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'Talab Bachao Abhiyan', a group that is working on pond conservation in Bihar, suggests measures to the government and hopes to involve local youth to further the cause of these dying ponds.

In 1989, Bihar's Darbhanga town boasted 213 ponds. Today nearly 25% of them have been drained, leveled to the ground, filled up and built over. Hotels, houses and highrise buildings have bulldozed their way onto these water bodies. Do we not need these ponds any longer? Are they better of as bedrocks of development in these land-starved times? 

Once upon a time

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El Nino might affect 2014 monsoon

The weather phenomenon that disturbs cloud formation could bring down India's economic growth from the current 6% to 5.2% in the next financial year, says a study by the credit Rating Information Services of India Limited

Centre accepts Kerala's demands on Western Ghats

Development and modernisation come at a cost to Indigenous people who have historically struggled to assert their rights. For sustainable growth, their identity must be respected and embraced.

If you try to map where indigenous people live and where abundant biodiversity exists, you will notice a big overlap. It might seem like coincidence, but it isn't. Indigenous people have long shared and declared a strong connection to their traditional landscapes. They have had methods to protect, preserve and live harmoniously with nature.

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The 'Apna Talab Abhiyaan' programme promotes the building of private talabs on peoples' lands to help improve groundwater recharge in Bundelkhand.

Charkhari, a princely state of India in the colonial period was once a beautiful settlement founded by Saurabh Singh Bundela, a Rajput King. Acceded to India post-Independence, the town is now located in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh. The place was home to intricate water management systems in the past. According to the settlement records for the Bundelkhand region, the region had numerous talabs-about 962 during the Chandela period-of which only 421 remain today. These old talabs (water bodies) showcase the skill of the builders of this period.  

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Maharashtra village reclaim rights on submerged forest

Korku tribals in Amravathi district lost their agricultural and forest land to a dam in 2005-06; reclaim fishing and management rights over part of the reservoir under Forest Rights Act

'Rajasthan getting only 1% of its share in Yamuna water'

Veteran activist Kulbhushan Upmanyu talks about how the people of Chamba in Himachal Pradesh campaigned to protect the region's natural forests as well as their own rights.

The mountain states are at a loss when it comes to a defined livelihood option for its inhabitants. Himachal Pradesh is no different. While the upper reaches of the state have excelled in growing niche products like apple and chilgoza (a variety of pine nut), areas like Chamba that are below 4000 metres, have to depend on farming. In that too, we have to compete with farmers of neighbouring plain states like Punjab and Haryana which can grow better wheat and paddy with lesser inputs.

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Women have always had an important role in water management. A study in South Sikkim aims to find out if topography, in addition to gender, influences access to water.

Gender influences access to water to a high degree throughout the world, a fact recognised in the Dublin Principles but how does topography influence this access? This study detailed in this post aims to find the answer to this question.

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Groundwater use is synonymous with individual rights. Malkaipeta Thanda, a village in Andhra Pradesh, has shown the opposite-that a community can share and benefit from it too.

Gamalibai is a farmer in Malkaipeta Thanda, a small tribal hamlet of the Lambadi community in Ibrahimpur village, Ranga Reddy district in Andhra Pradesh. She does not have much in common with the image of the hearty, prosperous farmer that beams at us from posters selling agricultural machinery. That is because in common with most tribals, she is a subsistence farmer- one who grows barely enough food to keep body and soul together.

 

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Delhi metro stations to conserve rainwater 

By March 2015, 17 metro stations will have rainwater harvesting system, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT). The NGT had earlier ordered rainwater harvesting system at all metro stations.

Meghayaya favours livelihood over sand mining ban

The 12th Five Year Plan recognises that our current methods of water management have led to inequity. It suggests an approach that involves more input from non-government sources.

In the 60-odd years since we began managing our own resources, we have managed to throttle and poison all our rivers, suck our groundwater resources nearly dry and shave our forests bald. This is despite a great deal of effort, time, thought and resources that have gone into this 'management'.

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