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Yamuna flows under (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)
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A domestic RO water purifier
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Ganga's riverflow at Rishikesh in Uttarakhand (Image courtesy: Ankit Singh; Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)
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Groundwater, an exploited resource (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Water governance guidelines for practitioners - Sahjeevan's experiences in decentralised drinking water management
Sahjeevan has formulated water governance guidelines for practitioners, which has been presented in this report. Posted on 20 Jun, 2011 08:50 PM

CoverThis report is based on the experience of women’s collectives promoted by Sahjeevan and of several member organizations of Abhiyan on local water governance, in particular on the demonstrated models of decentralized drinking water that they have taken up in several villages.

Water has been the central theme for development in Kutch. In the last two decades, a scaling up process of decentralized drinking water, popularly known as Pani Thiye Panjo, has been initiated in around hundred villages of Abdasa taluka in Kutch district of Gujarat focusing on development of local drinking water sources, their strengthening and building capacities of communities for maintenance and management of the systems to develop drinking water security at the village level.

The concept of Pani Thiye Panjo, has been well accepted as Abdasa model, which besides providing drinking water security, initiated policy dialogues at the local level on issues such as protection of groundwater, pricing mechanism of water (local vis-à-vis external sources), role of Panchayati Raj Institutions in water governance, role of local youth in developing their technical capacities and development of social capital in management of drinking water systems.

"Battles over land" - Land as commodity and land for livelihoods - Special issue from Infochange
All over India, the battle lines are drawn between land as commodity and land for livelihoods. How much agricultural land is actually transitioning to non-agricultural use? Posted on 18 Jun, 2011 12:48 AM

What are the laws governing acquisition? What is the social impact of a development-at-all-costs policy? Can those who owned and lived off the land have a stake in its development?

Villages in north Bihar sinking in Bagmati's sand - Entire flood control planning needs thorough review - Article by Dinesh Kumar Mishra in
As habitats caught between the embankments in north Bihar are getting buried under the sediments brought in by flood-water, the entire flood control planning needs a thorough review. Posted on 16 Jun, 2011 03:56 PM

The Bagmati Embankment separating riverside on the left and countryside of the right near Ibrahimpur – Electric poles suggest the height of the embankmentThe Bagmati Embankment separating riverside on the left and countryside of the right near Ibrahimpur – Electric poles suggest the height of the embankment

One often hears about the civilizations buried under earth and attributes various reasons for such disappearance of life from a particular place. Excavations reveal the way of life the people might have had before they chose to leave their villages and towns and allowed the nature to take its own course. These accounts are available in books and we all believe the process told to us by historians and archaeologists. These are all conjectures that are revealed by scientific investigations but how many of us have seen, not read, how the civilizations get buried under the debris created by nature? There are places in Bihar where one can see the process of disappearance of civilization and the villages getting buried under the sediments brought by rivers.

Changing with the seasons: How Himalayan communities cope with climate change - A report by Peoples’ Science Institute
This report presents the findings of a participatory study in the Bhagirathi and Pindar valleys of Uttarakhand to determine the effects of climate change that have the most impact on rural livelihoods Posted on 14 Jun, 2011 10:51 PM

 Mountain areas and communities are susceptible to climate change. This work also yielded evidence of the coping strategies developed by the communities to deal with an unprecedented and only partially understood threat. This paper describes these strategies and attempts to assess the vulnerability of the communities in each valley.

"Every 30 Minutes": Crushed by debt and neoliberal reforms, Indian farmers commit suicide at a staggering rate - A report by CHR&GJ - NYU School of Law - Interview with Democracy Now
A quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide in the last 16 years—an average of one suicide every 30 minutes. Posted on 14 Jun, 2011 05:46 PM

 The crisis has ballooned with economic liberalization that has removed agricultural subsidies and opened Indian agriculture to the global market. Small farmers are often trapped in a cycle of insurmountable debt, leading many to take their lives out of sheer desperation. 

Taking action in India on downstream impact of dams - Report of the workshop held by International Rivers and Save Western Ghats Movement at Jog Falls, Karnataka in May 2011
India is on a large-dam building spree, with more than 5,100 large dams already blocking almost all of its important rivers, and more to come. Posted on 14 Jun, 2011 05:17 PM

Jog falls in Western GhatsJog falls in Western Ghats

 These dams have had a profound negative impact on communities and ecology upstream and downstream. While promised benefits of these dams (irrigation, hydro-power or flood control) have been overstated, numerous interrelated and complex negative impacts have simply not been studied or documented. Nonetheless, communities and ecosystems continue paying huge prices of these impacts.

Godavari river water sharing accord - A paper by N. Sasidhar
The paper highlights the acute water scarcity faced by Sriramsagar and Nizamsagar irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh. Posted on 13 Jun, 2011 03:37 PM

 The water availability in these projects has diminished to 33% dependability from the designed dependability of 75% in last nine years. Due to meager inflows, the river water quality is becoming unsafe for human and cattle consumption. It also suggests the remedial action to overcome the problem in future.

Tearing through the water landscape - Evaluating the environmental and social consequences of POSCO project in Odisha - A report by ESG
This report enquires into the circumstances and the basis for the approval of the mega POSCO project in Odisha. Posted on 08 Jun, 2011 03:34 PM

Based on evidence from this inquiry, the study presents a critical analysis of the environmental and social impact information of POSCO's steel-power-port components to expose the fact that regulatory agencies have inadequate information on the short term and long term impacts of the project on the basis of the information that the company supplied to them.  It also provides historical evidence

ADB funded hydro projects in Himachal Pradesh: Disastrous experience - Press release by Him Dhara, SANDRP and HLJM
The Asian Development Bank is financing four hydro projects under the misleading name of 'Himachal Clean Energy Development Programme'. Posted on 06 Jun, 2011 06:07 PM

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and PeopleReport questions ADB funded projects under the 'Himachal Clean Energy Development Programme'.

  • ADB loans for four hydroprojects at eco-fragile zones
  • Livelihood concerns and environmental issues un-addressed
  • Section 17/4 – Urgency clause being used by HPPCL for forced acquisition of land
  • Poor EIA reports and non compliance to environmental norms

Recently, a Public Hearing for the World Bank funded Luhri Hydro Electric had to be cancelled after public protests making it clear that the environmental and social impacts of Hydropower projects as well as the increasing gap between their promise and performance, especially in the Himalayan region have become issues of serious concern. And yet these projects continue to be promoted in the garb of renewable and clean energy. So much so that governments are borrowing millions of rupees from international banks and financial institutions to fund these so called 'green' projects.The four ADB financed hydro power projects being constructed by HPPCL include the 195 MW Integrated Kashang Stage I, II and III and the 402 MW Shongtong-Karccham in Kinnaur. The other two projects are the 111 MW Sawara-Kuddu hydropower projects in Shimla district and the 100 MW Sainj hydropower project in Kullu District.

Proceedings of 'Water Conflicts in Odisha : Issues and way forward' - Organised by Odisha State Centre of the Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India - 28th - 29th March 2011, Bhubaneswar
Participants deliberated upon mechanisms for better understanding, resolution and prevention of conflicts. Posted on 27 May, 2011 12:48 PM

Proceedings of 'Water Conflicts in Odisha: Issues and way forward' - Organised by Odisha State Centre of the ‘Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India’ - 28th - 29th March 2011, Bhubaneswar

Development Resource & Training Centre (DRTC), CYSD, Bhubaneswar:

A 2-days Workshop on “Water conflicts in Odisha: Issues and way forward” has been organized during 28th – 29th, March, 2011 at Bhubaneswar by ‘Odisha State Centre’ of the ‘Forum for Policy Dialogue on Water Conflicts in India’. Environmental activists, thinkers, academicians, Government Officials, Farmer leader’s and Civil Society Organizations from different parts of the state participated in the workshop along with members of the National Steering Committee of Forum to discuss about the ongoing and emerging water conflicts in different geographies of the state.