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Tucked away in the middle of picturesque paddy fields and the rolling hills of Govindaraopet, Laknavaram cheruvu is the perfect spot for a idyllic weekend getaway.

Erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh, like its neighbours Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, is a land of tanks. The ‘Cheruvus’, ‘Eris’ and ‘Keres’, as they are known in the respective regional languages, are irrigation tanks dug centuries ago by kings and philanthropists to feed thousands of acres of thirsty paddy fields. 

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It provides natural resources to people living around it, acts as a sink for fisher folk cleaning fish or women doing laundry, and receives treated sludge from new residences around it.

Rachenahalli is one of the few living lakes in north Bangalore. It is connected to water bodies upstream and downstream, particularly Jakkur Lake on the north-east. Both these lakes have been rejuvenated at substantial costs by the Bangalore Development Authority over the last decade. A sewage treatment plant (STP) with a capacity to treat 10 million litres a day was set up north of Jakkur Lake by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). Water from the STP flows into Rachenahalli Lake when Jakkur Lake overflows during monsoon.

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The people of Parswani were promised jobs, healthcare and water. Now, after signing an MOU, they just about get polluted water for irrigation purposes.

Paraswani village in Balodabazar district, Chhattisgarh contains vast reserves of limestone, a sedimentary rock that is a primary ingredient in the cement manufacturing process. Since 1992, Ultratech Cement Ltd. (UTCL) followed by four other similar companies, have begun excavating this rock within a 30 km radius of the village.

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Chennai's limp back to normalcy will be slow and painful, especially for low-lying Velachery, Urapakkam, Kotturpuram and Saidapet which remain flooded even two days after the rain has let up.

Residents were convinced that November was the worst but stock taking and rehabilitation had to wait a week longer as the maniacal rains of December took everyone by surprise and completely crippled the city. According the India Meteorological Department, starting October 1 through December 4, the state has recieved a total rainfall of 592.2 mm as against an expected downpour of 370.2 mm, a deviation of nearly 60% a

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The stories in this yearbook highlight efforts by rural and urban communities across India to take back ownership of their water resources.

Water sustains lives and livelihoods. It is a precious and finite resource that, in future years, is likely to become the main bone of contention between peoples, states and nations. Water – like every other finite resource – needs sustainable and equitable management, with equal focus on reducing demand, recycling and finding alternatives, as well as the usual emphasis on supply solutions.

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In 2009, Cyclone Aila caused significant damage to livelihoods in the Sunderbans. While saline soil is subversive to agriculture in the area, integrated farming gives many the courage to start afresh.

“Another flood like Aila should never happen again, but if it does, we have the knowledge to start working on our soil again”, remarks Binota Munda of Nebukhali village in Hingalganj block, North 24 Parganas. Cyclone Aila that came in 2009 caused extensive damage in large parts of India and Bangladesh, killing scores of people

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Hidden amidst the crushing madness of Delhi's life, this stepwell offers a glimpse of a monument centred around water which is both fascinating and 'past' functional.

Tucked away in a quiet by-lane of Delhi's busiest commercial centre Connaught Place, Agrasen or Ugrasen ki baoli waits imperially for a lost traveller to reach its steps.Called 'Ujar Saini Bauli' according t

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Rainwater harvesting in a school in Jorhat, Assam helps address water quality issues, improves attendance and serves as an example for others in the area to fight arsenic and fluoride contamination.

Even in the remotest village of Assam, you would often find one saying ‘paanir nisina daam’ (meaning as cheap as water) or ‘paanir nisina xorol’ (as simple as water) over a good bargain or an easy task. Water is, almost always, associated with simplicity and abundance.

But those were the good old days.

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July witnesses the highest rainfall due to the monsoon but with it comes the risk of flooding, especially in slum clusters in one of India's most populated cities--Mumbai.

For Kaleshwari Yadav, a resident of Morarji Nagar slums in Mumbai, rain is not her biggest worry; it is the lack of it. Residing adjacent to the Mithi (meaning sweet in Hindi) river, she says when it doesn’t rain, the stagnated river becomes a breeding ground of deadly mosquito vectors of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Kaleshwari and her husband Rajesh, a taxi driver have been living in the slum for over two years along with their two children. While we were talking, electricians installed two exhaust fans in their shanty home to keep off the stink from the river.

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It was not enough for the Mughals to just harvest rainwater but the structure needed to form a lilting backdrop to life in their palaces as exemplified by the Jahaz Mahal. What can we learn from it?

Ghiyas-ud-din-khilji is a man about whom history is confused. Contemporary records speak of 'a lover of peace, particular in his daily prayers'. Modern references invariably mention his (unsubstantiated) harem of 15,000 women.

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