Citizens' Rights and Duties

  • At a workshop on Water Ethics leading up to the Water Future Conference in Bangalore in September 2019, the idea of, and the need for an ethical framework for water management and legislation was discussed. In a country as diverse and complex as India, ethics play an important role in how we view wa...
    priyadposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The last few months have seen much debate and discussion on the fast approaching Day Zero, with claims that taps in 21 major Indian cities will dry up. People in Chennai were compelled to queue up to collect water from tankers this past June. Last year’s NITI Aayog’s report set off alarm bells t...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • In 2014, the Government of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) to accelerate efforts in achieving universal sanitation coverage. The issue of access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities also became a major Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-6) when the United Nation set 17 glob...
    priyadposted 2 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Arecanut is generally grown in the Malnad area of Karnataka, which receives high rainfall. However, it is also grown in dry land areas of Tumkur district, also in Karnataka, using groundwater. Arecanut cultivation area doubled from 5851 hectares in 1990-91 (Kumar 2003) to 12,628 hectares in 2001-02 ...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 2 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Sardar Sarovar dam fills up while ignoring thousands in submergence area As the rains arrived this year, the central government decided to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam to its full height of 139 m for the first time since its construction was completed in 2017. The government has claimed since 201...
    swatiposted 3 months 18 hours agoread more
  • While most parts of the country are facing a water crisis, here’s a case from the arid state of Rajasthan, where decentralized initiatives are solving water issues. Dungarpur in southern Rajasthan has exemplified how community participation with local level planning processes are working towards i...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 3 months 1 day agoread more
  • 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. Children can be seen picking through garbage at the local dump and for ghongha (snails) at the local talaab ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • 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 study - ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 3 months 1 week agoread more
  • Floods are an annual phenomenon in Assam. They are as integral to the state as the Brahmaputra River is, and each monsoon, we are reminded that Assam exists (or is drowning). As I write this piece, Assam is slowly recovering from the first wave of flood this monsoon. For several weeks, the entire st...
    priyadposted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • P Sainath has been documenting stories from rural India for over three decades now. He is the founder-editor of People's Archive of Rural India (PARI), a digital archive dedicated to people whose voices and stories don't always find space in mainstream media. Sainath previously covered the rural bea...
    priyadposted 3 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Chennai had a severely deficient monsoon in 2018 with 40% less rain than normal. Since then, the city has been bracing itself for a water crisis. But clearly not enough had been done and the severe water scarcity this summer has been a wake-up call for people, highlighting the urgency of finding way...
    priyadposted 4 months 4 days agoread more
  • Vishwanath Srikantaiah, popularly known as the 'Rainman', has been in the news recently for his ambitious project to build one million recharge wells in Bengaluru. Given the dire situation we find ourselves in vis-à-vis water, the initiative could not have come at a better time. While Vishwanath h...
    priyadposted 4 months 4 days agoread more
  • India is, by far, the world’s largest groundwater economy. India’s annual withdrawal of fresh groundwater (253 Billion Cubic Metres in 2013) amounts to one fourth of the global total and is more than that of China and the US combined. Over 80% of water extracted is used in agriculture. The share...
    priyadposted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • Maharashtra is reeling under drought this year too, with the situation in Marathwada particularly bad. As high as twenty four out of thirty six districts in the state are facing deficient monsoons and about 4,920 villages and 10,506 hamlets are now completely dependent on water tankers for drinking ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • This summer I had the incredible opportunity, to work with the Tata Trusts and their Tata Water Mission (TWM) initiative, exploring avenues to provide scalable water access to stakeholders in rural communities. TWM is one of the Trusts’ flagship initiatives in India, at the forefront of ensuring...
    priyadposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • In popular imagination, steeped in consumer culture, the hills are exotic and aesthetically sublime places to find solace away from busy urban life. This kind of imagination conveniently ignores and de-contextualizes the hills and the problems they face today. The Himalayas, often known as the Water...
    priyadposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • A Future Earth Conference Opening new frontiers in water system diagnostics and innovative solutions to mitigate the 21st-century global water crisis The Sustainable Water Future Programme (Water Future) of Future Earth is organizing its first international conference in partnership with Divecha C...
    priyadposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister alluded to gaon, garib and kisan as the centre of all policies of this government, while announcing a clutch of schemes aimed at the rural and urban poor. Her budget speech last week reiterated the government's commitment to ensuring piped water supply to al...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 2 days agoread more
  • High Court raps Tamil Nadu government over water crisis in Chennai Taking note of the severe water crisis looming in the state, the Madras High Court has come down strongly on the Tamil Nadu government for not taking adequate steps to battle the crisis. The court has now sought a state-wide compreh...
    swatiposted 5 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Surya Ganga, a film directed by Valli Bindana takes an all embracing view of the energy sector, especially the social and environmental consequences of big energy projects in India. The film was released in India recently. The story begins with an inquisitive six-year-old girl along with her mother ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 4 weeks agoread more

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A study using remote sensing techniques assesses significant changes in land use in Loktak lake.

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. Some are so large that the indigenous fishing folk Meiteis have constructed makeshift floating huts locally known as phumsangs on them.

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Mumbai’s citizens came out in droves to save trees from being felled in Aarey to make way for the metro. Collective action is crucial to save the green lungs of India's rapidly urbanising cities.

Last week saw protests of a different kind in Mumbai. Activists and citizens from all walks of life came together to protest the cutting of trees in Aarey Milk Colony, one of the few surviving green lungs of the fast growing and polluted city of Mumbai.

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Policy matters this week

SC comes to the rescue of Aarey trees in Mumbai

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Goa government, farmers against MoEF for proposing re-designation of the state’s low lying lands

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Where do the aspirations of riverine ecosystems and communities fit in a federalist set-up?

The execution of India’s institutional framework for preventing and solving conflicts over river water is still evolving. A new thinking on federalism in the field of water management to meet local aspirations and national ambition is needed. A one-day conference 'Towards water federalism 2.0 - Perspectives from the Ganga and Brahmaputra' was held recently at New Delhi.

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India needs to come up with a regulation on use of toxic chemicals in detergents.

It’s ironic that detergents, which are meant for cleaning, flow into water bodies and pollute them with chemicals. A study released recently by Delhi-based non-profit Toxics Link, ‘Dirty Trail: Detergent to Water Bodies’, has found startling levels of the toxic chemical nonylphenol in detergents as well as in river water in India.

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Monsoon’s withdrawal likely to begin around October 10: IMD

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A dialogue that highlights the cultural essence of rivers

"River conversations are critical to re-evaluate histories, reconnect civilisations, cultures and peoples, ideas and regions and open streams of thought for a future with exciting possibilities," says Kishalay Bhattacharjee, Associate Professor and Vice Dean, Jindal School of Journalism and Communication who has conceptualized a new series of quarterly river conversations.

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Some lessons for transition to small scale solar energy in rural areas from the work of MAJLIS, a collective of dalit and adivasi women in Madhya Pradesh.

Access to electricity is a key metric in development. In rural areas, getting on to the grid is a major step forward, improving literacy rates, agricultural productivity and overall household income. However, providing access to power derived from traditional sources like coal, diesel and hydropower, are proving unsustainable in the short and long term. Switching to cleaner alternatives, and making these alternatives affordable is critical.

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The recently concluded 4 day conference in Bangalore looked at the current state of global water resource challenges & future pathways to achieve the SDGs, while ensuring equity in access to all.

The Water Future Conference in Bangalore last week, saw many from the scientific community, academia, research, civil society and the media come together to discuss the state of water resources across the world and in India, as well as future pathways and scenarios, and different technological and institutional solutions to accelerate the implementation of the water SDGs and the 2030 Agenda targets, leaving no one behind.

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