Research Papers

  • Groundwater is the major source of drinking water in both urban and rural India, and an important source of water for agricultural and industrial sectors. India is by far the largest and fastest growing consumer of groundwater in the world and is exploiting the resource beyond sustainable levels.&nb...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • India has had very little to celebrate on World Wetlands Day this year as it has lost its wetlands at an alarming rate of 38% in just a decade (1991-2001). Additionally, there continues to be a regulatory vacuum around wetlands, because of which they continue to be ungoverned and unprotect...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Open defecation continues to be practised by as high as 65% of India's rural population and only 14% of rural households have access to piped water supply leading to high rates of infant deaths and mortality. This working paper titled 'Toilets can work: Short and medium run health impacts of ad...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • An ever expanding middle class has come to symbolise a new India which is changing individual and household consumption patterns by accessing resources and technologies beyond their availabilities. Water as an everyday resource has not escaped this whirlwind of change and a substantial volume of wat...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 2 months agoread more
  • Erratic rainfall, heavy storms, extreme weather and droughts are some of the major impacts of climate changes. Though it affects everyone, certain sections of society, like indigenous people who live closer to the natural environment, are in fact more vulnerable to these variations. However, they ar...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 3 months agoread more
  • Growth and development indicators at the policy level many a times demand the need for factual data that is often standardised and expressed as numbers in order to make each local context comparable to other and allow data to be aggregated to higher geographical scales. This is also true of the fiel...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 3 months agoread more
  • The Babur Nama mentions that the “the finest running water in Hindustan is that in the Dun.” The expanse of the valley and the ridgelines of the two major watersheds (Ganga and Yamnuna) passing through Dehradun, make it a unique ecosystem which can support a wide variety of plants and ...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 3 months agoread more
  • Despite India's rapid economic growth in recent decades, open defecation rates continue to be very high. This presents a unique puzzle for scholars of development because other regions where people are poorer, literacy rates lower, and drinking water more scarce, are better off that India when it co...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 3 months agoread more
  • In India, managing the current demand and planning for future water demand in urban areas is becoming a major challenge for urban water supply authorities. According to current figures by the World Health Organisation, 10% in urban areas in India still do not have access to improved water supply. M...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Marathwada, one of the most drought prone areas in Maharashtra, continues to be in the news over the last few months due to the severe agarian crisis that the region has been facing and the very high rates of farmers suicides. In fact, Marathwada has now been referred to as the suicide capital of th...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Inadequate separation of excreta from human contact can lead to a number of health problems. This is a cause for concern in India because as many as 600 million people defecate in the open despite ongoing national programmes to curb this, and the Prime Minister of India having declared this as ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Dhemaji is one of the most flood-affected districts in Assam. Although the majority of its population depends on agriculture and sericulture, fishing and driftwood businesses are also practised on a smaller scale. People of Dhemaji are intimately associated with fish culture and capture for their li...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 4 months agoread more
  • Although the state of Uttarakhand is rich in water and forest resources, its watersheds are under threat of wasting and erosion due to decreased forest cover, faulty agricultural practices, hydrologic imbalances and natural calamities. The growing population is further increasing the pressure on nat...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • Water is the most fundamental component of any natural resource, and the crisis of fresh water has posed a formidable challenge worldwide. Among the sources of drinking water rivers play an important role, and in the peninsular river system in India, the River Brahmani plays a pivotal role. The...
    sabitakaushalposted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • As the demand for water is projected to increase globally, South Asia is becoming a hotspot where the economy and the population could be adversely impacted by poor water security due to growing household, agricultural and industrial needs, as well as increase in water-related disasters.The threat o...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • Of the one billion people defecating out in the open globally, 66% live in India of which as high as 92% live in rural areas. India still continues to lag behind in terms of achieving the Millennium Development Goals sanitation target to halve the population that doesn't have access to safe drinking...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • About WET 2016VIKSAT announces the next batch of the WASH Educators Training (WET 2016). This batch is particularly for the Institutions/applicants from the western eco-regions of India working on issues related to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). The training is directed towards creating and n...
    Ramesh Gadhviposted 3 years 5 months agoread more
  • Of the one billion defecating in the open globally 66% live in India, of which 92% live in rural areas. Despite concerted government efforts for the last three decades to promote sanitation, India continues to lag behind in terms of access to basic sanitation facilities. Odisha in eastern India, is ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 6 months agoread more
  • Piped water supply has often been referred to as a gold standard while evaluating access to water supply. For example, The Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation (JMP) rates piped water into the highest category while evaluating water access. The paper titled 'Upgrading a pi...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 6 months agoread more
  • Besides water scarcity, allocation of water has become an important concern in India over the last few decades. This is especially true in the drier areas of  Western Rajasthan where along with limitations in physical availability of water, social and economic aspects of water scarcity have mad...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 3 years 6 months agoread more

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From increasing health issues among residents to declining forest produce, coal mining in Chhattisgarh has devastating outcomes.

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. 

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A study from the Sundarbans shows that conserving biodiversity by excluding indigenous populations has threatened not only the survival of the forest but also the sustainability of the region.

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 natural resources and biodiversity in the region.

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A study finds poor water quality behind high incidence of waterborne diseases among households in Ludhiana. The poor suffer the most from it.

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.

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Unregulated construction and use of farm ponds in Maharashtra have further aggravated the drinking water situation in water-scarce areas in the state.

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 forced to enforce Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code to facilitate smooth distribution of water among the population.

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The new urban water supply scheme in Madhya Pradesh that encourages private sector participation is replete with lacunae, according to an NGO that studied the scheme.

In November 2011, the government of Madhya Pradesh sanctioned Rs 493 crore to 37 Urban Local Bodies (ULB) for drinking water supply projects under the Chief Minister’s Urban Drinking Water Supply Scheme (CMUWSS) along the lines of the Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Towns (UIDSSMT).

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A study from Telangana finds faulty power subsidy policies of the state and the resultant increase in tube wells with electric pumps as reasons for depleting groundwater levels.

According to the data released by the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s AQUASTAT in 2010, at 250 billion m³ per year, India is one of the countries that uses groundwater the most. As high as 80 percent of its water is used for irrigation of which 65 percent is groundwater.

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There is a grave health concern around women manual workers who work under extreme conditions of heat with poor access to sanitary facilities. This needs urgent redressal at the policy level.

In a tropical country like India, the summer months are hot which threaten the health of millions of people every year.

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A study finds increased risk of sexual violence among women who defecate in the open due to lack of proper sanitation facilities.

While nearly half of the world’s population (42 percent) lacks access to improved sanitation conditions, India is the worst performer in sanitation coverage, even below those countries with half of the households (53 percent) not having access to toilets. At 49.8 percent, India has the highest number of people practising open defecation in the world.

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Potential threats of environmental deterioration continue to be ignored in Kollam partly due to the difficulty in regulating an industry that produces resources of high strategic importance.

Mining and processing of heavy and rare earth minerals can produce a tremendously negative impact on the land and environment in the area, the magnitude and intensity of which depends on the kind of chemicals and processes used, the efforts taken in the management of waste as well as on environmental fragility of the location. It can also endanger the health of local residents as well as their livelihoods through water pollution and destruction of farmland thereby violating the rights of local communities.

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Reviving traditional water bodies, and not environmentally-unsustainable mega projects which are expensive, is the most viable solution to deal with water scarcity in parched lands like Bundelkhand.

Although droughts are not new in India, we are seeing more of it of late. The paper Seeking viable solutions to water security in Bundelkhand published in the Economic and Political Weekly dated November 5, 2016 informs that people in South Asia have managed the vagaries of seasons for centuries through water-harvesting structures and by managing the available water efficiently through traditional water management practices that utilised water without wastage.

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