Meghna

The very large storage of ice in the Himalaya, only less than those in the two poles of the Earth, has given the Himalayan region another name - The Third Pole of the Earth . The snow and ice melt flows in the rivers and improves their perennial character. These perennial Himalayan rivers, namely Brahmaputra, Ganges and Indus are the main sources of water in South Asia. The rivers are trans-boundary and water related disputes exist not only at the inter-country level, but also between provinces within the countries, as also between farmers owning adjoining pieces of agricultural land.

The Climate of Coastal Cooperation explores finding a balance between the needs for development and safeguarding the environment.

In this paper, Jayanta Bandopadhyay explains the need for an interdiscipliinary framework for water resource management. He states that this framework needs to include ecological, social, economic and institutional perspectives. These perspectives are essential to facilitate cooperation over the management of transboundary rivers.

Map of the GBM catchment area

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These River Water Quality Reports prepared by the Central Water Commission (CWC) summarise the river water data collected under its long term monitoring programme. The Central Water Commission monitors water quality at 371 key locations covering all the major river basins of India by maintaining a three tier laboratory system for analysis of 41 water quality parameters.

The Level-I Laboratories are located at 258 field water quality monitoring stations on various rivers of India where physical parameters such as temperature, colour, odour, specific conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH and dissolved oxygen of river water are observed. There are 24 Level-II laboratories located at selected Division Offices to analyse 25 physico-chemical characteristics and bacteriological parameters of river water.

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The Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspot contains exceptional freshwater biodiversity and ecosystems that are of vital importance to local and regional livelihoods, but these are under threat from the developmental and use pressures arising from the 62 million people living in the area. Eastern Himalaya freshwater biodiversity assessment report released by IUCN and Zoo Outreach Organisation

Dear all,

IUCN, with Zoo Outreach Organisation, have today published a new report, 'The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in the Eastern Himalaya', which is available online here

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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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The Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghana delta belt comprises of 105,000 sq. kms of which 2/3rds is in Bangladesh. The Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghana system has the largest catchment area of 1,100,000 km². The delta region is particularly vulnerable to seasonal floods, heavy run-offs from melting snows, and tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. Inspite of this, it is one of the most thickly populated regions on Earth.

The delta belt is home to approximately 125-140 million people. And over 300 million people are supported by the delta. The density of population in the Delta region is 200 people / sq.km. making it one of the densest regions in the world.

The delta region is a high-rainfall region and receives 60-80 inches of rainfall every year.

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Arsenic is one of the major contaminants of Groundwater in India today, posing a severe health risk to a majority of the population.

The School of Environmental Studies - Jadavpur University (SOES-JU), has done path-breaking research in reporting and documenting the issue of Arsenic contamination in the country. In 2003, SOES-JU reported arsenic groundwater contamination in Bihar in the Middle Ganga plain, and recently reported arsenic groundwater contamination in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand states in Gangetic plain of India.

 

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The research study will help in providing the basis for planning for future strategic interventions in the river basins mentioned in the study, and to encourage similar exercises in other regions

As part of the research study, River Basins and River Basin Organisations in South Asia, done by the Society for Participatory Development Hyderabad, CapNet South Asia (Read More) and Gomukh Environmental Trust for Sustainable Development Pune (Click Here), data about individual river basins has been collected for the river basins in South Asia.

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This report from the Jadhavpur University highlights the intensity and magnitude of the arsenic contamination in the Ganga-Meghna-Bramhaputra plain

Groundwater Arsenic Contamination in the Ganga-Padma-Meghna-Brahmaputra Plain of India and Bangladesh.This report from the Jadhavpur University highlights the intensity and magnitude of the arsenic contamination in the Ganga-Meghna-Bramhaputra plain which includes states Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Assam covering an area of 569,749 sq km. out of which nearly half the area and the inhabitants are at risk from the groundwater arsenic contamination.

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The paper reviews the role of groundwater market, its evolution, spread, mode of functioning and impact in Ganga-Meghna-Brahamputra basin and concludes that these markets have a beneficial impact

This paper published in Economic and Political Weekly reviews 13 papers (from 1974 to 2003) on groundwater markets in the region, in order to understand the role of groundwater markets in the GMB Basin, in the context of increased  importance of water markets and the rapid agricultural transition in the region.  Groundwater markets h

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