Research Papers

India in the grip of floods - yet again!
Floods are becoming the most frequently occurring extreme events leading to high deaths in India. Posted on 27 Nov, 2021 11:49 AM

The states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu are in the news since the last few days because of the heavy rains that have left the region battered by flooding and water-logging at several places leading to reports of death, destruction and displacement of large

The floods in Kerala in 2018 (Image: Ranjith Siji, Wikimedia Commons: CC BY-SA 4.0)
Will flash droughts affect India?
Flash droughts in India pose challenges for water management during the summer monsoon Posted on 25 Nov, 2021 01:25 PM

Flash drought is a critical sub-seasonal phenomenon characterized by a period of rapid drought intensification. It exhibits multifaceted challenges to agriculture, water resources, ecosystems, and the human environment.

Flash drought is sometimes also defined as a rapidly developing drought event. (Image: Pushkar RV)
Mangroves - Wetlands or forests?
Mangroves were treated and managed as forests in colonial times, although they are much similar to wetlands. This led to extensive degradation of mangrove ecosystems in India. Posted on 21 Nov, 2021 07:40 PM

Have you noticed short trees or bushes along coastlines with a dense tangle of roots hanging out that makes them look like they are standing on stilts? These are mangroves. Mangroves can be trees, shrubs, ferns and palms that occupy the boundary between the land and the sea.

Mangrove forest at Pichavaram, Tamil Nadu (Image Source: Shankaran Murugan via Wikimedia Commons,  CC BY-SA 3.0)
Will Darjeeling’s thirst be quenched?
Poor access and mismanagement of the available water resources continue to plague Darjeeling. Can there be a way out? Posted on 17 Nov, 2021 02:08 PM

India’s urban population is expected to grow around 800 million by 2050, which is predicted to create major challenges for urban water management.

Darjeeling, in the grip of a water crisis (Image Source: Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons)
Equity and justice in groundwater access: connecting the dots
Groundwater law and community practices need to go hand in hand to achieve equity and justice in groundwater access in India, argues this recent study. Posted on 29 Oct, 2021 12:32 AM

India is drying up fast with low costs and the ease of availability of groundwater technologies triggering uncontrolled extraction of groundwater. And groundwater is not only important for irrigation in India. About 90 percent of rural drinking water comes from groundwater while 50 percent of the water supplied to urban areas comes from groundwater besides 70 percent for irrigation!

Equity and justice in groundwater access, an urgent need (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Balancing water security with saving biodiversity in the river Beas
Will it be possible to achieve tradeoffs between meeting water needs of people and retaining river waters to sustain the rare and beautiful, but endangered Indus River Dolphin in the Beas river? Posted on 25 Oct, 2021 02:22 PM

Ensuring water security Vs conserving biodiversity: The challenge

Beas river at Kullu, Himachal Pradesh (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Does a drop per crop help groundwater extraction to stop?
This World Bank study from Andhra Pradesh found that drip irrigation did not limit groundwater exploitation. Farmers who had saved water continued to draw groundwater and sell it to farmers who were water constrained. Posted on 04 Oct, 2021 11:19 PM

Groundwater irrigation covers more than half of the total irrigated area in India and is responsible for 70 percent of the agricultural production, making India one of the largest users of groundwater in the world.

India, hurtling towards a groundwater crisis

Groundwater depletion, a growing problem in India (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Global warming can spell doom for India's freshwater fish!
Climate change is warming river waters and changing their flows. These changes can spell doom for fish that live in these waters. Posted on 24 Sep, 2021 11:12 PM

Freshwater ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, ponds cover only 0.8 percent of the Earth’s surface, but are incredibly biodiverse. They harbour around ~15,000 fish species, corresponding to approximately half of the global known fish.

Human activities such as water abstraction, diversion, damming, and pollution are posing a threat to the survival of fish.

Fish in the Tunga river at Sringeri (Image Source: Dineshkannambadi via Wikimedia Commons)
Shrinking forests, declining biodiversity - a ticking time bomb!
A fatal tick borne disease is on the rise in the Western Ghat states. Deforestation, declining biodiversity and increasing human animal conflicts are to blame. Posted on 21 Sep, 2021 10:17 PM

The Western Ghats region of South India is one of the world's most important biodiversity hotspots, and the rainforests of this region are known to harbour 500 types of bird species, 225 reptile species, 219 amphibian species, and 133 mammal species.

The Western ghats forests, under threat (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Uranium in drinking water: A growing concern for India
A recent report by CGWB reveals that uranium contamination of groundwater is on the rise with Punjab and Haryana being the most affected. Posted on 07 Sep, 2021 04:47 PM

Groundwater continues to be extracted at frightening proportions in India and the fear of severe depletion of groundwater resources in the coming years is real. As if this is not enough, the available groundwater is also deteriorating in quality posing a severe threat to the health of the population.

India drinks water poisoned with uranium

Uranium contamination of drinking water on the rise in India  (Image: Pxhere)
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