Research Papers

Ice stupas, the contested water towers of Ladakh
While ice stupas have been hailed as sustainable solutions to the water problems of Ladakh’s villages, the locals think otherwise. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 8 months ago

Ladakh, the arid Himalayan desert, is a high elevation borderland located close to the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir, in India. Water here originates from glaciers in the high altitude mountains that tower over Ladakh’s villages. Simple earthwork irrigation channels tap meltwater from streams that originate from these glaciers.

Ice Stupas near Phyang monastery (Image Courtsey: Sumita Roy Dutta, Wikimedia Commons)
Manipur’s floating lake at risk
A study using remote sensing techniques assesses significant changes in land use in Loktak lake. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year 8 months ago

Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in North East India is also known as the ‘floating lake’ for the numerous phumdis or masses of vegetation it supports. The phumdis float around on the lake’s surface due to decay from the bottom.

A home on Loktak lake in Moirang, Manipur (Image: Sharada Prasad CS, Wikipedia Commons)
Groundwater markets flourish in peri-urban Hyderabad
Groundwater, drawn at rapid rates from peri-urban areas of Hyderabad is now turning into a commodity, controlled and distributed by a few, to meet the needs of the urban elite. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 8 months ago

Peri urban spaces swept up in the urbanisation tangle

Groundwater in Hyderabad, in peril (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Rising sea temperatures pose a threat to coral reefs
Study analysing data of sea surface temperatures since 1982 finds that three mass bleaching events impacted five major Indian coral reefs. priyad posted 1 year 8 months ago

Bengaluru, September 24 (India Science Wire): The Indian coastline is home to an ancient and diverse coral reef system that provides natural habitat for diverse marine underwater ecosystem.

Image used for representational purposes only. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Farm ponds change farmers’ fortunes
While farm ponds in Jharkhand have helped farmers increase yields, they have also exposed them to the risk of price fluctuations, highlighting the need for ‘beyond the farm’ interventions. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 9 months ago

While enhanced irrigation coverage has been hailed as an important way to improve agricultural productivity, it continues to lag behind in India and agriculture continues to be rainfed, subject to the vagaries of the monsoon.

Farm ponds are one way to deal with water scarcity (Image Source: India Water Portal Flickr photos)
Dams, in distress?
It is time water policies in India acknowledge that many large dams have aged and can no longer be looked upon as the only path to water security. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 1 year 9 months ago

India is reeling from a severe water crisis. Large parts of the country are experiencing water-stress worsened by the ever increasing demand for water due to population growth, rapid urbanisation, changing lifestyles and consumption patterns, inef?cient use of water and climate change.

Hirakud, India's oldest dam (Image Source: India Water Portal on Flickr)
What’s shit got to do with child health?
Open defecation plays a key role in solving the puzzle of persistent childhood malnutrition in India, says study Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year 9 months ago

A pig snorts after emerging from the open drain that passes through a slum in the Digha area of south Patna. Small children crawl on the road nearby with slime dribbling from their nose.

Studies indicate that more children stunted in India than in sub-Saharan Africa (Image: MOSPI)
Water in Pune’s urban quagmire
A study develops a peri-urban and rurban water and sanitation index for Pune. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year 9 months ago

Drinking water programs in India treat urban and rural areas separately, generally neglecting the special characteristics of settlements referred to as peri-urban – those on the outskirts or peripheries of urban areas, or “rurban” settlements i.e. rural areas with urban facilities.

A street in the city of Poonah [Pune] in 1871 (Image: Lester John Frederick, Wikimedia Commons)
Vanishing water bodies behind Ahmedabad’s warm climate
A study shows how the open space on the western bank of the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad acts as a heat sink. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year 9 months ago

A study published in the Journal of Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, analyzing the cooling effect of the city of Ahmedabad’s water bodies, has thrown up some interesting findings. The east bank of the Sabarmati river, which flows through Ahmedabad, was found to be significantly cooler than the west bank, witnessing a greater drop in temperature even during summer.

Silverbill enjoying the cool feeling of breeze on the wet feathers in the scorching heat (Image: Koshy, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)
Hydropower in the Himalayas: Potential and risks
Study highlights significant hydropower opportunities in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. Amita Bhaduri posted 1 year 10 months ago

Worldwide, the demand for energy has risen significantly and quickly, leading to serious impacts on environmental sustainability and hindering global efforts to mitigate climate change. Hydropower, a leading renewable option has the additional benefits of water storage for agriculture and other uses.

Hydel project near Kullu (Image: Nadir Hashmi, Flickr Commons)