Book Review: Rage of the Rivers: Role of Uttarakhand hydro projects in Kedarnath disaster 2013 by Hridayesh Joshi Rage of the River reads not unlike a gripping thriller. Thing is, it is not fiction. It is a true ‘story’ of a cataclysmic event, exacerbated by greed, and twisted notions of development manifested in blasting fragile hills, tunneling rivers, denuding forests, and encouraging illegal encroachments and mindless construction and tourism infrastructure. This is an important chronicle of one of the worst disasters of our times. Joshi has thoroughly analysed the role of endless, ill-planned hydel projects, but inexplicably fails to take into account the wreckage wrought by unrestrained tourism. Joshi points a finger at the unethical practices of construction companies, contractors and operators of hydel dam projects, even in the face of this monumental disaster. The officials of the Vishnuprayag project refused to listen to the pleas of the villagers to open the dam gates and allow the excess water to flow safely from under the barrage. The advice was ignored, either in ignorance of the gravity of the situation, or with an eye on the opportunity to generate more power. The rising waters broke the barrage flooding the valley and its villages.
SANDRP Blog दोन देश, सहा नद्या… पंतप्रधान मोदींचे “पाणी आणि रक्त एकत्र वाहू शकत नाही’ हे वक्तव्य सूचक आहे, भविष्याची नांदी आहे. अनेक गट, अभ्यासक आणि राजकीय नेतेदेखील सिंधू करारावर फेरविचार करा, एवढेच नव्हे तर तो मोडीत काढा असे म्हणत आहेत. असे कळते की आपण सिंधू कमिशनच्या बैठका अनिश्चित काळासाठी तहकूब केल्या आहेत. गेल्या ५६ वर्षे आणि ११२ बैठकांमध्ये असा खंड पडला नाही. Parineeta Dandekar’s article on Indus Treaty in Divya Bhaskar.
Indus Water Treaty 10 reasons why PM should not withdraw IWT India’s any move affecting the treaty would be closely watched by the international community. Not respecting the treaty, may invite global condemnation to India as the treaty is an international agreement. At present India is on a moral high ground. Such decision by India would automatically bring World bank in the picture and in support of Pakistan. The Kashmir issue will get a whole new dimension if India withdraws from the treaty. Not only this, it would trigger the formal beginning of water wars. Moreover, it is unlike that Pakistan would mend its ways under Indian pressure of Indus water. There will also be spillover impacts India’s withdrawal of the treaty in other countries. Also see 10 things you should know about the Indus Water Treaty
Indus Water Treaty must not be suspended: Medha Patekar In the wake of terror attack on Army base at Uri, some strategic thinkers have demanded that India scrap the water-sharing treaty to pressurise Pakistan. According to Medha Patkar India should not break the treaty & launch water war with Pakistan. She also cautioned that we should not turn rivers into a battle-field & the issues related to sharing of water are international or inter-state, should be solved through dialogue. She also opposed centralised system of water management and said the decision-making should be left to the common people.
SANDRP Blog Tracing the Maharashtra Irrigation Scam: From 2012 to 2016 Aftermath of the irrigation scam exposed in 2012 in Maharashtra still continues. Roots of the scam were pointed out time and again by CAG and also by several other committees set up by the Government. The scam was finally unveiled in May 2012 with a combined effort of several whistle blowers from inside & outside the government as civil society groups including SANDRP. Unjustified cost overruns, forged tenders, tweaking the norms of tendering process, incomplete projects laden with inferior quality work were brought to light and the unholy nexus of corrupt leaders, govt officials and contractors became visible like never before.
INTER-STATE WATER DISPUTES
Cauvery Row Meeting fails to break the log jam After a 4 hour long meeting on Cauvery issue with CM Karnataka & PWD Minister of Tamil Nadu EK Palaniswamy on Sep 29 Union Water Minister Uma Bharati said that she was ready to sit on hunger strike, if required, to maintain peace in both the states. With reference to Cauvery issue she said there was a suggestion from Karnataka to send a team of experts from centre to both the states to study rainfall and water availability in Cauvery basin. As Tamil Nadu had some reservations on the suggestion no compromise could be reached on the issue. Meanwhile, despite a unanimous resolution passed by both house of Karnataka Assembly against release of water to Tamil Naud, SC tasking the Karnataka govt for its repeated defiance by flouting its orders, SC on Sep 30 asked it to discharge 6000 cusecs water from 01-06 Oct, warning no one would know when the “wrath of the law” would fall on it. Directing the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board (CMB) by Oct 4 the SC also ordered all the stakeholders to give names by Oct 01. The bench reminded Karnataka that it is bound by Article 144 of the Constitution and “aid in compliance” of the order of the SC. The apex court directed that once the Cauvery Water Management Board is constituted by the Centre, a team shall visit the sites to take a prima facie view of the ground reality and submit a report. But according to legal expert CMB itself can not assess prima facie the ground realities in the Cauvery basin. They point out that the tribunal has asked for setting up of CMB for “supervision of operation of reservoirs and regulations of water releases therefrom” only with the assistance of another body called ‘Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) & the power to constitute the CWRC has been given to the CMB. They also point out that as the eight reservoirs spread in three States will have to be operated in an integrated manner by the concerned State under the overall guidance of the CMB, it will not be ideal for the CMB to begin work without any infrastructure as per the tribunal’s order.
Mahanadi Row Chhatisgarh constructing many projects but sharing no detail: CM Odisha Informing the State Assembly; Naveen Patnaik, CM Odisha on Sep 26 said that Chhattisgarh govt has constructed 8 major & 34 medium irrigation projects on the upper catchment of Mahanadi river. He further said that on the basis of information received from the union water resources ministry that another four major and medium projects each are under construction. The CM said the Odisha govt had sought information on Chhattisgarh govt’s master plan for Mahanadi river basin, data on major, medium and minor irrigation projects and detailed reports on six barrages which are being constructed on the upper catchment of Hirakud dam. However, it has adopted dilly dallying approach on submitting its master plan.
Odisha & Jharkhand State competing to tap shared water sources Odisha is moving ahead with mega Lift Irrigation Projects on river Brahmani and other water bodies, at the same time neighbouring Jharkhand on Aug 12 also finalized proposals to set up 5 hydro projects to generate 83mw on upstream of rivers Koel and Sankh which meet at Vedvyas in Rourkela to form Brahmani. Odisha however seems unaware of Jharkhand’s plans and has taken up 13 LIPs under Cluster-8 on Brahmani in Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Deogarh districts till Barkote to form about 16,000 ha ‘ayacut’ area.
Andhra & Telangana Anddhra rebuts TS charge on water pilferage from Srisailam According to Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, State’s Water Minister, Andhra was not pilfering water from the Srisailam reservoir through the Pothireddypadu regulator as alleged by Telangana on Sep 27. Giving details about the water being released the Minister said that of the total 75,993 cusecs being released, Telangana was using 40,824 cusecs and Andhra Pradesh 30,561 cusecs for power generation. Another 1,458 cusecs were being released to the Pothireddypadu regulator and an additional 2,025 cusecs were being drawn by the HNSS scheme.
INTER-LINKING OF RIVERS
Ken-Betwa The green cost of KBL According to National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) Standing Committee report on Ken-Betwa link (KBL) project about 7.2 lakh trees and a huge 90 sqkm area of Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) may be submerged in water due to the KBL project. It also said an equally high number of trees will be cut or lost in the forest areas outside the national park. There will be also be an “irreversible” loss of breeding sites for wild animals after submergence of critical and specialised habitats under the proposed project which is likely to cost over Rs 9000 crore. Former PTR director R Krishna Murthy had also red flagged the KBL project, saying it would hurt the prized tiger habitat. The Ken-Betwa project involves transferring 591 million cubic metres of surplus water in Ken basin through 231.45-km canal to Betwa River. Meanwhile, Dr RG Soni, consultant for NWDA has sent a communique to his NWDA for initiating legal procedures to get a SC permission for de-notification of the forest land.
Op-Ed River interlinking an utopian idea with inherent flaws by Bhartruhari Mahtab, BJD Cuttack MP Those who talk of inter-linking of rivers in India should not get carried away by a slogan that it will boost per capita water availability for 220 million thirsty Indians and eventually even out the surge between floods and droughts, but should be aware about the risks at hand, which include the possibility of displacement of nearly 1.5 million people due to submergence of 2766000 ha, not to speak of escalating cost projections which have jumped to something like Rs11 trillion.
Maharashtra Barvi dam displaced villagers protest against Govt Thousands of villagers from Murbad in Thane sat on protest demanding rehabilitation for loss of their lands due to the Barvi damn project. Last week too hundreds of villages from Murbad had carried out a peaceful protest in front of the district administration office to draw the attention of their plight. Every monsoon, the dam officials release water to ease the levels in the dam, which causes flooding in the land allotted to the villagers. Villagers allege that the govt has not taken the issue of rehabilitation of the affected people seriously & only some of the families were rehabilitated in the first phase of the project, while the others were not given proper facilities. The villagers are demanding a proper survey to include all those affected by the construction of the damn to help resolve the issue completely. Another report in Marathi highlight the issue explaining the at what cost Mumbai gets water. The height of the Barvi Dam in Murbad has been increased thrice so far 3 times the people have been moved. And now water is entering the houses of tribals who have been moving all the time the govt offers them rooms on rent for 50 days.
Manipur Mapithel Dam slammed Asserting that Mapithel Dam has forfeited the right to life of a large number of people, UN Special Rapporteur Miloon Kothari on Sep 27 has called for an immediate halt to the dam construction work. He also remarked that the negative impacts of the dam far outweigh its positive sides. The negative impacts of Mapithel Dam have become a bane for a large number of people.
NAPM PR: प्रेस विज्ञप्ति शासन हर राज्य के बड़े बाँधों के लाभ हानि का ब्यौरा एवं अध्ययन रिपोर्ट जारी करे बड़े बाँध बनाने में आज न केवल विश्व बैंक, किन्तु एशियाई विकास बैंक तथा नयी एशिया इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर इन्वेस्टमेंट बैंक तक अनेक अंतर्राष्ट्रीय साहूकारी/वित्तीय संस्थाएं लगी हुई है जो खुद के ही पूर्व शर्तों का पालन नहीं करती है नहि करवाती है। नर्मदा आन्दोलन ने यह उजागर कराया तब सरदार सरोवर परियोजना से विश्व बैंक 1993 में हट गयी लेकिन आज तक हमारे राजनेताओं से अपारदर्शी अजनतांत्रिक तरीकों से विदेशी धन के आधार पर ही बड़े बाँध आगे बढ़ा रही है। विश्व बैंक के उर्जाक्षेत्र के लिए आवंटित कुल फंडिंग में से 43 प्रतिशत फण्ड बड़ी जल विद्युत् योजनाओं में लगाया जा रहा है। क्या हम परियोजनाओं में विस्थापितों का पुनर्वास या पर्यावरणीय हानिपूर्ति हो रही है या हुई है? नहीं!
Centre Water level in reservoirs up by 4% The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on Sep 29, 2016 was 117.202 BCM, which is 74% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This was 122% of the storage of corresponding period of last year and 97% of storage of average of last ten years. States having equal storage than last year for corresponding period are Punjab, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Odisha, W-Bengal, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP, MP, Chhattisgarh, AP&TG, AP, Telangana & Karnataka. States having lesser storage than last year for corresponding period are Himachal, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Himachal Dam Safety Cell sounds high alert State’s Dam Safety Cell has alerted all authorities to keep a tab on any breach or attack so that towns and cities downstream could be alerted. The alert was issued after the Indian Army targeted terrorist launch pads across the LoC in PoK. The SJVNL and BBMB have already sounded their security staff to be alert to avert any threat to the Gobind Sagar Dam in Bilaspur, Nathapa Jhakari in Rampur and Karcham-Wangtoo in Kinnaur.
RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATERWAYS
J&K Reviewing Tulbul navigation project India in 1985-86 had started constructing of a 439-feet-long and 40-feet-wide barrage at the mouth of the Wular Lake to ensure the flow of water in winter to 4,000 cusecs. But Islamabad feared since 1980s that if a dam was built, India would be able to create and control the “flow of water” into the Jhelum and that can often result in drought and flood situations “at will” in Pakistani Kashmir. Pakistan had protested claiming construction of the navigation project also amounted to a violation of the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty & threatened to move the International Arbitral Court in 1986. Following this the Indian govt decided to suspend the work in 1987.
हिमाचल बिजली प्रोजेक्ट की टेस्टिंग के दौरान बड़ा हादसा, पानी में बह गए 4 सुरक्षाकर्मी चंबा के चांजू बिजली प्रोजेक्ट की टेस्टिंग के दौरान सुरंग में पानी आने से चार सुरक्षा कर्मी बह गए। अंधेरे में काफी दूर बहने के बाद किसी तरह इन्होंने अपनी जान बचाई। इनमें से दो की हालत की हालत गंभीर बताई जा रही है। दोनों को उपचार के लिए तीसा अस्पताल में दाखिल करवाया गया है। करोड़ों के बिजली प्रोजेक्ट की टेस्टिंग में इतनी बड़ी लापरवाही आने के बाद कई सवाल खड़े हो गए हैं। प्रोजेक्ट का जल्द उद्घाटन होने वाला था। इसी के मद्देनजर यहां टेस्टिंग का काम चल रहा था। टेस्टिंग में ही प्रोजेक्ट निर्माण में बड़ी गड़बड़ी हो गई। पुलिस मामले की जांच में जुट गई है। घायल हुए दोनों सुरक्षा कर्मी चुराह के ही रहने वाले हैं जो हादसे के समय रात्रि ड्यूटी पर थे। दोनों की पहचान मुकेश कुमार गांव कुवारवीं (25) और अमर सिंह टिकरीगढ़ (28) के रूप में हुई है।
J&K Govt expediting hydro projects as Centre reviews IWT According to State Irrigation Minister, though the state has got no communication from the Centre about Indus Waters Treaty, but he wants to construct small dams for irrigation purposes. He also said that the state govt had started constructing check dams in far-off areas to store rainwater and stream water for irrigation and drinking. He further added that following the Central govt direction, the state govt has also expedite construction of the Pakal Dul, Sawalkot and Bursar dams in the State. The minister also said that only big dams could be constructed on big rivers like Chenab.
Arunachal State to revamp hydro power policy The report generates more confusion than clarity on the hydro project issue in the State. The CM statement appears pro-hydro but not anti people, rational but biased all at same time. Hope the new policy will be able to spell out all the doubts.
National Normal monsoon, with some erratic features The 2016 monsoon season will be remembered as one that produced 97% of normal rainfall, and will be categorised as a “normal” monsoon year. The overall number does not, however, reveal how erratic the rainfall has been this season, both in terms of geographical spread and time. This year, the same areas had alternating spells of excessive rainfall and extremely dry days. MP faced flooding in Aug but has had very little rain in the last one month. Parts of AP & TS which are under water right now, had remained practically dry since the end of July. The good thing, however, was that there was enough rain in every region at the time when it mattered the most, ahead of the sowing season.
|States||Date of Updation||Affected||Deaths|
|J & K||06 Aug||–||–||–||–||03||–|
There is not information on estimated value of total damage from other state other than Bihar which alone is 52875.90 lakh. (Source DMA India)
Telangana Mid Manair dam breaches The under construction Mid Manair dam in Boinapally mandal of Karimnagar on 25 Sep started overflowing and the embankment was washed away leading to flooding in the region. The Warangal administration was told to be on high alert since the Godavari river was overflowing. Lives of those living in the area could be in danger. Khammam district was also put on high alert due to an increase in water level at Bhadrachalam. Alleging that the delay in the construction of Mid Manair Dam by contractors led to the breach of the earth dam, CM K. Chandrasekhar Rao cancelled the contract and ordered fresh tendering process for dam work. The Mid Manair earth dam, constructed as part of the SRSP flood canal project, was expected to act as a balancing reservoir for the proposed Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project. The irrigation authorities had planned to store 3 tmcft of water in the MMD. However, following the 130-metre breach to the earth dam, the entire water in the reservoir flowed to the LMD reservoir.
Karnataka No water for farming from Hemavathy dam The Hemavathy dam has exactly 3.3 tmcft of water left in its reservoir, which is the precise amount to serve the drinking water needs of Hassan, Channarayapatna, K R Pete and Holenarsipura for the next 8 months. So, the water will no longer be released for irrigation purposes, and standing crops of paddy and jowar worth crores in Gorur and Arkalgud have been left to wither away over the next 15 days. The crisis is being linked directly to the release of 16tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu from the Hemavathy in the last three months. Thousands of farmers in the area, which has close to seven lakh acres of irrigated land, face unimaginable crop losses. The state is facing different situations, while the water level has dropped to an all-time low of 1.25 tmcft in Yagachi dam in Hasan distict for the first time since the construction in 2003-04. Karanja dam in Bidar has just one metre left to reach the full reservoir level following 5 days of rainfall in the catchment area of Telangana and parts of Humnabad and Bidar taluks.
Tamil Nadu On the other hand, the depleting water level in Mettur dam has emerged as a matter of serious concern for both the farming community and the official machinery of Tami Nadu. The sources said that the Mettur dam should have released water to the tune of 120.666 tmc from June 1 till the third week of Sep. But, it so far has released only about 50 tmc, owing to the failure of monsoon in the catchment areas of the river.
Yettinahole Row Yettinahole diversion project unviable: Study A fresh study conducted by a team of the IIS, Bengaluru headed by TV Ramachandra concluded that the Rs 13000 cr project doesn’t hold much water to quench the thirst of the parched districts of Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru and Bengaluru Rural. Calling it “an ecological blunder”, the study by scientists through spot visits and using the latest technology, including remote sensors, found that Yettinahole can generate only 9.5 tmcft of water against 24 tmcft as claimed by the state govt which is awaiting environmental clearance to go ahead with project. However the State Govt, some experts & leaders seeking project implementation had slammed its earlier findings saying it lacked conviction. Meanwhile the govt has already spent Rs 1690 crore for the project and set up a dedicated authority to oversee its implementation. The project is now temporarily halted following a green bench order besides widespread protests in the coastal belt as the Yettinahole project aims at diverting 24.01 tmcft of water from Nethravathi’s tributaries.
Samiti to petition MoEF against Yettinahole project Swami Anand Swaroop of Ganga Sewa Samiti said he will send a petition to MoEF highlighting the drawbacks in the DPR of Yettinahole project. According to hydrologist Mayya also if Yettinahole project is implemented, problems in Cauvery river basin will increase as the river basin is mainly fed from the catchment area of Karnataka and Kerala. He further added that the MoEF has been totally misled by the state govt as all statistics given in the DPR of Yettinahole project are erroneous.
CPCB 63% of sewage flows into rivers untreated every day In an indication of the massive extent of pollution in rivers of the country, the CPCB in a report submitted to NGT has said that 63% of all sewage flowing into rivers every day is untreated in urban centres. Out of 62,000 MLD of sewage generated, the treatment capacity developed so far is only 23,277 MLD from 816 STPs spread across the country. Water quality of Ganga has been monitored at 57 locations and it has been observed that water quality is deteriorated on account of disposal of sewage through various drains. An assessment of the situation in Agra revealed that there are 9 STPs in the city. Sewage generation of Agra is 381 MLD against installed capacity of 220.75 MLD.
Kerala Brahmapuram Corporation admits to polluting Kadambrayar river In a major revelation, the corporation had stated that the leachate from the solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram had been contaminating the Kadambrayar River as well the groundwater systems in the surrounding areas. The local body also admits that the new WTE plant is also not free of pollution. The civic body plans to use the fly ash for landfills but scientist S Sitaraman of the Kerala River Protection Council says that the hazardous ash should never be used as landfill. The report says that the WTE plant is comparatively costlier technology as key components has to be imported as they are currently not available in India.
W-Bengal 3 steel units found polluting Damodar river Three secondary steel units of Durgapur were caught flouting the basic standards of release of effluents, both in the air and into the Damodar river. They have been summoned and issued show cause notices after the Task Force’s surprise inspection on Sep 28, which revealed that the factories were indiscriminately releasing major polluting agents. On 20 Sep, the Task Force had pulled up the same 3 units CP Sponge Iron, Shyam Steels Limited and Kajaria Iron Casting for causing water pollution. Samples of polluted water were drawn from the Tamla channel that carries effluents to the Damodar river.
Odisha Officers pulled up for water pollution Green tribunal has expressed concern over the fast-depleting and polluting of groundwater in Puri. The tribunal has also issued notice to the central ground water board and directed it to file an affidavit about the current water level and pollution status in the city in 8 weeks. The tribunal has fixed the next hearing in the case Nov 11.
Haryana Govt to set up centre for research on Saraswati river State govt approved Rs 20 lakh to set up a centre for research on Saraswati river in Kurukshetra University. The govt has also decided to set up STPs at Saraswati Nagar and Bilaspur in district Yamunanagar “to check pollution in river Saraswati.” Sources say that here are about 19 villages in Saraswati Nagar and Bilaspur and polluted water of these villages fall in this “sacred river. Similarly, STPs would also be set up at Pehowa in district Kurukshetra and Kurukshetra town to prevent river Saraswati from getting polluted.
GANGA W-Bengal Will take up erosion issue with Centre: CM Mamata Banerjee on Sep 27 said that her govt will take up with the central govt the problem of erosion caused by the Ganga and Padma rivers. She further said that Ganga erosion is a major and perennial problem in Murshidabad district. But this matter is under the jurisdiction of the Centre. According to CM statement even 69 years after independence, Murshidabad lacked a proper drainage and conservancy systems.
YAMUNA AoL Row NGT panel seek more time to calculate damage cost The expert committee has told the Green Tribunal that the tentative cost to restore the Yamuna riverbed, allegedly damaged due to the AoL’s culture festival, can be calculated only after Nov. as the survey to determine the restoration cost could not be completed because of floods in the area. The NGT will hear the matter next on Oct 7. The expert committee had in an earlier hearing told the NGT that the World Culture Festival extravaganza had “completely destroyed” the riverbed. Meanwhile AoL this month has hired Hill+Knowlton Strategies a “crisis communications” agency to wage its public relations battle. The firm has been visiting editorial offices of publications in New Delhi that have covered the AoL case. Meanwhile, news laundry an online news magazine has evidence that “educational and humanitarian movement” of AoL has provided false information to the NGT in the ongoing case about the damage done to the Yamuna floodplain.
Haryana यमुना में जिस तरीके से खनन किया उससे हैं जबरदस्त खतरा : आयोग यमुनामें अवैध खनन की शिकायत पर एनजीटी की ओर से बनाए गए विशेष आयोग के सदस्य नदी में माइनिंग के हालात देखकर हैरान रह गए। टीम में शामिल माइनिंग ऑफिसर ने माना कि यमुनानगर के बेलगढ़ क्षेत्र में अवैध माइनिंग के सबूत मिले हैं। रिवर बेड बार के निकट एक छोटी सी जगह से ही चार हजार मैट्रिक टन सामग्री का खनन हुआ है। टीम एक्सपर्ट ने माना कि जिस तरह से यमुना में खनन हो रहा है, उससे जबरदस्त भूमि कटाव हो सकता है। टीम 29 सितंबर को एनजीटी को रिपोर्ट सौंपेगी। बेलगढ़ के पूर्व सरपंच जोगिंद्र सिंह की ओर से 5 सितंबर को अवैध खनन को लेकर एनजीटी में याचिका लगाई गई थी। शिकायत है कि अवैध खनन की वजह से नदी के तटबंधों के साथ ही पर्यावरण को भी खतरा है। इस पर एनजीटी ने 20 सितंबर को विशेष आयोग बनाया।
NGT Notice to MoEF on decentralization of EC for sand mining The plea filed by environmental activist Vikrant Tongad contends that composition of District Environment Impact Assessment Authority (DEIAA) and District Level Expert Appraisal Committee (DEAC) reflects absence of environmental expertise as most of posts are administrative in nature who lack environmental knowledge. Lawyer Rahul Choudhary added that as a consequence of these Notifications, the process for appraisal and environmental clearances system has been substantially modified and the composition of the DEIAA and DEAC is inadequate to protect the environmental requirements of ecosystems in granting clearances for mining of minor minerals,” the plea filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary. NGT has issued notice to the MoEF seeking its reply within 2 weeks & the matter was listed for next hearing on Nov 2.
WETLANDS & WATER BODIES
Global A map of the world’s wetlands But not enough is known about where wetlands can be found, or how much area they cover, especially in the tropics. To address this gap, an online, interactive map was launched last month that invites researchers and other experts to help map the world’s wetlands. The Global Wetlands Map plots the distribution of wetlands, histosols – or peaty soils – and their carbon stocks around the world. Visitors can freely access the data via the online map or by download, while registered users can verify data and add their own.
National Creating National Water Commission Shripad Dharmadhikary writes about the Mihir Shah Committee report on CWC-CGWB restructuring. It brings out short comings in the recommendations of the report and also hints at its limitations when it says it is beginning of long journey, but it would have been better if it had been more forthright.
Report Preparing for coming crisis of water Given the integral link between aquifers, groundwater and river flows, it is important that planning for water management is done at the level of the river basin itself. This is necessary to prevent local over-extraction & destruction of catchment areas, while ensuring that all water-related activities are in sync with each other. There should be a River Basin Authority for each basin, and sub-basin authorities for large basins with distinctive sub-basins. The work of these authorities would be to prepare and implement river basin master plans. All water resources related projects must conform to this master plan. Additionally, there should be minimum interference in the natural flow of rivers, and the natural state of other water bodies and wetlands. In particular, rivers should be protected from construction on flood plains and from sand mining.
SANDRP Blog शौचालय निर्माण से शुचिता की ओर-1 (जल-थल-मल पुस्तक समीक्षा) क्या शौचालय बनाना ही सैनिटेशन है और क्या मात्र शौचालय बनाने से ही भारत स्वच्छ हो जाएगा ? कहीं शौच मुक्त भारत के लक्ष्य का पीछा करते हम लोग प्राकृतिक संसाधनों का नाजायज दोहन और प्रदूषण तो नहीं कर रहे हैं ? मानव मल का प्रकृति और माटी से क्या संबंध है ? कहीं मात्र शौचालयी स्वच्छता के कारण ही तो पानी की बर्बादी और नदियों का प्रदूषण नहीं बढ़ रहा है? मल के जल और थल से बिखरे संबंधों से फिर रूबरू कराते हुए इन्हीं सब सवालों का जवाब तलाशती है, सोपान जोशी द्वारा लिखित जल-थल और मल पुस्तक! सम्पूर्ण जानकारी और लेखन सामग्री विवरण के साथ पाठकगण इस किताब को http://www.jalthalmal.in सुत्र के जरिए आसानी से प्राप्त कर सकते हैं। Also see, संक्षिप्त समीक्षा के बाद इस लेख के माध्यम से किताब में सॉझा की गई कुछ अहम बातों पर जिक्र यहॉ पर दिया जा रहा है। शौचालयी स्वच्छता से संपूर्ण शुचिता की ओर-2 (जल-थल-मल पुस्तक सारांश)
Bangladesh Solution to groundwater crisis Dhaka over extraction of ground water to have widespread unforeseen impacts; Movements of arsenic & other contamination predictable which was earlier thought impossible & rainwater harvesting through injection wells to be helpful concludes the study.
Chinese dam hurts Tibet more than India The Lalho project on a Brahmaputra tributary may not reduce water flow to India in the long run, but it takes water away from herders in an area already turning into desert. The far bigger problem with the Lalho project is that it will more or less dry up a long stretch of the Xiabuqu river in an area that is already suffering from rapid desertification. As most of the water is diverted through a tunnel to produce electricity, the already serious water shortages faced by herders living along its banks will worsen. In the Xigaze area, much of the soil along both banks of the Brahmaputra is eroded, with stretches of sand dunes and desert. The Chinese govt blames a combination of prolonged drought and overgrazing, while the herders blame dams upstream in various rivers of the Brahmaputra basin. Climate change is causing melting of ice in Tibetan plateau, which scientists believe will affect the river in future. Though Indus originates from Tibet, China has been kept out of the Treaty. If China decides to stop or change the flow of the river, it will affect both India and Pakistan.
China blocks tributary of Brahmaputra in Tibet to build dam China has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet as part of the construction of its “most expensive” hydro project which could cause concern in India as it may impact water flows into the lower riparian countries. The Lalho project on Xiabuqu river, a tributary of Yarlung Zangbo in Xigaze in Tibet involves an investment of $740 millions. Xigaze also known as Shigatse is closely located to Sikkim. From Xigaze, the Brahmaputra flows into Arunachal. The report said the project, whose construction began in June 2014, was scheduled to be completed in 2019. It is not clear yet what impact the blockade of the river will have on the flow of water from the Brahmaputra into the lower riparian countries like India and Bangladesh as a result. Last year, China had operationalised the $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet, built on the Brahmaputra river, which has raised concerns in India.
Hydro plant collapses after being hit by Typhoon Megi torrents A hydropower plant in east China collapsed on 30 September after its foundations were battered by torrents caused by Typhoon Megi. The three-storey building began to tilt early in the morning, and all staff were evacuated, with no casualties reported.
REST OF THE WORLD
Study Hydropower not a green energy According to new research the reservoirs formed by dams emit more methane per unit area than expected. Meanwhile, the world is building new hydroelectric installations apace. According to a paper published in the journal Aquatic Sciences last year, as many as 3700 hydropower dams will come online in the next 10 to 20 years. Clearly, hydroelectric plants are by no means as polluting as fossil-fuel energy production. But their rapid construction over the coming years will have a larger impact on our emissions than we hoped.
US Exxon sued again, this time for polluting Mystic River ExxonMobil is facing a first-of-its-kind lawsuit for failing to account for the risks from climate change to its fuel storage terminal outside Boston. The Conservation Law Foundation claims that sea level rise and accompanying storm surges could damage the facility and lead to further pollution of the Mystic River. Exxon is already under investigation by the SEC and a group of state attorneys generals for allegedly misleading its shareholders and the public about climate change.
Invention Estream lets you juice your devices with moving water Estream is a generator the size of a water bottle that lets campers, kayakers, or people in isolated villages collect energy from moving water.
Australia Forbes declared a natural disaster zone after flooding Forbes has been declared a natural disaster zone after the region was hit by flooding over the weekend. The State and Federal governments have jointly announced disaster recovery funding in the Forbes Shire after flooding in the Lachlan River forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents. Further rain expected in the central west of New South Wales could see the Lachlan River at Forbes reach a higher peak, despite it already being inundated with the greatest water levels in 25 years.
Centre Cabinet approves ratification of the Paris Agreement While agreeing to ratify the Paris Agreement, the Cabinet has also decided that India should declare that India will treat its national laws, its development agenda, availability of means of implementation, its assessment of global commitment to combating climate change, and predictable and affordable access to cleaner source of energy as the context in which the Agreement is being ratified.
Uttarakhand WII scientists spot new species in Bhagirathi basin Scientists of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have claimed to have spotted a new species of sand fox and five unknown species of dragon flies in the Bhagirathi basin of Uttarakhand while conducting climate change studies in the region recently. The scientists said that they would now be conducting detailed studies of these species as part of a project which will continue for the next five years. The scientists were undertaking studies as part of the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem. The State Govt plans to build several hydro projects in the same basin. Recently it pleaded MoEF to allow it increase the capacity of small hydro projects from 2mw to 25mw inside Eco- sensitive zone. On the other hand, according to a study by Sujata Upgupta of the Wildlife Institute of India, the Himalayan region is proving to be sensitive to the impacts of a gradually changing climate. The study results reveal that warming is projected to be more pronounced in the upper ranges of the Himalayas with temperature changes of more than 5°C in the long term.