Research Papers

Baravas - Unique water harvesting structures of Maharashtra
Baravas, the unique water harvesting structures of Maharashtra continue to stand the test of time. Urgent efforts need to be made to conserve them and learn from them! aartikelkar posted 2 days 19 hours ago

Traditional groundwater storage structures such as cisterns, stepwells, tanks, and wells in India are well known and had cultural, religious, social, and utilitarian significance in olden times.

A barav from Limb village in Satara district, Maharashtra (Image Source: Aarti Kelkar Khambete)
Study detects high levels of arsenic in cooked rice in Bihar
Need to remove arsenic from the food chain and not just drinking water in endemic areas Amita Bhaduri posted 3 days 9 hours ago

Extensive evidence of elevated arsenic in the food chain, mainly rice, wheat and vegetables exists.

Median excess lifetime cancer risk of 2 per 10,000 from food arsenic exposure in Bihar. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Dams and distress in the Himalayas!
Hydropower projects and compensatory afforestation plantations are spelling doom for the fragile Himalayan forest ecosystems. Urgent action is the need of the hour! aartikelkar posted 3 days 19 hours ago

Proliferation of hydropower development in the Himalayas is leading to extensive land use changes in the river valleys and threatening the diverse and fragile Himalayan ecosystems leading to deforestation, fragmentation, soil erosion and loss of forest biodiversity. These are a cause for serious concern for local communities, whose lives and livelihoods depend on these forests.

100 MW Tidong-I project, Kinnaur HP (Image Source: Manu Moudgil)
Multi-purpose cyclone shelters in India
A study finds if multi-purpose cyclone shelters within the neighbourhood are considered safe for cyclone evacuation. Amita Bhaduri posted 3 weeks ago

An ‘Extremely Severe Cyclone Fani’ made landfall during morning hours on May 3, 2019, near Puri in Odisha. The landfall location was forecast accurately much in advance by India Meteorological Department.

The Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department  looks into the repairing of cyclone and flood shelters across Odisha (Image: Odisha TV)
Bengaluru lakes, in crisis!
Urban wetlands are increasingly under threat in cities such as Bengaluru! Community participation and better planning, management and monitoring of urban spaces is the need of the hour! aartikelkar posted 3 weeks 5 days ago

What are wetlands

Wetland is a place where water covers the soil or is near the soil surface for varying periods of time during the year. Wetlands include a wide variety of habitats ranging from lakes, marshes, swamps, estuaries, tidal flats, river flood plains, mangroves and even rice fields.

Ulsoor lake, Bengaluru (Image Source: Subhashish Panigrahi via Wikimedia Commons)
Cereals drain India dry
A study on virtual water flows in interstate trade of cereals in India shows that cereals are rapidly draining the states that have the most critical levels of groundwater. aartikelkar posted 1 month 1 week ago

Agricultural stagnation and inefficient irrigation systems

Agriculture continues to be an important sector for the Indian economy and for food security with more than half of the workforce being employed in agricultural activities. Greater use of improved crop varieties, irrigation and fertilisers have contributed to major improvements in crop yields in India.

Cereals and millets at a bazaar in Nizampet, Hyderabad (Image Source: Aditya Madhav, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons)
Unsafe drinking water burdens urban poor
While urban poor in Delhi are forced to access water from informal sources, this water is highly contaminated posing multiple risks to health. aartikelkar posted 1 month 1 week ago

Water in India continues to be extremely polluted and unsafe.

Safe drinking water, a valuable resource  (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Reviving traditional tanks to control floods in Chennai
A study finds that desilting and reviving traditional tanks in Chennai can greatly help in mitigating the impacts of frequent floods in the city. aartikelkar posted 2 months 3 weeks ago

Climate change is leading to rise in extreme events world over, and developing countries such as India have been experiencing not only higher death rates but also greater economic impacts due to natural hazards.

A small tank near Thalambedu in Kanchipuram (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Women hold the key to dietary diversity
A study finds that women's control over income and better decisionmaking power can go a long way in improving dietary diversity and tackling malnutrition in rural India. aartikelkar posted 4 months 1 week ago

Evidence world over shows that small scale agricultural production does very little to deal with malnutrition and food insecurity among rural poor.

Empowering women to improve nutritional outcomes (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Who is the thirstiest of them all?
A study evaluating the water use efficiency of sugarcane, curry banana and paddy among borewell irrigating farmers finds paddy to be the most inefficient and thirstiest of the three. aartikelkar posted 5 months ago

Agriculture uses as high as 85 percent of the available water in India of which the irrigated area accounts for nearly 48.8 percent of the 140 million hectare (mha) of agricultural land, while the remaining 51.2 percent is rainfed.

Paddy, a thirsty crop (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)