Research Papers

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)
Mapping carbon reserves to fight climate change
India’s potential for carbon reserves among top ten countries, says study Posted on 20 Jul, 2022 06:29 PM

Emissions of carbon to the atmosphere must remain below ∼250 petagrams (PgC) (918 PgCO2) from 2021 onward to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 °C. At present rates, that amount of carbon will be emitted by 2045.

Preserving existing forests and woody ecosystems among the actions needed to curb climate change (Image: European Wilderness Society)
Poisoned waters of Delhi
This study found a high concentration of trihalomethanes (THMs) in water treatment plants in Delhi that were associated with increased risk of cancer. Posted on 20 Jul, 2022 02:34 PM

Provision of safe drinking water continues to be a challenge in developing countries and microbial contamination of water can lead to a number of waterborne diseases. Studies in India show that access to tap water may not guarantee that it is safe to drink.

What's in your tap water (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Need to consider multiple values of nature in policy decisions
Decisions based on a narrow set of market values of nature underpin the global biodiversity crisis Posted on 18 Jul, 2022 09:24 PM

The way nature is valued in political and economic decisions is both a key driver of the global biodiversity crisis and a vital opportunity to address it, according to a four-year methodological assessment by 82 top scientists and experts from every region of the world.

More than 50 methods and approaches exist to make visible the diverse values of nature (Image: Pixnio)
Mining shrinks Odisha’s forests
Mining is taking a toll on forest reserves in Odisha. Effective measures to prevent further destruction of forests are urgently needed! Posted on 13 Jul, 2022 04:02 PM

Forests world over are shrinking and various anthropogenic activities, such as timber extraction, industrialisation, agricultural expansion, mining and urbanisation are leading to these changes.

Shrinking forests of Odisha (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
How effective is Malki practice for conserving Gujarat’s Dang forests?
Green cover density in 74% area of Dang forests increased during 2001–18 Posted on 11 Jul, 2022 06:44 PM

Considering the global trend of alarming deforestation, it is very important to study various forest management strategies to understand their effectiveness and limitations. It is important to conserve the forests, but the economic sustainability of the people directly linked with the forests cannot be ignored.

(Image: Jenis Patel, Wikimedia)