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December 4, 2019 To adapt well & build resilience, climate change strategies need to factor in efforts towards water security, writes Vanita Suneja, Regional Advocacy Manager (South Asia), WaterAid.
Image credit: WaterAid/Prashanth Vishwanathan
December 2, 2019 Water stewardship is an approach predicated on the concept that water is a shared resource and so water risks are also shared risks that everyone in a catchment will face
Picture credit: Romit Sen
November 18, 2019 Bangalore's water utility is understaffed, under financed and unable to service the city's water needs.
Image credit: Citizen Matters
October 25, 2019 Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.
Groundwater, an exploited resource (Image Source: India Water Portal)
October 24, 2019 While ice stupas have been hailed as sustainable solutions to the water problems of Ladakh’s villages, the locals think otherwise.
Ice Stupas near Phyang monastery (Image Courtsey: Sumita Roy Dutta, Wikimedia Commons)
October 24, 2019 An intern with Watershed Organisation Trust narrates his field experience from the villages of Madhya Pradesh, where farmers are using farm ponds to conserve water.
A farm pond constructed by Sheshrao Dhurve in Karaghat Kamti village of Madhya Pradesh
States have no rights in granting forest clearance: Government
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 1 day ago

Forest ministry solely in the hands of Centre: Environment Ministry

Forests help mainitain the ecological balance of Earth (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Patterns of social exclusion in watershed development in India
How have watershed development projects fared in India? Have they helped in better distribution of benefits among the poor and marginalised? Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 4 months 2 weeks ago

How have watershed development projects fared in India? Have they helped in better distribution of benefits among the poor and marginalised? Why is it important to talk about watershed development at this juncture?

This book by Dr Eshwer Kale dwells on these questions and explores issues around social exclusion among resource-poor people in watershed development projects.

Watershed development: Towards equitable outcomes (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Meghalaya villages join hands to save environment and bolster women empowerment
Villages in Meghalaya have not only successfully dealt with their water problems, but also encouraged women to get involved in the process. And the effects have been for all to see! Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 4 months 3 weeks ago

Langsymphut village in Meghalaya has ample water now. Gone are the days when the water starved village was barren with its streams dying a slow death. And that too when it is located only 22 kilometres away from Mawsynram village, known to be one of the wettest places on earth!

Water collected at a mega dam in a village in Meghalaya (Image Source: KM-MBDA)
A rainbow recovery post-COVID
The movement towards radical ecological democracy needs to combine the practical and policy-level grassroots work with broader mobilization. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months 1 week ago

There is a disquieting hush across the world as the linkage between the planet’s health and human well-being became pronounced during the times of the pandemic. The deepening socio-economic and ecological crises caused by patterns of production and consumption are being increasingly recognised.

The women of Deccan Development Society sanghams move towards more localized natural resource management (Image: Deccan Development Society, Facebook Page)
Forests, the fast disappearing treasure troves of forest dwellers
Rapidly disappearing forests are not only a threat to the biodiversity, but spell death knell for the livelihoods of forest dwellers who depend on them for food and survival. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 1 week ago

Forests are disappearing at a fast rate in India.

Dried mahua flowers (Image Source: Pankaj Oudhia via Wikimedia Commons)
How forest-dwelling communities are braving the pandemic
Local communities and gram sabhas better understand the local complexities than the local administrations while dealing with a crisis situation. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months 1 week ago

The pandemic and lockdown measures have had a drastic impact on a large population of poor and marginalised communities, causing loss of livelihoods and employment, food insecurity and socio-economic distress. While vulnerabilities, atrocities and injustices faced by forest communities due to forest, conservation and economic policies have increased d

The non timber forest products collection season, which is mainly in the months of April to June coincided exactly with the lockdown (Image: CIFOR, Flickr Commons)
Poor implementation of forest rights act hurts tribals
Need to recognise the rights of forest-dwelling and tribal communities over their traditional lands. Amita Bhaduri posted 6 months 1 week ago

In pre-colonial times, India’s forestlands were mostly under the use of the local communities. Forest policies led to centralisation in colonial times with forestland being subject to commercial over-exploitation for revenue generation purposes. This, in turn, led to land alienation of forest dwellers and an overall increase in deforestation.

Indigenous groups that lived and helped maintain the forests for centuries have been undermined (Image: Baiga women, Wikimedia Commons; CC BY-SA 3.0)
Where does the water in a well come from?
In the water sector, the focus on fixing demand and supply is taking us away from the real problem - the unnoticed groundwater dependencies in ever-expanding urban India. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 6 months 2 weeks ago

The environment versus development debate has increasingly become more polarised, with discussions in the public domain revealing a stark contrast of views. Development has increasingly come to symbolise ‘doing something’ and ensuring ‘visible outputs’, largely in the form of infrastructure.

An open well in Maharashtra (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos) Image used for representational purposes only.
Is the draft EIA notification 2020 anti-environment?
The draft notification is alleged to dilute the process and standards for environmental clearances for industries. Amita Bhaduri posted 7 months 2 weeks ago

Economic development and creation of jobs have been India’s most critical challenges, and continue to be an overriding priority for the government. India’s rise in the World Bank’s global ranking on the ease of doing business is complemented with a successive downturn in its position on the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) from 2014 to 2019.

Villager looking at mining devastated areas in Goa (Image: Frederik Noronha; Wikimedia Commons; CC A-S A 4.0 International)
Next phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban to focus on water treatment
Policy matters this week Swati Bansal posted 7 months 3 weeks ago

Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban: Next phase to focus on water treatment and toilet waste disposal

Next phase of Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban to focus on water treatment (Image source: India Water Portal)