Research Papers

  • 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 2 months 3 weeks 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 2 months 4 weeks 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 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 3 months 4 weeks 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 months 1 hour 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 5 months 1 week agoread more
  • Plastic or non-biodegradable waste can prove to be highly fatal for terrestrial or land-based ecosystems as well as marine ones. While the impacts of non-biodegradable waste or plastic waste on the marine ecosystems have been extensively researched, its impact on terrestrial ecosystems is still poor...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 6 months 1 day agoread more
  • One of the most laudable initiatives of the current government’s regime is the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) that was launched on Oct 2, 2014, with a larger vision of a clean India. The critical aspect of the mission was that—unlike many of the movements that preceded it—this had a measurable ou...
    priyadposted 6 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The impact of global warming on the hydrological cycle should be of paramount concern to all because global warming affects rainfall patterns in various ways like triggering more extreme rainfall events. Unpredictable changes in runoff make it difficult to plan infrastructure to manage water resourc...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 8 months 1 week agoread more
  • The garbage crisis is not only invading Indian cities, but coasts as well, and the problem is assuming grave proportions. The incident in early June this year that saw nearly 120 tonnes of trash washed ashore on Juhu beach in Mumbai exposed the high levels of pollution that the Indian coasts are sub...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 9 months 19 hours agoread more
  • India is running out of water fast. As if this is not bad news enough, it has been found that even the available water is highly polluted with organic and hazardous pollutants. Infact, a recent Water Aid report finds that India is among the top countries with the worst access to clean water clo...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 9 months 2 days agoread more
  • Scientists are literally looking into the ground for clinching evidence of climate change. A new study of geothermal records across India has shown that the country has experienced about one degree of warming over the baseline mean temperature of the 19th century. The new study that combines data f...
    arathiposted 9 months 1 week agoread more

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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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A study found that intensification of croplands through replacement of forests can impact long term temperature trends.

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 materials.

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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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