Research Papers

  • Up until two decades ago, the main sources of drinking water in Rajasthan included surface water from perennial ponds, reservoirs, lakes, dams, rivers and streams with borewells and tubewells used sparingly and only in remote areas. All this changed when guinea worm infections started appearing in t...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 7 months agoread more
  • Agriculture is of central importance to India’s economy with more than half of the workforce in the country depending on it for their livelihoods. However, it is increasingly being threatened due to climate-change-induced changing rainfall patterns and water scarcity having a negative impact on pr...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • It is a fairly common practice among people to buy bottled drinking water while travelling in India with the hope that it will minimise the risk of getting ill due to contaminated water. But is this water safe to drink? Recent evidence shows that as high as three out of 10 units of the packaged dri...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 1 year 10 months agoread more
  • Kaudikasa is a small village with a population of just 350 people in the Ambagad Chowki block of the Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh. Despite its small size, Kaudikasa village has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Severe health problems have been reported from the village, thanks to a...
    makarandpurohitposted 1 year 11 months agoread more
  • The Manjara river rejuvenation work was implemented in Latur, Maharashtra under the leadership of Art of Living and RSS Jankalyan Samiti in the summer of 2016. The article (PDF attached) evaluates the validity of the approach--of widening and deepening of Manjara river to quench the thirst of Latur...
    Sach Tposted 2 years 1 day agoread more
  • Alternative Futures: India Unshackled is a book that brings together scenarios of an India that is politically and socially egalitarian, radically democratic, economically sustainable and equitable, and socio-culturally diverse and harmonious. Edited by KJ Joy and Ashish Kothari, with a foreword by ...
    priyadposted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • The coal mining sector is all set to receive a boost in India as the government plans to open up the sector to commercial players by 2018. Ten mines are in line for auctioning--four each from Odisha and Chhattisgarh and one each from Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. Coal remains a much-contested ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Makhala village is located in the Amravati district in the southwestern Satpura mountain ranges. Situated at 959 m above mean sea level, this Maharashtra village has 352 households with a population of 1045. Although accessible by road in all seasons, the village is isolated and surrounded by fo...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 1 month agoread more
  • “Sometimes I go for open defecation, sometimes I use the toilet. It’s not like I always have to use the toilet. When I go for work here and there, I defecate in the jungle,” says Renu from one of the remote villages in Tehri Garwal district of Uttarakhand when asked why she does not use latrin...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 2 months agoread more
  • Concerned with contaminated water sources in rural areas, the Centre plans to provide piped water supply (classified as an improved water source by the WHO & UNICEF Joint Monitoring Report) to 80 percent rural households in the country by 2022. Better access to drinking water is certainly good n...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 3 months agoread more
  • Pashan lake, the pride of Pune, is dying! Water hyacinth continues to invade the lake and pollution levels in the lake are high, threatening its once rich biodiversity. How did this happen? The lake was once birders’ paradise This 130-acre wetland with a catchment area of 40 square kilometres is...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 4 months agoread more
  • Census of India captures data on varied topics, one of them being rural water access. Many researchers use this data to understand the regional variations in water sources as well as its quality. But one needs to be cautious while analysing this data as there are few discrepancies and certain nu...
    meswposted 2 years 5 months agoread more
  • Does gender matter when it comes to sanitation? Apparently, it does. Women suffer more than men in case of poor access to sanitation that compromises their health, mobility and freedom. Since there is a possibility of being sexually assaulted or harassed while answering nature’s call in the o...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 6 months agoread more
  • Over the last few months, we saw protests by distressed farmers of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other states over farming crisis and farmer suicides. In what seemed like a knee-jerk reaction, many state governments announced farm loan waivers without thinking if it would actually help the farmers...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 6 months agoread more
  • The landmark report titled A 21st century institutional architecture for India's water reforms submitted by the expert committee chaired by Dr Mihir Shah on restructuring the Central Water Comission (CWC) and the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) to form a new National Water Commissio...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 7 months agoread more
  • The use of wastewater for irrigation in agricultural lands is a common practice across the globe. But a study by Indian researchers has found that it can also affect the quality of soil and groundwater, and consequently, human health.  The researchers studied soil and groundwater samples from ...
    arathiposted 2 years 8 months agoread more
  • It was in the late 90s that Raigarh emerged as the hub for power, coal mining and sponge iron in Chhattisgarh. The coalfield in Mand Raigarh is spread over an area of more than 1,12,000 hectares with an estimated 21,117 metric tonnes of coal.  Kosampalli, a small village in the Tamnar block in...
    makarandpurohitposted 2 years 10 months agoread more
  • Can forest conservation policies that ignore the livelihood needs of local, indigenous populations succeed in protecting biodiversity and wildlife? Experiences from the Sundarbans show that such policies not only result in the suffering of the local population, it also leads to the exploitation of ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • Water pollution is a serious problem in India with 70 percent of its surface and groundwater resources contaminated by biological, toxic, organic, and inorganic pollutants. As a result, the socio-economic cost of poor water quality is high. Around 1.5 million children under five years die each year ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 11 months agoread more
  • In the last few years, the water situation in Maharashtra has got worse resulting in severe droughts leading to drinking water scarcity and agricultural crisis. This has caused immense suffering for the rural folk in the state and saw instances of violence in the name of water. The government was fo...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 2 years 11 months agoread more

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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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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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