Research Papers

  • The frequency and severity of heatwaves have risen considerably in India. Our cities are facing periods of ‘extreme’ weather as urbanization continues to modify the landscape. The temperature moderation provided by soil and vegetation is being substituted with heat-absorbent construction materia...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 3 days agoread more
  • 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 3 months 1 week 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 3 months 1 week 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 3 months 2 weeks 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 3 months 3 weeks 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 3 months 3 weeks 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 3 months 3 weeks 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 4 months 4 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 4 months 6 days 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 4 months 2 weeks 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 4 months 2 weeks 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 4 months 2 weeks 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 4 months 3 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 5 months 6 hours 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 5 months 5 days 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 5 months 1 week 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 5 months 2 weeks 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 5 months 2 weeks 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 5 months 4 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 6 months 1 week agoread more

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A research paper argues that quick fix solutions to drought management will not work unless they are backed up by proper planning, implementation, monitoring and regulation of water use.

Maharashtra is reeling under drought this year too, with the situation in Marathwada particularly bad. As high as twenty four out of thirty six districts in the state are facing deficient monsoons and about 4,920 villages and 10,506 hamlets are now completely dependent on water tankers for drinking water.

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A study in Telangana argues that farmers’ expertise is important while assessing the severity of soil erosion.

Regionally and globally, soil erosion is a major contributor to total land degradation. Its impact is more pronounced in rainfed areas and it is a major threat to agriculture in India, with a significant economic cost amounting to about 0.35% of GDP in 2014-15 as per estimates by TERI (2018).

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A study finds that hydropower organisations in India continue to maintain a culture of hierarchy, follow masculine norms and are insensitive to the needs of women and the marginalised.

Large dams, back in the game?

Recent years are seeing the re-emergence of large dams as sources of hydropower generation in global development policy. Large dams are being propagated as clean, green, climate-mitigating and a major source of renewable energy in emerging markets in the Global South.

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Study shows how rainfall and temperature affect variety of plants in major bio-geographic zones of India

New Delhi, July 9 (India Science Wire): India has a total geographical area of nearly 329 million hectares. The climate varies from the north to the south and east to west. However, in spite of this diversity, little is known about how climate affects the diversity of plants that grow in a particular area.

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A study finds that selectively increasing coarse grains/millets in crop production can greatly help in reducing the negative impacts of climate shocks on future food production in India.

Crop production is highly influenced by the sensitivity of crops to variations in climate and can have major implications for food supply and rural livelihoods. The effects of climate change are increasing in India, where extreme rainfall events have become more frequent and spatially more variable. On the other hand, there has also been an increase in the severity and frequency of droughts.

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Rapid urban growth, scarce water resources and a high risk of natural disasters pose serious challenges for Leh's urban planning and governance.

Across South Asia, small and medium-sized towns are rapidly expanding. Urbanisation has made inroads into the entire Himalayan region. Mountain urbanisation poses a need for assessments of emerging risks and vulnerabilities in environmentally sensitive regions. These areas are marked by population growth and migration from rural settlements as well as limited availability of suitable space for construction, often leading to building activities in landslide or flood-prone areas. 

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A new study finds that 55% of the glaciers in the Satluj basin could disappear by 2050 and 97% by 2090 due to climate change.

River Satluj, the powerhouse of the Himalayas

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Study shows land use changes responsible for higher temperatures

New Delhi, July 3 (India Science Wire): Warming induced by changes in land use and land cover is contributing to rise in temperature in Eastern India, according to a new study. 

Over three decades (1981-2010), the mean temperature in Odisha has recorded an increase of about 0.3 degree Celsius. The highest temperature rise of 0.9 degrees Celsius has been recorded during the years 2001 to 2010.

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A study finds that farmers in south India continue to rely on borewells rather than investing in water conservation structures or demand management strategies to cope with droughts.

India is witnessing the second driest pre-monsoon season in the last 65 years. As the country eagerly eyes the monsoon clouds, the delay so far has now widened the rain deficit to 43%.

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Study reveals women are central to both food production and preparation, as well as to domestic water provisioning.

The water sector remains male dominated at different scales, from engineers and technocrats responsible for designing irrigation systems, to upper caste and upper class men who decide on the location of canals, borewells, tanks, and other water systems at the grassroots level. While women are involved in the daily management of water for food production, especially on small farms, they have little say in water provisioning decisions.

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