Research Papers

Deepor Beel faces moderate contamination and ecological risk, says study
First of its kind assessment of heavy metal pollution and potential ecological risk for surficial sediments of Deepor Beel through indexing. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 week 1 day ago

Lakes and wetlands play pivotal roles in providing nutrients to living organisms.

Deepor Beel sits in the heart of the Indian city of Guwahati (Image: Hirakjyoti Bayan CC BY-SA 4.0)
Data ecosystem in smart cities
Implications for technology based interventions during the pandemic: Lessons from India Amita Bhaduri posted 2 weeks ago

Disease control is a long-standing consideration in building smart city architecture, while humanitarian actions are increasingly digitised. However, there are competing city visions being employed in the COVID-19 response.

National data policies need to promote standardisation and encourage local innovation (Image: Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)
Did the moody monsoon shrink forests in peninsular India?
A study finds that while forests existed in peninsular India, they were replaced by savanna grasslands over time. And the weakening monsoon was the culprit! Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 2 weeks 5 days ago

Vegetation in peninsular India is dominated by large tracts of grasslands, mainly savanna vegetation.

Savanna grasslands at Nannaj Bustard Sanctuary, Solapur, Maharashtra (Image Source: Raju Kasambe via Wikimedia Commons)
When monsoon plays truant!
While the monsoon will become more unpredictable, the accompanying hot and dry extremes due to temperature rise will greatly threaten food production in India, warn these studies. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 3 weeks 3 days ago

A recent study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) found that very few (less than 4 percent) of Indian farmers have adopted sustainable agricultural practices and systems.

When the monsoon plays truant (Image Source: India Water Portal)
East Kolkata Wetlands – fast turning death traps for aquatic ecosystems?
Freshwater ecosystems in India are known to harbour rich biodiversity, but their health is being increasingly challenged in recent years. And the East Kolkata Wetlands are no exception! Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 month ago

While freshwater ecosystems in India are known to harbour rich biodiversity, their health is being increasingly challenged in recent years. And the East Kolkata Wetlands, one of the important Ramsar sites in India, and the largest wastewater fed aquaculture systems in the world that provide fish and support paddy and vegetable cultivation, are no exception.

Fishermen use wastewater from Kolkata to rear fish (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Tropical rainforests of the sea, under threat!
The World Ocean Day this year has come with a dire warning, of the threat posed to coral reefs, important for ocean health as well as the livelihoods of millions of people! Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 month 1 week ago

Coral reefs are said to be one of the most valuable ecosystems on Earth and harbour a wide range of animals and plant species.

Coral reefs in the Andaman Islands (Image Source: Ritiks via Wikimedia Commons)
When the Ganges spews plastic!
Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear not only forms a large portion of plastic waste that the Ganges pours into the sea, it also poses a major threat to the environment and biodiversity! Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Rivers, carriers of plastic

Ganga river at Gadmukteshwar (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Harnessing runoff to cope with droughts in South India
With north east monsoon playing truant, understanding the reasons for droughts in South India is crucial. Can harnessing runoff help to cope with the increasing dry spells that south indian cities are facing? Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 month 3 weeks ago

The years 2016 to 2018 saw a major drought in the South of India due to low winter rainfall from the northeast monsoon – rainfall crucial for water availability, agriculture and livelihoods for the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The scramble to collect water: Can it be prevented? (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Challenges in planning faecal sludge management systems
Containment design and construction deviations from norms impact sanitation chain Amita Bhaduri posted 1 month 3 weeks ago

Sanitation targets for SDG 6 can only be met if the focus expands from just access to the full cycle of sanitation – access, conveyance, treatment and re-use.

Empty faecal sludge drying bed (Image: Lars Schoebitz; Flickr Commons)
Crop diversification to address the water crisis in Punjab
While borewells and aggressive irrigation practices continue to suck Punjab dry, can crop diversification rescue the state from turning into a desert? Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 month 4 weeks ago

Punjab, sucked dry

Unsustainable agricultural practices in Punjab (Image Source: IWP flickr photos)