Sustainability

  • Efforts are underway by both state and central governments to improve access to safe and adequate drinking water to people, and nationally, as on 31 December 2018, 79% of rural habitations had been covered at 40 litres per capita per day (lpcd) but only 47% at 55 lpcd. Yet, in spite of the big push ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Millions of Indian women can take up to six trips a day to gather and transport water, which takes up a major part of their day. During scorching summers when many sources dry up, their drudgery gets even worse. Stories of girls dropping out of school to share the burden of carrying water are also n...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 4 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The Government of India has passed a draft notification to bar membrane based systems such as Reverse Osmosis (RO) to be used as domestic purifiers in cities where the tap water is safe according to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) norms. This is to comply with an order of the National Green Tri...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 5 months 3 days agoread more
  • Karnataka allowed to implement Kalasa-Banduri project In a major relief to the Karnataka government, Centre has issued a gazette notification for the implementation of the Mahadayi water dispute tribunal’s August 2018 verdict. The notification allows the Karnataka government to go ahead with the ...
    Swati Bansalposted 5 months 4 days agoread more
  • Limca Book of Records recognises UP's Banda for water conservation efforts Uttar Pradesh’s Banda district has entered the Limca Book of Records for the construction of 2,605 contour trenches and holding 469 jal choupals (village water parliaments) in a single month. The efforts were made und...
    Swati Bansalposted 5 months 4 days agoread more
  • Surrounded by vast expanses of water, the Kuttanad region in Alleppey district, Kerala faces severe drinking water scarcity due to infrastructure failure and civic body inaction. This picture-perfect expanse that lies at the heart of the backwaters experiences “frequent floods, waterlogging, conta...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Non monsoon flows of Indian rivers are declining Recent evidence shows that monsoon flows in Indian rivers are almost unaffected, but the non-monsoon flows show a declining trend. This has manifested in the form of: Medium and small rivers originating from mountains, ponds, pools, forests or spr...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 5 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s budget announcement on February 1, 2020 made a push for piped rural drinking water supply and promised full coverage of all households by 2024. Last year, the National Rural Drinking Water Mission (NRDWM) was restructured and subsumed into Jal Jeevan...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Government allocates Rs 11,500 crore to Jal Jeevan Mission for 2020-21 In the budget 2020-21, the Finance Ministry has allocated Rs 11,500 crore to the Jal Jeevan Mission for the year for 2020-21. The funds will be utilised to identify and create comprehensive measures for 100 water-stressed dis...
    Swati Bansalposted 6 months 2 days agoread more
  • Common pool resources, popularly known as “commons”, are those resources which are accessible to the whole community or village and to which no individual has exclusive ownership or property rights. Commons have two essential characteristics: non-excludability and high-subtractability. Non-exclu...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 2 days agoread more
  • The use of reverse osmosis (RO) purifiers has become a contentious issue, mainly because of the amount of water that is wasted following its use. Last May, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) issued an order to ban RO purifiers in cases where the total dissolved solids in the water source were less th...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 6 months 2 days agoread more
  • Climate change impacts are disproportionate and influence lives and livelihoods variedly. One crucial determinant of these disproportionate impacts is gender. Existing social norms determine roles and responsibilities, entitlements and capabilities, thereby influencing the individual perceptions of ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 1 week agoread more
  • People tend to be happier and reinvigorated in green spaces. Agrobiodiversity - the number and abundance of different species in particular systems is known to promote happiness. It ensures the resilience of ecosystem services such as food production, climate regulation, and pest management that in ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 1 week agoread more
  • The Mahanadi delta in Odisha is a composite delta fed by water, sediments and nutrients from a network of three major rivers: Mahanadi, Brahmani and Baitarini. The coastline of the delta is approximately 200 km long, extending from the Chilika lagoon in the south to the Dhamara river in the north. I...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Locally called Neeru, water of the Nilgiris in its springs and wetlands has been the fountainhead for two main rivers systems of South India. Today, with growing anthropogenic influences, there is a water crisis in the hills that needs our attention more than ever before. Once in twelve years, the ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • A recent book ‘Transforming Food Systems for a Rising India’ by the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition (TCI) at Cornell University provides a detailed assessment of the major paradoxes of the Indian growth story. It is marked by the simultaneous existence of regional inequality...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • A new McKinsey Global Institute report, ‘Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts’, suggests that many assumptions about the potential damage climate risk could cause need to be revisited. The report finds that climate change is already having substantial physical im...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The water crisis in Karnataka has not only led to severe agrarian distress in the eastern plains region but also created an acute shortage of domestic water, in both rural and urban areas. The 21st century has seen significant changes in demography, economy and agriculture, increasing the demand for...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 6 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • The recently released biennial State of India’s Forest Report 2019 (SFR) indicates an improvement in forest cover since 2017 but dense forests continue to turn into non-forests. The overall gain in the last two years is 3,976 square kilometres (sq km) of forests in India while dense forests of the...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Like in many parts of India, Karnataka’s groundwater is a vital source of irrigation water, but has been depleted by a combination of a prolonged, multi-year drought and intensive extraction. Worsening agro-climatic and environmental conditions are threatening the incomes of smallholder farmers an...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 3 weeks agoread more

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Robust arid region horticulture in the water-scarce arid region of Kachchh, but without improved value-addition for increased shelf-life, farmers faced with a crisis.

Kachchh: A desert oasis under peril

The westernmost district of India, Kachchh was long known as the arid deserted region and seldom received mention for any important economic activities. But, with the earthquake in 2001 that brought in new development policies and interventions, the region witnessed a three-fold increase in the value of production at constant prices since 2001.

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There is a need to have basic institutional structures such as market, credit, insurance, research, extension service etc., in place in rainfed regions.

The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit India after coursing through western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24. This, however, exposed the fault lines in our system: thousands of migrant workers got stuck at various places, especially in metro cities, as they could not get enough time to plan their return. Providing them basic support like ration and shelter became a herculean task for the establishment. 

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Collective management, participation and equity are the foundations on which community economies are sustained.

The exodus of migrant workers from urban areas back to their villages in the wake of country wide lockdown has brought rural poverty into sharp focus. Reconstruction of rural economy therefore needs policy and planning attention. Community economy is a branch of rural economy and among other ways of reconstructing the rural economy, promotion and strengthening of community economies of the poor is important.

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Institutions are a key arsenal in rural India's pandemic fight.

Covid-19 will have major implications in rural areas where the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), a non-profit organisation has been working towards conservation of natural resources through collective action of local communities. Experience indicates that the complete lockdown to contain the spread of the disease has resulted in loss of rural incomes. The risk of spread of the virus too has increased with migrants returning to villages.

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For details, please click here.

May 31, 2020 12:00AM

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We are in conversation with Ms. Rohini Nilekani, a committed philanthropist, author and social activist. She founded Arghyam almost two decades ago and has been a key ideator in the water sector.

Listen to the interview here:

Rohini talks about the water sector, the COVID-19 pandemic and her vision for the city of Bengaluru. Read some excerpts below. 

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News this week

IMD revises monsoon calendar for the country

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Utthan promotes self-sufficient food production areas with internal dependencies, as the pandemic causes disruptions from food to fork.

Reshamben, Manguben and Naseemben, strong women leaders of Vanita Shakti Mahila Sangathan and Ekta Mahila Sangathan, have always argued that government ration shops under the public distribution system should purchase all essential foodgrains from the local area, to the extent possible.

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The "heal as one" narrative is a false one as the poorest are the most vulnerable to the disease.

 

With Covid-19 spreading its wings across the world, the impact on quality of life and access to basic human rights will be felt exceedingly more in the global south. It is the nature of disasters, to bare the inherent socio-economic inequities in societies, that are invisibilized during normal times. The Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented public health disaster, is a case in point.

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Conservation measures such as rainwater harvesting and recharging of groundwater need to be generally well established in both rural and urban areas.

The conventional freshwater sources available in India are being currently overexploited, leading to widespread environmental degradation and depletion of freshwater resources especially groundwater. To sustain the needs of an increasing population and ecology, our consumption of water far exceeds the rate at which we are recharging water sources. We are faced with water scarcity and will find it hard to meet the future regional demands.

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