Research Papers

Polluted water, hitchhiking microbes and the hidden threat of cholera in India
Better access to clean water coupled with health education to bring about changes in behaviour are critical to prevent exposure to dangerous cholera bacteria that lurk in untreated waters. Posted on 19 Aug, 2022 11:33 PM

Cholera outbreaks are frequent and steadily increasing in India shows recent surveillance data.

The hidden threat of cholera in India (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Heavy metal contamination in the sediments of the Brahmaputra river
Study indicates an intermediate silicate weathering in the adjoining area Posted on 16 Aug, 2022 10:11 AM

The river Brahmaputra carries around 73 million tons of dissolved material annually, which accounts for approximately 4% of the total dissolved flux into the oceans (Singh et al., 2005). The dissolved chemical load and sediment flux of the Brahmaputra River has significantly higher rates of physical and chemical weathering than other large Himalayan catchments.

(Image: Rita Willaert, Flickr Commons)
Collaborative management for sustainable livelihoods in the Sundarbans
The impacts as perceived by the community Posted on 15 Aug, 2022 07:42 PM

Sundarbans delta is the largest mangrove forest reserve in the world with distinct species of wild flora and fauna. It is a source of livelihood for several communities residing in the vicinity. The indigenous plants, extraction of honey and catching fish from rivers, lakes and rivulets have good economic value in surroundings markets.

Catching fish from rivers, lakes and rivulets have good economic value in surroundings markets (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
A new index to quantify longitudinal river fragmentation
The Catchment Area-based Fragmentation Index (CAFI) can improve basin-wide conservation and development planning Posted on 15 Aug, 2022 03:35 PM

The loss of connectivity is a ubiquitous threat facing rivers worldwide considering the numerous river infrastructure projects that exist worldwide and continue to be commissioned to meet humanity’s growing demands for hydropower, flood control, and water supply. Not surprisingly, freshwater ecosystems are among the most altered and threatened globally.

River fragmentation is a threat to riverine ecosystem processes and communities (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
India’s rivers in trouble due to high fertilizer load and heavy monsoons
This could lead to water quality crisis reinforcing the need for basin-specific management strategies Posted on 11 Aug, 2022 10:59 AM

Agricultural intensification in India has increased nitrogen pollution, leading to water quality impairments. The fate of reactive nitrogen applied to the land is largely unknown, however. Long-term records of riverine nitrogen fluxes are nonexistent and drivers of variability remain unexamined, limiting the development of nitrogen management strategies.

Around the world, more than a fifth of nitrogen released by human activity ends up in aquatic ecosystems (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Taming water - Irrigation and drought protection in colonial India and the present
The irrigation at all costs mindset and narrow policies for drought protection during the colonial rule ignored rainfed agriculture and local practices that sustained agriculture in the Bombay Deccan. This continues even today. Posted on 10 Aug, 2022 07:12 AM

Following independence and with the advent of the green revolution, agriculture in India has been based on input intensive farming, and agricultural policies and investments continue to support irrigated agriculture. This excessive focus on irrigated agriculture has led to the neglect of rainfed agriculture.

Recurrent droughts and the struggle for survival (Image Source: Gaurav Bhosale via Wikimedia Commons):
Floods in Assam - a boon or a bane for fish diversity?
The frequency and intensity of floods is on the rise in Assam spelling doom for fish biodiversity. Posted on 02 Aug, 2022 11:42 PM

Floods are becoming a frequent occurrence in India and according to the National Flood Commission (1980), 12 percent of the land in the Indian subcontinent is prone to floods. The North East experiences devastating floods every year with Assam being the most flood affected and one of the top five affected states of the country.

Life during floods in Assam (Image Source: Kausika Bordoloi via Wikimedia Commons)
Carbon removal using ‘blue carbon’ habitats “uncertain and unreliable”
New study from the University of East Anglia challenges the widely held view that restoring areas such as mangroves, saltmarsh and seagrass can remove large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere Posted on 29 Jul, 2022 12:17 PM

Restoring coastal vegetation – so called ‘blue carbon’ habitats – may not be the nature-based climate solution it is claimed to be, according to a new study. 

Mediterranean seagrass (Image: David Luquet, CNRS-Sorbonne University)
Fragmented waterscapes increase risk of Japanese encephalitis
This first of its kind study found that fragmented water landscapes increased the risk of Japanese Encephalitis by providing more opportunities for mosquito breeding and transmission of the virus from animals to humans via animal hosts. Posted on 25 Jul, 2022 04:13 AM

Japanese encephalitis (JE) - a mosquito borne viral disease, is one of the important causes for childhood mortality in Asia. India has a high burden of the disease with 13.7 percent of 63, 854 acute encephalitis cases from 2010 to 2017 caused due to Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV) leading to deaths in 17 percent of these cases with the north-east being a perennial hotspot for outbreaks.

Stagnant waters can encourage mosquito breeding and increase risk of diseases (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Willingness to pay for arsenic-safe drinking water
A case study to understand societal embedding of electrochemical arsenic remediation technology in rural West Bengal Posted on 22 Jul, 2022 09:35 PM

Lack of access to safe drinking water is a daunting development challenge and a quarter of individuals globally do not have access to safe drinking water in their homes.

Tubewell reported to have arsenic contamination (Image: India Water Portal Flickr)