Research Papers

  • Sustainable development, still an unfinished agenda In the fourth year into their implementation, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim at reducing developmental disparities in different parts of the world continue to be a cause for concern, with many international bodies urging for fas...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 5 days 13 hours agoread more
  • The severe cyclonic storm Vayu that formed over the Arabian Sea was expected to hit Gujarat on June 13, but changed course, skirting Gir, Somnath and Porbandar. The latest news shows that the storm is likely to turn into a depression, reduce in intensity and reach the north Gujarat coast by Jun...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 6 days 11 hours agoread more
  • Mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive due to ecological fragility, geomorphologic instability but are blessed with vast eco biodiversity. Climate change impacts in the form of temperature rise, unpredictable and decreased rainfall, glacier melt, prolonged summers and short winters and changes in ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 week 2 days agoread more
  • In recent years, cycles of extreme drought and severe flooding have affected the country’s water availability and crop production. The trend can be attributed to climate change. Scientists have been exploring drought and flood tolerant crop varieties to offset stress conditions that significantly ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • India's food system produces large environmental impacts but these vary by diets. The per capita environmental impacts of diets in India are currently lower than those of many high-income countries due, in part, to habitually low consumption of animal source foods. But, this relatively low per capit...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 weeks 1 day agoread more
  • Increase in agricultural productivity is not only dependent on material inputs, but also on farmer’s access to relevant information on crop production and farm management practices. This information is provided through agricultural extension services in India. While India has a long tradition of a...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 weeks 2 days agoread more
  • Mahakali, also known as Sharda in India, gushes through the hilly tracts of Nepal and Uttarakhand, collecting its water from the numerous streams it receives on the way. Like all rivers meandering through the lush terrains and forests of Uttarakhand, Mahakali too has become a cause of disagreement b...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 weeks 6 days agoread more
  • Tamil Nadu is one of the most water-vulnerable states in India that depends heavily on groundwater for irrigation. As high as 56 percent of land in the state is currently irrigated by groundwater and the remaining by tanks and canals. The provision of subsidies by the state government for irrigation...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 month 10 hours agoread more
  • A recent study by Toxics Link, an environmental research and advocacy organisation on batteries titled Dead and buried: A situational analysis of battery waste management in India estimates that 2.7 billion pieces of dry cell batteries are being consumed annually in India. The report talks abou...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • A little over a third of the world's 246 long rivers remain free-flowing, as per a study by a team of 34 international researchers, including those from McGill University in Canada and World Wildlife Fund India. The study, which assessed the connectivity status of 12 million kilometres of rivers wor...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Life is getting back to normal after an ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm Fani hit India’s eastern coastline. It ripped through several districts of Odisha and West Bengal and brought in torrential rains and winds of up to 200 km/hr. But improved responses to the disaster by way of timely warn...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 1 week agoread more
  • Droughts are one of the most feared natural calamities impacting agriculture and food production as well as the morale of millions of farmers in India. Recent studies show that the frequency of droughts is increasing. While droughts are known to cause severe rural distress, little is known on how ge...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 month 2 weeks agoread more
  • India has the highest national freshwater demand globally and 91 percent of our freshwater is used in the agriculture sector. Cereals account for over 50 percent of the dietary water footprint in India and represent a potential opportunity for reducing water use in Indian agriculture. After the gree...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 1 month 3 weeks agoread more
  • India is on the brink of a major water crisis. With drought looming over the southern and western parts of the country, the existing water resources are in peril. Rivers are getting more polluted, their catchments, water-holding and water-harvesting mechanisms are deteriorating and groundwater level...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 month 4 weeks agoread more
  • India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. It uses an estimated 230 km3 of groundwater per year, which is over a quarter of the global total. About 85 percent of rural drinking water needs, 65 percent of irrigation needs and 50 percent of urban drinking water and industrial needs are ful...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 12 hours agoread more
  • “There is a special type of black ant that is visible just before (and during) the onset of heavy rains. They start coming out of the ground in large numbers with their eggs in their mouths and only travel in a straight line, like a railway track,” informs Chandrika Mahato, a keen observer of ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • "Darjeeling today has a thriving water business, with a fleet of 105 trucks plying three or four trips a day from April to June, carrying 5500 to 6500 litres of water on each run" Source: Lama and Rai (2016)  'Chokho Pani: An Interface Between Regional And Environment In Darjeeling'. Himalay...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 months 1 week agoread more
  • The recent news on the forced eviction of more than 1,000,000 tribal and other forest-dwelling households from 16 states by a Supreme Court order has again brought the long-debated issue of the role of the state and the community in forest governance to the forefront. The order comes in response to ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Hindu Kush Himalayas (HKH) cover 3500 kms across eight countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. Commonly described as the “water towers for Asia” the HKH are the source of 10 major rivers including the mighty Ganges, Brahmaputra and the Ind...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 months 20 hours agoread more
  • According to the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) website, access to toilets has improved in India and 28 out of 36 states and Union Territories are now open defecation free (ODF). While that’s good news, managing faecal sludge in ODF states in an eco-friendly way continues to be a big challenge. ...
    makarandpurohitposted 3 months 1 week agoread more

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While WOTR’s work has contributed to improving SDG outcomes, what are the learnings from the efforts made by the organisation to map and identify the pathways that have brought about this change?

Sustainable development, still an unfinished agenda

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The incidence and intensity of tropical cyclonic storms during monsoons is increasing in India. Can historical analysis help understand and cope with them better?

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The effects of climate change are felt by the indigenous communities residing in the Himalayan region. How are they coping with these changes?

Mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive due to ecological fragility, geomorphologic instability but are blessed with vast eco biodiversity. Climate change impacts in the form of temperature rise, unpredictable and decreased rainfall, glacier melt, prolonged summers and short winters and changes in the seasonal cycle are happening at a more severe pace in the mountain areas making it more vulnerable to their impacts.

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New drought and flood tolerant rice varieties can ease water constraints and ensure food security, study says.

In recent years, cycles of extreme drought and severe flooding have affected the country’s water availability and crop production. The trend can be attributed to climate change. Scientists have been exploring drought and flood tolerant crop varieties to offset stress conditions that significantly constrain rice production. With the development of new drought and flood-tolerant rice varieties, agriculture scientists hope to ease water constraints and ensure food security.

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Rice-based diets had higher emissions but wheat-based diets used more water, says study.

India's food system produces large environmental impacts but these vary by diets. The per capita environmental impacts of diets in India are currently lower than those of many high-income countries due, in part, to habitually low consumption of animal source foods. But, this relatively low per capita impact may change due to the “nutrition transition” from cereal-dominated diets towards diets high in animal-source and highly processed foods, at least among some segments of the population.

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A study finds that farmers from socially-marginalised castes continue to be disadvantaged in accessing agricultural extension services.

Increase in agricultural productivity is not only dependent on material inputs, but also on farmer’s access to relevant information on crop production and farm management practices. This information is provided through agricultural extension services in India.

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A study assesses risks associated with Pancheshwar dam in the light of environmental impact observed for the Tehri project.

Mahakali, also known as Sharda in India, gushes through the hilly tracts of Nepal and Uttarakhand, collecting its water from the numerous streams it receives on the way. Like all rivers meandering through the lush terrains and forests of Uttarakhand, Mahakali too has become a cause of disagreement between the state and the people due to the widespread community opposition to the proposed dam on it at Pancheshwar.

Hydropower dams in the region

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A study shows that although borewells have improved women’s access to water in the short term, they have increased water insecurity and the suffering of women in the long term.

Tamil Nadu is one of the most water-vulnerable states in India that depends heavily on groundwater for irrigation. As high as 56 percent of land in the state is currently irrigated by groundwater and the remaining by tanks and canals. The provision of subsidies by the state government for irrigation and loans for deepening of existing borewells and construction of new ones have turned borewells into a main source of water for irrigation. This has encouraged farmers to extract groundwater by drilling deeper and deeper.

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Study reveals how tossing of dry cell batteries in our dustbins poisons the environment.

A recent study by Toxics Link, an environmental research and advocacy organisation on batteries titled Dead and buried: A situational analysis of battery waste management in India estimates that 2.7 billion pieces of dry cell batteries are being consumed annually in India. The report talks about their use in a variety of products and devices ranging from cars to mobiles, laptops, watches, television remotes, toys, medical devices and inverters.

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A study finds out dams and reservoirs diminish diverse benefits offered by healthy rivers.

A little over a third of the world's 246 long rivers remain free-flowing, as per a study by a team of 34 international researchers, including those from McGill University in Canada and World Wildlife Fund India. The study, which assessed the connectivity status of 12 million kilometres of rivers worldwide, found that there are about 2.8 million dams along this stretch.

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