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Heavy rains forced 120,000 people out of their homes in Sri Lanka, the Associated Press reported on January 11, 2011.

Sri Lanka’s government stated that the death toll from flooding had risen to 13, and officials were arranging food drops to hardest-hit areas in the east.

Heavy Rains in Sri Lanka

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The groundwater crisis is acquiring alarming proportions in many parts of the country. Strategies to respond to groundwater overuse and deteriorating water quality must be based on a new approach involving typologising the resource problems and redefining the institutional structure governing groundwater.

India’s Groundwater Challenge and the Way Forward
P S Vijay Shankar , Himanshu Kulkarni , Sunderrajan Krishnan

The groundwater crisis is acquiring alarming proportions in many parts of the country. Strategies to respond to groundwater overuse and deteriorating water quality must be based on a new approach involving typologising the resource problems and redefining the institutional structure governing groundwater. This approach is based on the notion of groundwater as common property.

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168 large hydroelectric projects to be set in the Northeast: Power or more conflict in the altered riverscape?

This report by Kalpavriksh, Aaranyak and ActionAid India deals with the large dams’ juggernaut, which happens to be the biggest ‘development’ intervention in this ecologically and geologically fragile, seismically active and culturally sensitive region in the coming days. With the Northeast identified as India’s ‘future powerhouse’ and at least 168 large hydroelectric projects set to majorly alter the riverscape, large dams are emerging as a major issue of conflict in the region.

Although the current scale of dam-related developments far outstrips anything which took place in the past, the region has been no stranger to dam-related conflicts. For example, the Kaptai dam, built in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in the 1960s, submerged the traditional homelands of the Hajong and Chakma indigenous communities, and forced them to migrate into parts of Northeast India.

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Saving the catchments for the survival of the wetlands. The High altitude wetlands are in grave danger and so is the life that it sustains.

Guest Post by Shashank Srinivasan

High altitude wetlands in the Indian Himalayas are crucial to the water security of downstream communities. They buffer the flow of glacial meltwater to sustain river flow in the dry season, ensuring that human settlements have access to water when they need it most.

High altitude wetlands are also reservoirs of biodiversity and contribute local livelihood opportunities. Identifying these wetlands and demarcating areas for their protection is thus crucial to any wetland management plan.

In this poster, a method of using topographic data obtained by remote sensing techniques, to identify the catchment areas of these wetlands has been described.

The author suggests that the protection of these catchment areas will ensure the survival of these wetlands, as well as of the communities that depend on them.

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Geospatial World Forum 2011

Theme: Dimensions and Directions of Geospatial Industry

GIS Development

January 18, 2011 12:00AM - January 21, 2011 12:00AM

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This is a map of installations and research of Ecological Sanitation projects in India.

Ecological Sanitation is a new approaching sanitation where there is minimal water use and where human waste can be used as fertilizer. It is a truly sustainable approach.

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In the first comprehensive global survey of temperature trends in major lakes, NASA researchers determined Earth's largest lakes have warmed during the past 25 years in response to climate change.

Lake Tahoe, seen here from Emerald Bay, was one of the primary validation sites for the global lake study. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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This Atlas is a visual account of Africa's use of water resources, revealed through maps and satellite images as well as some graphics and compelling photos

Article and Image Courtesy: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Africa Water Atlas

This Atlas is a visual account of Africa's endowment and use of water resources, revealed through 224 maps and 104 satellite images as well as some 500 graphics and hundreds of compelling photos. However the Atlas is more than a collection of static maps and images accompanied by informative facts and figures: its visual elements vividly illustrate a succinct narrative describing and analyzing Africa's water issues and exemplifying them through the judicious use of case studies. It gathers information about water in Africa and its role in the economy and development, health, food security, transboundary cooperation, capacity building and environmental change into one comprehensive and accessible volume.

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New research released this fall shows that the amount, size, and source of the aerosol particles hovering in the air over India changes by season.

In recent years, scientists have detected very high levels of aerosol pollution in the air over India. Some of it is the result of industrial and agricultural activity, and some of it is nature at work.

Seasonal Changes in Indian Aerosols

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Cyclone Jal brought heavy rains to the Bay of Bengal and the south-eastern coast of India in early November 2010 and this map shows the total rainfall received.

Article Courtesy: Earth Observatory

Image Courtesy: NASA

Rainfall from Cyclone JalCyclone Jal brought heavy rains to the Bay of Bengal and the southeastern coast of India in early November 2010. This color-coded map shows total rainfall over the region from November 1–7. The heaviest rainfall—more than 600 millimeters or nearly 24 inches—appears in dark blue. The lightest rainfall—less than 75 millimeters or 3 inches—appears in light green. Superimposed on the map is the storm track, with darker shades of orange corresponding with greater storm intensity.

A band of heavy rainfall ran parallel to the November 5–7 storm track. Especially heavy rain occurred south and west of where Jal made landfall on India’s southeastern coast. The Press Trust of India attributed 11 deaths in Andhra Pradesh state to heavy rains from Jal.

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