra have different stories to tell. You decide if the model is working or not. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 5 months ago

The Shirpur pattern propogated by Suresh Khanapurkar has been widely criticised but also accepted by many villages in Maharashtra.

Shirpur structures in Eknath Wadi, Maharashtra
Citizen-friendly services? Yes please!
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has used newer technologies and integrated customer feedback into making its data public and its services renowned. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 6 months ago

Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipa

Working to make life better for citizens
Water buckets of the Western Ghats
Exploitation of groundwater in Panchgani, Maharashtra, led to acute water shortage but the people of Akhegani decided to do something about it. Watch how they built spring boxes to revive springs. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 6 months ago

The Western Ghats, known for its biodiversity, is one of India's most sought after ecological hotspots. One of its stark features is the basalt rocks, often referred to as water buckets indicating the water retention capacity of the rock, found there.

Basalt rocks characterize the Deccan Plateau
Does tapping regional springs affect the Western Ghats?
Dr. Jared Buono, hydrologist at NGO Gram Pari, spoke of a project that helped revive springs in the Western Ghats at an event organised by IIT Mumbai and India Water Portal to mark World Water Day. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 6 months ago

The Western Ghats are made of up basalt rocks, which were formed from lava flows. These rocks are also known as water buckets as they are able to retain a lot of water. This unique feature helps create springs. At an event organised by IIT Mumbai and India Water Portal to mark World Water Day, Dr. Jared Buono talked about how springs were revived in Panchgani with the help of spring boxes.

World Water Day at IIT-Bombay
A pathway for water
Pophala, a village that was dry land farming in Aurangabad, channeled the rainwater it harvested by way of trenches. The drinking water wells are now full and their crop variety has increased. Hamsa Iyer posted 7 years 7 months ago

Pophala is a dry land farming village with 73 families that cultivate 290 acres. The people would spend as many as 5 hours to go to another village and get water. In the year 2013, the Gram Sabha in Pophala village, decided on something unique. They decided to figure out a way to get and keep water in their village so as to not be dependent on anyone else. 

From dry land farming to Water conservation
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