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Video: P. Sainath at the Delhi assembly: Water and farm crisis are the defining problems of our time

Catch News reports: In a new initiative by Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, proceedings for the day at the Delhi Assembly were kickstarted by a lecture series. The first lecture was delivered by veteran journalist P. Sainath, who spoke on ‘Water and Farm Crisis in India’, which he said were the defining crises of our times.

Droughts and floods: India’s water crises demand more than grand projects

Bhaskar Vira writes: Water is an issue that cuts across all aspects of social and economic life in India. Compartmentalised responses are unlikely to adequately address the current crises. There is a need for an integrated approach, which addresses source sustainability, land use management, agricultural strategies, demand management and the distribution and pricing of water.

Consume more, pollute more, pay less, ask for more dams: The average Indian city’s water policy

A resident of Pune, Maharashtra’s second-most developed city, uses five times as much water as her counterpart in Latur, the district most ravaged by drought in south-central Marathwada region. That’s the extent of water inequality in Maharashtra, according to a new analysis, characterised by disproportionate availability and consumption of water across regions, crops and consumers.

How Rain Water Harvesting can stem Hyderabad’s water crisis

Mayank Ale writes: There is an acute shortage of water in Hyderabad. Today Hyderabad receives water from 4 rivers – Musi, Krishna, Godavari and Manjeera. With 2 of the 4 rivers, Manjeera and Musi, drying up due to over usage, the city is facing acute water shortage and are getting water from farther and  farther away.

India’s perfect storm: Environmental and demographic stresses building up

Kanti Bajpai writes: India’s water crisis is a clear sign that a storm of epic proportions is on its way. India’s per capita water availability is now below the threshold level of 1,400 cubic metres per person. If so, India is heading from ‘water stress’ to ‘water scarcity’ and the possibility of internal water wars.

India facing its worst water crisis ever: Himanshu Thakkar

Environmental activist and water expert Himanshu Thakkar tells Business Standard that India needs a comprehensive water use policy immediately. Making it clear that India is facing its worst drought ever, he says: “I do not think it is statement of pessimism but possibly reflects a reality. What we are seeing this year is unprecedented in many respects.

P. Sainath: “You are in the midst of a mega water crisis”

Speaking at a National Consultation on Drought, journalist P. Sainath explains how India’s ‘thirst economy’ makes profits.  “If we think we are facing is only a drought, we’re in serious trouble. You’re in the midst of a mega water crisis,” he says, debunking the idea that a good monsoon will solve India’s crippling water crisis.

Special: The shocking predicament of the Marathwada farmer, up close

Marathwada region has seen a rise in farmer suicides due to a combination of shrinking agricultural income and an inability to repay loans. Reported suicides in the eight districts comprising Marathwada jumped  by 570 per cent between 2012 and 2015. In this probing multi-part series, Tushar Dhara takes a closer look at the never-ending crisis of Marathwada’s farmers.

Four critical voices on India’s perennial drought problem

Many parts of India is in the grip of severe drought, some for the third consecutive year, leading to growing hunger, mass migration, water conflicts and farmer suicides. We present four well-known voices – Yogendra Yadav, Jean Dreze, Sunita Narain and the late Anil Agarwal –  on India’s perennial drought problem, its causes and possible solutions.

India’s looming water wars can destroy everything, from Make in India to smart cities

Nikhil Inamdar writes: India has the world’s largest number of people without access to clean water. The financial burden of this has fallen on its poorest agrarian communities, but the crisis is now spilling over to industries too. In Marathwada, the tanker business is the only one booming. The rest of the economy has collapsed.

Why we must have water budgets

Techno-economic fixes do not address the underlying “zero-sum game” nature of water resource use. Ultimately, the problem is that of allocating the water available each year among users — both people and the ecosystem. Without understanding how much water is available, how much is used and by whom, solving India’s water crisis will be impossible.

How did Indian rivers fare in 2015?

Swati Bansal writes: The waters of many rivers were declared as unfit for human consumption. This included rivers in Goa with fecal coliform bacteria, and rivers in Karnataka where none were suitable for drinking. But pollution was just one factor, the other was hydropower power projects which continue to choke rivers such as the Chenab.

NEWS UPDATE #87

The Guardian reports: According to a new NASA study, the average global surface temperature in February was 1.35C warmer than the average temperature for the month between 1951-1980, a far bigger margin than ever seen before. The unprecedented leap led scientists, usually wary, to label the new record a “shocker” and warn of a “climate emergency”.

Special: P. Sainath’s award-winning series on rural India’s ‘Thirst Economy’

This series on rural India’s water crisis won P. Sainath a World Media Summit award under the category of Exemplary News Professionals in Developing Countries. It zeroes in on the stark contrasts in the consumption and access to water between the rich and poor to illustrate the alarming trend of inequalities in India and abroad.

NEWS UPDATE #83

Common Dreams reports: A new analysis, published in Science Advances journal, reveals that global water scarcity is a far greater problem than previously thought, affecting 4 billion people—two-thirds of the world’s population. Previous analyses looked at water scarcity at an annual scale, and had found that water scarcity affected between 1.7 and 3.1 billion people.

Four Reports: Global Risks, Water, Food Policy & ‘Natural Capital’

Environmental Risks Dominate the WEF Global Risks Report 2015 Edge Environment Surveyed responses ranked the risks of ‘Water Crises’, ‘Failure of Climate Change Adaptation’ and ‘Extreme Weather Events’ among the topmost likely and impactful global risks in the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2015. These potential risks were considered of greater importance than other

News update

Editor’s note: The ongoing oil price war that pits a shale-boom riding U.S. and their allies OPEC against arch rivals Russia, Iran and Venezuela could have far-reaching consequences. It has begun to seriously impact a Russian economy already isolated by U.S. and EU sanctions. At a time when Ukraine is a flashpoint between the West and Russia, such

News update

Amid Global Turmoil, Oil Prices Surprisingly Stable From Forbes Magazine The world has entered a zone of maximum upheaval. From the Atlas Mountains of North Africa to the Hindu Kush, in Afghanistan, the Middle East is in flames. The destruction of a Malaysian airline over Ukraine, almost certainly shot down by Russian-backed separatist rebels, threatens

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