Avadh Plains

How restoration of traditional ponds, rainwater harvesting and wastewater treatment saved a village from water scarcity.

Located in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district, with vast agricultural fields growing sugarcane, rice, wheat, jowar, chana and all kinds of seasonal vegetables, Dhikoli in Pilana tehsil comes across as a bustling and prosperous village. Barely an hour-long car ride from New Delhi, it is home to 15000-odd inhabitants, mostly of the Jat community.

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The people of Chaubari, Uttar Pradesh have lived alongside and have depended on the Ramganga river for generations. Now, an upcoming barrage is poised to wipe them out.

The Ramganga has many impediments in the course of its 655 kilometer stretch from its origin in the mountains of Uttarakhand to its confluence with the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh. In addition to the Kalagarh Dam, there are already two barrages along its length and now a third one is coming up a few kilometers from Bareilly.

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There is no balance between the resources we demand and their available supply. Can we do something to halt and reverse this suicidal trend?

Riverside apartments are in great demand these days. This has led to a surge in the number of apartments built along rivers that flow through urban areas. These same 'premium' apartments are encroaching on the river's channel and are therefore most vulnerable to the floods that they help create by constricting the river. This harm extends beyond the apartments in question.

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In Lucknow, two sewage treatment plants ostensibly prevent pollution of the river Gomti but are they really doing their job? The photos tell the entire story.

The venerable Imperial Gazetteer says, 'Viewed from a distance Lucknow presents a picture of unusual magnificence and architectural splendour, which fades on nearer view ...' (Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 16, p. 196). Nearly all the Lucknowis I met assured me that the Gomti was the same way. "The Gomti is a great river", they told me, "till she reaches Lucknow. After that, she's dirty.

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A National Level Monitor looks into the issue of water quality in Ballia.

Following media reports about arsenic contamination in Ballia, and a complaint addressed by the people of Ballia to the Ministry of Rural Development, a National Level Monitor was requested to enquire into the issue of water quality.

Boy in Ballia shows the skin infection on his hands caused by arsenic poisoning

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Providing temporary fixes to deal with situations such as this epidemic in Gorakhpur cannot help in finding long term solutions.

Guest post by : Aarti Kelkar-Khambete

The encephalitis episode aptly indicates that temporary solutions that do not seek to address the root of the problem cannot help and that there is a risk that one problem gets replaced by another, like Japanese encephalitis being followed by viral encephalitis. The time has certainly come to end the long wait and the plight of the poor who continue to be deprived of basic health and sanitation needs in the area.

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There is need to extend the gains of zero tillage more rigorously to the less endowed areas and farmers, the paper says.

zero tillageThis paper by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) reviews the success of zero-tillage wheat in the rice-wheat systems of the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Diffusion of the zero-tillage technology increased in the last decade, particularly in northwest India.

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India is the largest user of groundwater resources in the world. It is estimated that approximately 230 cubic kilometers per year is used annually, this is more than a quarter of the total world consumption from this resource. It is in this context that this World Bank report looks at the reasons for this quantum of groundwater usage

India is the largest user of groundwater resources in the world. It is estimated that approximately 230 cubic kilometers per year is used annually, this is more than a quarter of the total world consumption from this resource.

It is in this context that this World Bank report looks at the reasons for this quantum of groundwater usage.

The report delves into socio-economic and political reasons and looks at policies which inadvertently promote so much extraction. The report also analyses various attempts to manage this resource. These attempts range from government and international agency efforts directed to grassroots mobilisations. Finally the report comes out with suggestions to deal with this crisis.

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Combining weather data, ground survey and national census to assess water use, yield and crop water productivity of Indo-Gangetic rice-wheat cropping.

This paper by the Challenge Programme for Water and Food (CPWF) presents a simplified approach to combine remote sensing, census and weather data to analyze basin rice and wheat water productivity (WP) in Indo-Gangetic river basin, South Asia. It presents an innovative approach to combine meteorological data, ground survey, national census with remotely sensed imagery to assess water use, yield, and finally crop water productivity for the Indo-Gangetic rice-wheat cropping system in South Asia. 

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Access to water is central to livelihoods. Expansion in agricultural use of water is rapidly altering the availability of the resource calling in for water productivity in agricultural systems

The paper by Challenge Programme on Water and Food (CPWF) attempts to assess and improve water productivity in conservation agriculture systems in the Indus-Gangetic basin, in which during the past 40 years an intricate mosaic of interactions between man & nature, poverty & prosperity and problems & possibilities has emerged. Rapid expansion in agricultural water use is a common theme across these interactions and access to water is central to the livelihoods of the rural poor.

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