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This paper describes the impacts of environmental degradation on soil quality and health in the North East of India

The paper published in the journal Applied and Environmental Soil Science discusses the need for a viable option for ecorestoration and maintenance of soil resources to sustain long-term soil productivity and improve food security for the region.

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This article criticises the Government of India’s proposal of addressing the twin problems of floods and water scarcity in the country by interlinking rivers

This article by Jayanta Bandyopadhyay in the Economic and Political Weekly deals with the Government of India’s proposal for addressing the twin problems of floods and water scarcity by interlinking rivers. The author is of the view that the proposal is based on an outdated and dangerous idea of surplus river basins from which water can be drawn at will.

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This article questions the logic behind the implementing of the river interlinking project by using dams, embankments and canals, which have failed in Bihar to control floods

This article by Dinesh Kumar Mishra, Convenor of the Barh Mukti Abhiyan (movement for freedom from floods), Bihar in the Economic and Political Weekly states that the idea of a national interlinking of rivers needs to base itself on the past six decades’ experience of river and flood control measures.

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Gary R Watmough’s PhD explored the spatial associations between socioeconomic variables like female literacy and employment in the non-agricultural sector derived from a subset of the 2001 Indian National Census and environmental metrics. The study was based on freely available remotely sensed satellite sensor data - Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) in Assam.

Past studies have found associations between land and poverty, however these studies are usually focused on small areas using ground based studies. This research explored and quantified associations between socioeconomic conditions derived from national census data and environmental metrics derived from remotely sensed imagery from Earth observation satellites on an extensive spatial scale, covering over 14000 villages in Assam in north-east India. 

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The Supreme Court judgement of 27 February 2012 directed the executive government to implement the river inter-linking project through a special committee which will take precedence over all other administrative bodies. In this article, first published in the Economic and Political Weekly, Ramaswamy Iyer explains why this backing of a 'potentially disastrous' project is disturbing. The article then calls for a reconsideration of this judgement.

 

1. Introduction
Two writ petitions were filed in 2002 on the subject of interlinking. The judgement finally passed in 2012 directs the implementation of this project. This judgement is disturbing for the following reasons:

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This post presents five papers that were recently published on the physico-chemical properties of water. These papers present the water quality data and analyse these figures. Locations in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam and Gujarat are studied. Download the papers by clicking on the titles.

Assessment of physico-chemical quality of groundwater in rural area nearby Sagar city, Madhya Pradesh

This paper presents the results of forty groundwater samples collected from June 2007 to July 2010 in Gambhira and Baheria villages in Madhya Pradesh. The authors conclude that the ground water quality is degraded due to anthropogenic causes.

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'Lakes of Mahadevpura constituency, Bengaluru- current status, changes in distribution and recommendations for restoration' by Harini Nagendra, Ramesh Sivaram, and S Subramanya presents the current status of the lake and canal system in Bengaluru’s Mahadevpura constituency, with details of individual lakes as well as recommendations for the restoration of these lakes as well as the entire system. This report has been shared with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, under which the management of these lakes is consolidated, to inform planning at a constituency and ward level.


Map of the lakes in Bengaluru, with information about their status

Map of the lakes in Bengaluru, source: ATREE

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This report published by the Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) involves a study that involved a review of PPPs in the urban water supply sector since the 1990s, explores the trends emerging in the sector and analyses the factors that have facilitated or impeded the development and implementation of PPPs in the sector.

The study also analyses the direction in which the sector is heading with respect to private sector participation. Since most PPPs are at early stages of operation, this study focuses only on learnings from PPP design and transaction. This study does not seek to assess the operating or financial performance of PPPs.

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This document by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) presents the findings of a study that was designed to investigate the impact of climate and socioeconomic change on the vulnerability and livelihoods of mountain people and their coping and adaptation strategies. ICIMOD conducted a community-based vulnerability and adaptive capacity assessment in four different areas that included Uttarakhand in northwestern India (two districts), Nepal (two districts), Eastern Bhutan (two districts), and North East India (one district in Assam and one in Meghalaya). The overall aim was to contribute to enhancing the resilience of vulnerable mountain communities in the Hindu-Kush Himalayan (HKH) region to change.

The general objectives of the assessments were:

  • To identify people’s perceptions of climate variability and change
  • To identify underlying causes of vulnerability of mountain communities
  • To assess existing coping and adaptation mechanisms and their sustainability in view of predicted future climate change
  • To formulate recommendations on how to improve individual and collective assets

 The following research questions guided the study:

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This paper published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research describes the findings of a study that aimed at assessing the oral health status of 11-15 year old school children from Kanyakumari district. The survey focused on determining the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis along with assessing the various risk factors involved. Nearly 12 million of the 85 million tons of fluoride deposits are found in India. It is therefore not surprising that dental fluorosis is endemic in 15 states of India. The highest rates of endemicity have been reported from Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

A total of 1800 children  from all the nine blocks of Kanyakumari district from 6th to 10th standard were examined using type III examination. Dental fluorosis was present 15.8% of the study population and varied from as low as 1.4% to as high as 29.4% in different areas. There was a significant difference in dental fluorosis levels between rural and urban residents. The prevalence of fluorosis was higher among children who consumed piped water as compared to children who consumed groundwater. 

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