Lakes, Ponds and Wetlands

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Simon Oraon, leading a people’s movement to save water and forests in Ranchi, Jharkhand

It was 1961. Simon Oraon, a Class IV school drop-out began his journey against drought in Bedo, a tribal block of Ranchi, Jharkhand. An idealistic young man, he along with his fellow villagers began constructing earthen dams to capture rainwater for recharging groundwater. This along with his broader work on self-initiated environmental and forest protection systems provided a tipping point that rejuvenated the forests and brought the wells and surface water bodies back to life.

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Flood affected areas in coastal Odisha have adopted new ways of farming. Called floating gardens, these have the scope to reduce the food insecurities of the landless poor.

The coastal district of Puri in Odisha is infested with water hyacinth. In 1982, 10 million people and 3 million hectares of agricultural land was affected by floods causing the water hyacinth to increase to such an extent that it has affected the lives and livelihood of communities for almost three decades.

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While the monster floods of 2015 mercilessly gobbled up villages along the coast of Tamil Nadu, settlements in neighbouring Puducherry managed to escape the fury. Miracle, you say?

The East Coast of India is very much unlike its western counterpart both in terms of physiography and climatology. Unlike the West Coast which receives a predictable amount of rainfall within a predictable time frame, the East Coast is entirely dependent on the depressions in the Bay of Bengal to bring in the much needed rain. Due to the absence of a set pattern and the erratic nature of rainfall, the engineers of ancient times came up with a fool-proof solution – constructing tanks to hold the water.

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CPCB finds Coca Cola plant in Hapur pumping toxic water into a pond

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The city's old wells and baodis are running dry, and the Yamuna is getting more polluted by the day. Where is Delhi's water going to come from when groundwater levels are also dropping?

Delhi, home to 16.75 million people, is in the grip of a major water crisis. Statistics by the Delhi Jal Board for the year 2011 suggest that the water deficit stands at about 250 million gallons per day with the supply being 830 million gallons per day. Unaccounted for water--the gap between the water produced and distributed--is as high as 40-45%.

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Panel finds Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) and private builders responsible for 11,000 acres of lake land encroachment

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World-wide campaign against impacts of water privatisation

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Tucked away in the middle of picturesque paddy fields and the rolling hills of Govindaraopet, Laknavaram cheruvu is the perfect spot for a idyllic weekend getaway.

Erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh, like its neighbours Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, is a land of tanks. The ‘Cheruvus’, ‘Eris’ and ‘Keres’, as they are known in the respective regional languages, are irrigation tanks dug centuries ago by kings and philanthropists to feed thousands of acres of thirsty paddy fields. 

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It provides natural resources to people living around it, acts as a sink for fisher folk cleaning fish or women doing laundry, and receives treated sludge from new residences around it.

Rachenahalli is one of the few living lakes in north Bangalore. It is connected to water bodies upstream and downstream, particularly Jakkur Lake on the north-east. Both these lakes have been rejuvenated at substantial costs by the Bangalore Development Authority over the last decade. A sewage treatment plant (STP) with a capacity to treat 10 million litres a day was set up north of Jakkur Lake by the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB). Water from the STP flows into Rachenahalli Lake when Jakkur Lake overflows during monsoon.

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Urban planners have forgotten that lakes and waterways can only be altered by giving appropriate alternative means of storage and drainage. These water bodies must be revived.

The December 2015 rains in Tamil Nadu caused Chennai and its adjoining areas to be suddenly flooded. Huge portions of residential areas and roads were inundated for long periods of time. The rivers too flooded in an unprecedented manner, causing human loss and property damage to individuals, state and corporates. Looking at Irumbuliur Lake near Tambaram in Chennai, throws some light on the reasons for such widespread inundation. 

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