Sustainability

  • Floods are an annual phenomenon in Assam. They are as integral to the state as the Brahmaputra River is, and each monsoon, we are reminded that Assam exists (or is drowning). As I write this piece, Assam is slowly recovering from the first wave of flood this monsoon. For several weeks, the entire st...
    priyadposted 3 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • P Sainath has been documenting stories from rural India for over three decades now. He is the founder-editor of People's Archive of Rural India (PARI), a digital archive dedicated to people whose voices and stories don't always find space in mainstream media. Sainath previously covered the rural bea...
    priyadposted 3 months 3 weeks agoread more
  •  Over 3.5 lakh water conservation measures taken up in a single month as nationwide Jal Shakti Abhiyan hits ground In a countrywide effort to enhance water security, especially in water stressed districts, the Centre initiated Jal Shakti Abhiyan (JSA) has reported over 3.5 lakh water conservat...
    swatiposted 4 months 16 hours agoread more
  • Government to 3D map aquifers in all villages Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat said that the Centre is carrying out 3D aquifer mapping of every village in India, to help target water conservation measures at a micro level across the country. Such an exercise will help the governmen...
    swatiposted 4 months 18 hours agoread more
  • Vishwanath Srikantaiah, popularly known as the 'Rainman', has been in the news recently for his ambitious project to build one million recharge wells in Bengaluru. Given the dire situation we find ourselves in vis-à-vis water, the initiative could not have come at a better time. While Vishwanath h...
    priyadposted 4 months 1 day agoread more
  • Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a New Delhi based non-profit has rated the country’s fertilizer sector on several parameters, in a first of its kind study. The rating, done over an 18-month-long process, covered 28 of the 32 functional fertilizer units in the country. The findings of thi...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 2 days agoread more
  • India is, by far, the world’s largest groundwater economy. India’s annual withdrawal of fresh groundwater (253 Billion Cubic Metres in 2013) amounts to one fourth of the global total and is more than that of China and the US combined. Over 80% of water extracted is used in agriculture. The share...
    priyadposted 4 months 6 days agoread more
  • Maharashtra is reeling under drought this year too, with the situation in Marathwada particularly bad. As high as twenty four out of thirty six districts in the state are facing deficient monsoons and about 4,920 villages and 10,506 hamlets are now completely dependent on water tankers for drinking ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 4 months 6 days agoread more
  • Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) is organizing the Indian National Groundwater Conference (INGWC-2020) to discuss 'Groundwater Resources Management for Sustainable Development with the Special Emphasis on Coastal and Urban Environment’ at CWRDM, Koz...
    prijuposted 4 months 6 days agoread more
  • There are studies and field reports that have analysed the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) in terms of coverage and use of toilets in rural India. The official government survey, the NARSS 2018-19, shows that 93 percent of rural households have access to a toilet and 96 percent of those having a toilet ...
    priyadposted 4 months 1 week agoread more
  • In popular imagination, steeped in consumer culture, the hills are exotic and aesthetically sublime places to find solace away from busy urban life. This kind of imagination conveniently ignores and de-contextualizes the hills and the problems they face today. The Himalayas, often known as the Water...
    priyadposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • A Future Earth Conference Opening new frontiers in water system diagnostics and innovative solutions to mitigate the 21st-century global water crisis The Sustainable Water Future Programme (Water Future) of Future Earth is organizing its first international conference in partnership with Divecha C...
    priyadposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The state of Rajasthan has an immense range of ancient and ingenious water harvesting systems, like the famous johads or step wells managed by communities in the arid Thar desert, which receives very low rainfall. A recent book 'Wise water solutions in Rajasthan' by Om Prakash Sharma, Mark Everard a...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Bihar and northeast India reel under floods As the water level of the Brahmaputra River rose above the danger level across Assam, 30 of the 33 districts in the state were deluged by floods, affecting nearly 43 lakh people and claiming 15 lives. In Bihar, incessant rains in neighbouring Nepal ca...
    swatiposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  •   To apply for this programme, write to waterpractitioners@gmail.com
    priyadposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Chikkaballapur is a district in the state of Karnataka, just north of the capital Bengaluru. A peri-urban area that was once an agricultural centre for this region, today Chikkaballapur is facing a unique problem.  Decreasing rainfall has meant increasing periods of drought for this area, wh...
    priyadposted 4 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister alluded to gaon, garib and kisan as the centre of all policies of this government, while announcing a clutch of schemes aimed at the rural and urban poor. Her budget speech last week reiterated the government's commitment to ensuring piped water supply to al...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Government cuts budget for Jal Shakti Ministry by 9.4 percent; increases funds for rural drinking water mission  In the 2019 Budget, the Centre reduced the allocation for the water ministry from Rs 8,860 crore in 2018-19 to Rs 8,245 crore for the Department of Water Resources, River Devel...
    swatiposted 4 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Crop production is highly influenced by the sensitivity of crops to variations in climate and can have major implications for food supply and rural livelihoods. The effects of climate change are increasing in India, where extreme rainfall events have become more frequent and spatially more variable....
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 5 months 3 hours agoread more
  • Across South Asia, small and medium-sized towns are rapidly expanding. Urbanisation has made inroads into the entire Himalayan region. Mountain urbanisation poses a need for assessments of emerging risks and vulnerabilities in environmentally sensitive regions. These areas are marked by po...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 3 hours agoread more

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Some lessons for transition to small scale solar energy in rural areas from the work of MAJLIS, a collective of dalit and adivasi women in Madhya Pradesh.

Access to electricity is a key metric in development. In rural areas, getting on to the grid is a major step forward, improving literacy rates, agricultural productivity and overall household income. However, providing access to power derived from traditional sources like coal, diesel and hydropower, are proving unsustainable in the short and long term. Switching to cleaner alternatives, and making these alternatives affordable is critical.

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The recently concluded 4 day conference in Bangalore looked at the current state of global water resource challenges & future pathways to achieve the SDGs, while ensuring equity in access to all.

The Water Future Conference in Bangalore last week, saw many from the scientific community, academia, research, civil society and the media come together to discuss the state of water resources across the world and in India, as well as future pathways and scenarios, and different technological and institutional solutions to accelerate the implementation of the water SDGs and the 2030 Agenda targets, leaving no one behind.

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DST and SDC working together to develop pan-India climate vulnerability assessment map, to help communities and states better prepare for climate change.

New Delhi, September 27 (India Science Wire): Rising sea levels, increasing number of extreme weather events, urban floods, changing temperature and rainfall patterns - such impacts of climate change are being felt in many parts of India, and not just in the coastal areas or hilly regions. 

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A women's collective in western Madhya Pradesh protects crop varieties bred by indigenous farming communities.

Pandutalav, a small quiet village nestled in the dry teak forests in the tribal pocket in Dewas boasts an authentic rural way of life. This little dot on the map is known for its attempts to introduce indigenous varieties of crops, in particular pearl millet these days. Mahila Jagat Lihaaz Samiti (Majlis), a Dalit and Adivasi women’s collective in western Madhya Pradesh is working on a sustainable agriculture programme here.

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Making false doomsday claims of a water crisis could support problematic mega solutions, which could lead to more problems.

The last few months have seen much debate and discussion on the fast approaching Day Zero, with claims that taps in 21 major Indian cities will dry up. People in Chennai were compelled to queue up to collect water from tankers this past June. Last year’s NITI Aayog’s report set off alarm bells that most of India’s major cities were likely to face an acute, unprecedented water shortage.

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Policy matters this week

Supreme Court question authorities on why manual scavenging still prevails

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Tata Trusts, through its Tata Water Mission initiated the ZSBP program to help the Swachh Bharat mission achieve its goals.

In 2014, the Government of India launched the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) to accelerate efforts in achieving universal sanitation coverage. The issue of access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities also became a major Sustainable Development Goal (SDG-6) when the United Nation set 17 global goals in 2015 under the 2030 Agenda.

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Spatial and temporal information of agriculture, forest, topography, land use change, climate and socio-economic factors are very useful in the planning and implementation of Natural Resource Management (NRM) programs. Despite this relevance, quantitative information on these variables is not widely known at ground level due to unavailability of quality data and mapping techniques.

October 10, 2019 10:00AM - October 14, 2019 6:00PM
October 5, 2019 12:00PM

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Floating 'islands' give new lease of life to a lake in Indore

Choked by sewage and effluent discharge, lakes in and around Indore are in a terrible state and in need of restoration. A bustling city in central India, Indore was declared the cleanest city in India three years in a row. After cleaning the streets and its garbage landfill area, it has now turned its attention towards cleaning as well as restoring its lakes and ponds.

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While farm ponds in Jharkhand have helped farmers increase yields, they have also exposed them to the risk of price fluctuations, highlighting the need for ‘beyond the farm’ interventions.

While enhanced irrigation coverage has been hailed as an important way to improve agricultural productivity, it continues to lag behind in India and agriculture continues to be rainfed, subject to the vagaries of the monsoon. High groundwater dependence for irrigation has not only led to its depletion and quality deterioration, but has also raised questions about its sustainability in the long run.

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