Research Papers

  • 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 9 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 9 months 3 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 9 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 10 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 10 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 10 months 2 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 10 months 4 weeks 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 11 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 12 months 13 hours 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 1 year 2 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 1 year 2 months 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 1 year 2 months 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 1 year 2 months 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 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Farming is said to be witnessing a “second GR” or Gene Revolution, after Green Revolution, with the introduction of genetically modified Bt cotton in India. Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are the top cotton-producing states in India with a large section namely, 81 percent, 92 percent a...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Wetlands are very important and productive ecosystems that support a wide range of plants and animals and provide livelihood opportunities to local communities in India. However, they are increasingly being threatened by rapid urbanisation, pollution, developmental interventions, unsustainable manag...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is on the rise globally with the threat more severe in developing countries such as India. Antimicrobial resistance occurs when bacteria develop the ability to withstand the drugs (antibiotics) designed to kill them. This happens due to overuse and misuse of antibiotic...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 3 months agoread more
  • The family of Somesh Manikpuri of Amasivani colony in Raipur is still in shock of his sudden demise from jaundice in May this year. Six similar deaths have been reported from Raipur since April 2018. Memsingh Chandrakar, a resident of Naharpara, another locality in Raipur, was also affected by jaund...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 4 months agoread more
  • Sacred groves are undisturbed or preserved patches of vegetation or forested areas located on the outskirts of villages, towns or plains that are conserved by communities by dedicating them to local folk deities or ancestral spirits. Locals believe that these forests belong to deities and their dest...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 5 months agoread more
  • India is highly vulnerable to desertification. Desertification not only leads to loss of biodiversity but can also negatively affect food production leading to poverty, hunger, economic instability, competition for scarce land and water resources and migration. What is desertification? It is a form...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 6 months agoread more

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Open defecation plays a key role in solving the puzzle of persistent childhood malnutrition in India, says study

A pig snorts after emerging from the open drain that passes through a slum in the Digha area of south Patna. Small children crawl on the road nearby with slime dribbling from their nose. Children can be seen picking through garbage at the local dump and for ghongha (snails) at the local talaab (pond).

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A study develops a peri-urban and rurban water and sanitation index for Pune.

Drinking water programs in India treat urban and rural areas separately, generally neglecting the special characteristics of settlements referred to as peri-urban – those on the outskirts or peripheries of urban areas, or “rurban” settlements i.e. rural areas with urban facilities.

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A study shows how the open space on the western bank of the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad acts as a heat sink.

A study published in the Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, analyzing the cooling effect of the city of Ahmedabad’s water bodies, has thrown up some interesting findings. The east bank of the Sabarmati river, which flows through Ahmedabad, was found to be significantly cooler than the west bank, witnessing a greater drop in temperature even during summer. The study provides direct evidence of how water bodies affect temperature variations.

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Study highlights significant hydropower opportunities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region.

Worldwide, the demand for energy has risen significantly and quickly, leading to serious impacts on environmental sustainability and hindering global efforts to mitigate climate change. Hydropower, a leading renewable option has the additional benefits of water storage for agriculture and other uses.

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Mobile agri-advisory services provide timely and relevant advice to farmers. But do they translate to practice in the field?

Agricultural extension and advisory services facilitate the transfer of knowledge, information, improved technologies and practices to farmers, farmer organizations and market actors. Research has shown positive effects of extension access when it came to knowledge, adoption, productivity, and economic returns for farmers. The high cost associated with face-to-face extension constrains effective service delivery to farmers, who are often widely distributed spatially.

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Mangroves are carbon-dense ecosystems that can play an important role in carbon storage, study suggests.

Straddling land and sea and swarming with life, mangroves are key to healthy coastal ecosystems. They are recognised for their role as storm barriers, protecting coastal areas from flooding and erosion by dissipating the energy of huge waves. They act as nurseries for fish, help filter river water of pollutants and trap excess sediment before it reaches the ocean. Increasingly, mangrove protection and restoration is being acknowledged as a viable option for mitigating the effects of growing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Powerhouses for carbon storage

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A real estate boom is tightening its grip on the East Kolkata Wetlands, a unique waste processing ecosystem. Cooperation and coproduction, not conflict are needed to save them.

 The East Kolkata Wetlands (EKW) are a truly unique ecosystem, presenting a very different sight from the normal urban landscape in India.

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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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