Droughts and Floods

Featured Articles
October 30, 2022 This book by Dr. Mitul Baruah presents a fascinating, ethnographic account of the challenges faced by communities living in Majuli, India, one of the largest river islands in the world, which has experienced immense socio-environmental transformations over the years, processes that are emblematic of the Brahmaputra Valley as a whole. This is an excerpt from the book.
Floods are recurrent phenomena in Assam (Image: Mitul Baruah)
September 13, 2022 Heavy rains and floods have battered Bengaluru yet again. Uncontrolled and unregulated development and concretisation of the city that pays no heed to the ecology and hydrology of the region needs to stop!
Urban flooding in Bangalore (Image Source: Thejas via Wikimedia Commons)
August 21, 2022 Floods are not feared, but rather welcomed by the Mishing communities from Majuli island in Assam as they bring bountiful fish- a rich source of food, nutrition and livelihood for the community.
The Majuli island, a haven for fish (Image Source: Usha Dewani, India Water Portal)
August 10, 2022 The irrigation at all costs mindset and narrow policies for drought protection during the colonial rule ignored rainfed agriculture and local practices that sustained agriculture in the Bombay Deccan. This continues even today.
Recurrent droughts and the struggle for survival (Image Source: Gaurav Bhosale via Wikimedia Commons):
August 2, 2022 The frequency and intensity of floods is on the rise in Assam spelling doom for fish biodiversity.
Life during floods in Assam (Image Source: Kausika Bordoloi via Wikimedia Commons)
July 10, 2022 People in India fleeing disasters like drought more likely to have experienced trafficking or modern slavery than those fleeing floods or cyclones
The country's climate change assessment suggests things are only going to get worse (Image: Saurav Karmakar, India Water Portal Flickr)
Slow disaster: Political ecology of hazards and everyday life in the Brahmaputra valley, Assam
This book by Dr. Mitul Baruah presents a fascinating, ethnographic account of the challenges faced by communities living in Majuli, India, one of the largest river islands in the world, which has experienced immense socio-environmental transformations over the years, processes that are emblematic of the Brahmaputra Valley as a whole. This is an excerpt from the book. Posted on 30 Oct, 2022 07:19 PM

The accumulation of capital and misery go hand in hand, concentrated in space.

― David Harvey, The Limits to Capital, 2006 [1982]: 418

Floods are recurrent phenomena in Assam (Image: Mitul Baruah)
What causes tropical cyclone driven floods in India?
In the Indian region, landfalling tropical cyclones have the potential to cause floods in the river basins. Both tropical cyclone rainfall and antecedent soil moisture of the basin controls the severity of floods. Posted on 22 Oct, 2022 05:40 PM

Tropical cyclones are intense circular storms that originate over tropical oceans and are among the most significant threats to human life and property in the world. Tropical cyclones are associated with heavy rainfall and strong winds, which cause hazards such as storm surges and inland flooding.

Tropical Cyclone Phailin made its way over the Bay of Bengal towards the eastern Indian coast in 2013, with winds recorded at over 200kmph (Image: EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid, CC BY-ND 2.0)
Minimising the impact of floods: The role of income and governmental response
This study finds that higher income states are better placed to invest in flood precautionary measures as compared to low income states. Government expenditure on flood risk mitigation continues to be inadequate in India and needs to increase. Posted on 20 Oct, 2022 02:27 PM

India is one of the most flood-affected country following China and floods account for 53 percent of the disasters followed by cyclones (21 percent), landslides (10 percent), cold waves (6.4 percent), earthquakes (4.2 percent), and droughts (2 percent).

Floods, a frequent occurance in India (Image Source: India Water Portal)
UN's Human Development Report calls for a shift in direction
New this fortnight Posted on 15 Sep, 2022 02:17 PM

Global Human Development Index declines for two years in a row: UN Report

India ranks 132 in latest Human Development Report (Image source: IWP Flickr albums)
While floods occur, states fail to enforce floodplain zoning laws
Policy matters this fortnight Posted on 15 Sep, 2022 12:26 AM

Floodplain zoning law: Only three states and one UT enacted the law to mitigate floods

Monsoon in Trivandrum. Photo for representation only (Image source: IWP Flickr Photos)
Chaos in a concrete jungle
Heavy rains and floods have battered Bengaluru yet again. Uncontrolled and unregulated development and concretisation of the city that pays no heed to the ecology and hydrology of the region needs to stop! Posted on 13 Sep, 2022 06:32 PM

Bengaluru, once a city of lakes - is in crisis.

Urban flooding in Bangalore (Image Source: Thejas via Wikimedia Commons)
India creates history, sets up first floating water quality testing lab in the Indian Ocean
News this fortnight Posted on 26 Aug, 2022 09:46 AM

India launches a floating wet lab for water quality tests in the Indian Ocean

View of India Ocean at the southern tip of the country (Image source: IWP Flickr photos)
Floods – a boon than a bane!
Floods are not feared, but rather welcomed by the Mishing communities from Majuli island in Assam as they bring bountiful fish- a rich source of food, nutrition and livelihood for the community. Posted on 21 Aug, 2022 11:15 PM

Floods are often perceived as a destructive force in Assam and other parts of India.

The Majuli island, a haven for fish (Image Source: Usha Dewani, India Water Portal)
Heavy metal contamination in the sediments of the Brahmaputra river
Study indicates an intermediate silicate weathering in the adjoining area Posted on 16 Aug, 2022 10:11 AM

The river Brahmaputra carries around 73 million tons of dissolved material annually, which accounts for approximately 4% of the total dissolved flux into the oceans (Singh et al., 2005). The dissolved chemical load and sediment flux of the Brahmaputra River has significantly higher rates of physical and chemical weathering than other large Himalayan catchments.

(Image: Rita Willaert, Flickr Commons)
Collaborative management for sustainable livelihoods in the Sundarbans
The impacts as perceived by the community Posted on 15 Aug, 2022 07:42 PM

Sundarbans delta is the largest mangrove forest reserve in the world with distinct species of wild flora and fauna. It is a source of livelihood for several communities residing in the vicinity. The indigenous plants, extraction of honey and catching fish from rivers, lakes and rivulets have good economic value in surroundings markets.

Catching fish from rivers, lakes and rivulets have good economic value in surroundings markets (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
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