DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 26 March 2018: Massive Farmer protest in Palghar against water diversion

MASSIVE Farmer protest in PALGHAR (Maharashtra) The protest for the third day on World Water Day, was against diversion of water from Survya Dam for Vasai-Virar and Mira-Bhayander. under the aegis of the Surya Pani Bachav Samiti.

– The contract to construct the 88-km long pipeline has already been awarded to the L&T Group by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) under the Surya Regional Bulk Water Supply Scheme.

– Ramakant Patil, chief convenor of the SPBS who is also undertaking the fast, said the Surya dam, which was built in 1990 over the Kawdas and Dhamni rivers in Kasa taluka,Dahanu, was specifically for irrigational purpose for 19,000 odd acres of farmland in Palghar district. “Now the MMRDA is planning to divert around 89% of the dam water to the above cities so as to solve the cities’ drinking water issues, but we the farmers would be denied water for our land,”said Patil.

– They withdrew it after an assurance of a meeting with chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. “We have raised this issue for many times in the past. But it is for the first time that a CM has agreed to sit with us and discuss. Now we are just waiting to hear from the CM’s office to know the date of meeting,” Brian Lobo of Kashtakari Sangathan adds. https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/palghar-farmers-fast-over-diverting-surya-dam-water-enters-third-day/story-LsTeF2vf6xuVroPRO2GSYJ.html, http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-urban-areas-rob-tribals-of-water-supply-2597713  


Manipur Govt threat of sudden water release from Mapithel Dam opposed Three citizen’s organisations have strongly objected to the “arbitrary informal information” given by the Manipur irrigation and flood control department that water will be released from the Mapithel dam on March 26, 2018. The organisations, the Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected People, the Mapithel Dam Downstream Affected Village Level Committee and the Citizens’ Concern for Dams and Development, alleged the information, given to youth clubs in the affected villages on Saturday evening, did not specify the time of release, the volume of water to be released and the reason for releasing when there is no immediate danger of flooding or dam overflow. https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/north-east/plea-to-stop-water-release-218421

Polavaram close to completion?: AP makes misleading claim to SC Even the foundation of the main dam is yet to be laid. We hope the Supreme Court will see through this wrong claim of Andhra Pradesh and not consider the project a fait accomplice and hear all the parties, including civil society groups, and issues on merit. https://deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/240318/supreme-court-notice-to-centre-ap-telangana-on-polavaram-project.html

Polavaram, other Andhra Irrigation Projects getting centeral funds Polavaram project of Andhra Pradesh is getting Central funding.  An amount of Rs.3364.16 crore has been released to Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) for this project after it was declared National Project from 1st April 2014 to 31st March 2017.  Further, an amount of Rs.2000 crore has been released to PPA for this project during 2017-18 so far.

  • During 2016-17, eight (08) irrigation projects of Andhra Pradesh have been prioritized under PMKSY-AIBP for completion in phases by December, 2019. These include Gundlakamma Reservoir Project, Tadipudi Lift Irrigation Scheme, Pushkara Lift Irrigation Scheme, Thotapally Barrage Project, Tarakaram Teerta Sagaram, Musurumilli Reservoir Project, Yerrakalva Reservoir Project and Maddigedda Reservoir Project.


BJP demands CBI inquiry into Pattiseema Project BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh, NOW (after sitting in the govt with TDP for four years and attending all cabinet and other meetings without raising any question and when Gadkari praised Naidu for the project) demand CBI inquiry into Pattiseema project based on an old CAG report. The demand may be right, but BJP lacks credibility. http://www.deccanherald.com/content/665734/bjp-demands-cbi-inquiry-naidus.html

Tamil Nadu Desiltation of dams Under DRIP, de-siltation works of two dams of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (TANGEDCO), namely, Kundahapalam and Papanasam have been taken up at a cost of Rs.18.19 crores and Rs.13.26 crores respectively.

  • Central Government has released central assistance of Rs.9.2235 crore to Tamil Nadu, during last 3 years, under the RRR of water bodies scheme.


Narmada Canal breaches, Gujarat wastes Narmada water On March 16 the branch canal for transporting Narmada water to Tappar dam of Kutch was damaged due to heavy flow of water from the main canal affecting water supply to towns like Adipur, Anjar, Kandla and some parts of Gandhidham.

“Though the government officials stopped water to the branch canal, the inflow into the main canal continued. Fearing damage to the main canal due to water pressure, water was diverted to Khari river that flows into the desert near Rapar,” alleged Jhala.

– B Srinivasan, superintendent engineer of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, who heads the Kutch division said, “Because of the damage to branch canal, the water from main canal was diverted. But now, the branch canal has been repaired and water has started flowing into the Tappar Dam.” https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/rajkot/govt-releasing-precious-narmada-water-into-desert/articleshow/63388454.cms

Gujarat claims money for SAUNI In fact, why should centre allocate any money for this?

– In a written response to a starred question by Congress MLA Harshad Ribadiya, the state water resources minister said that in last two years (ending on December 31, 2017) the state government had demanded Rs 3,200 crore for the SAUNI scheme on October 23, 2016. The minister said the proposal is being scrutinized by the government of India so the question of allocation of funds does not arise.

– The Gujarat government had demanded Rs 6,399 crore for the SAUNI project under the Centre’s AIPB (accelerated irrigation benefits programme). The Central Water Commission has given a negative opinion about the feasibility of SAUNI project and raised several technical queries.

– Under SAUNI, the state government planned to fill 115 dams in seven districts by 1,115km of link pipelines for the state’s four major regions. The first cost estimate was Rs 10,000 crore but the Gujarat govt has revised it to Rs 18,000 crore. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/gujarat-got-nothing-against-rs-3200cr-demanded-in-two-years-for-sauni/articleshow/63420958.cms

Gujarat to repair damaged Sani Dam The Sani Dam in Saurashtra was damaged in 2017 monsoon, to be repaired now. http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/gujarat-its-piers-damaged-in-last-years-floods-govt-to-repair-sani-dam-5108067/

Safety of Mining Dams under scrutiny Recent incidents in Brazil and Australia have once again put the spotlight on the safety of mining operations, and specifically their dams.

– Between 2007 and 2017, there were at least 10 very serious mine tailings dam failures around the world. These involved multiple loss of life, approximately 20 lives per incident and/or the release of at least one million cubic metres of water. The waste in some of these cases travelled 20 kilometres or more. https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/dam-or-be-damned-mining-safety-under-scrutiny


Kishanganga Tunnel leaks during testing 330 MW Kishanganga Hydro Power Project tunnel leaked during test on March 18 evening. Stream of waters gush into Chack Mantrigam village Bandipura forcing people to leave their homes. https://kashmirreader.com/2018/03/21/villages-worst-nightmare-about-kishanganga-power-project-turns-real/

Subsidising Big Hydro wont help, even if the subsidy is reduced This report provides an update on the new Hydro Policy that has been in the works for over a year.

– The government has revised downwards the proposed size of the Centre’s funding of hydro power projects by way of 4% interest subvention by 34% to Rs 11,049 crore for the 2018-2028 period.

– A modified hydro power policy draft being sent to the Cabinet by the power ministry also proposes to limit the benefit of interest subvention to government-owned projects, while private investors will be helped by transfer of funds equivalent to the interest subvention to their buyers, namely, then distribution companies (discoms).

– The new proposal is designed to support 33 projects with combined capacity of 7,893 MW, while the earlier draft spoke of 40 projects totalling 11,639 MW. The hydro power sector is reeling under cost overruns of about Rs 52,697 crore.

– The government will set up a hydro power development fund to provide capital support in the form of interest subvention, sources said. Resources will be pooled from the existing power system development fund, national clean energy fund and non-lapsable central pool of resources (NLCPR) of department of north eastern region, they said. http://www.financialexpress.com/industry/hydro-power-policy-2018-28-government-funding-declines-34-pct/1106926/

Concerns about JICA funding for 66 MW Loktak Downstream Project Considering track record of Japanese funding, these are valid concerns. https://www.ifp.co.in/page/items/47684/66-mw-loktak-downstream-project-jica-financing-plan-concerns/


Do we need Sharda Yamuna link to rejuvenated Yamuna?? The report paints an unrealistic picture of what is possible and ignores how the whole link is unviable and better options exist. The Sharda-Yamuna link depends on the Pancheswar Dam — which is the world’s tallest dam — being proposed in an earthquake prone area. If there is damage in the dam due to an earthquake it will devastate millions of people.

Besides Sharda is a main tributary for the Ganga and instead of recharging the Yamuna, we will be destroying river Ganga. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/india-looks-to-nepal-to-revive-yamuna-river/story-D2i8qS3iq93SeTCD8ke3ZI.html


Mahadayi River Water Sharing Maharashtra’s VIrdi Dam: Without clearances or consent Without consulting Goa or without obtaining environmental clearances, without carrying out any feasibility studies in the context of disaster management Maharashtra has completed major part of Virdi dam work.

“Maharashtra is constructing the dam across the Valvonti river at Virdi, 4km from the Goa border, as a water conservation structure to store rainwater. As per the earlier plans, when released, the water from the dam was to flow downstream towards Goa.

However, Maharashtra, without discussion with or consent from the Goa government, shifted the dam alignment to Kattika nall, a sub-tributary of the Valvonti river. It has completed a major part of the work on the earthen dam without obtaining necessary environment clearance and without carrying out any feasibility studies. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/preparation-on-for-resuming-virdi-dam-work/articleshow/63372684.cms

Cauvery Dispute Is the Supreme Court judgment on the Kaveri environmentally sustainable? The article raises very valid question: “On February 16, the Supreme Court revisited the earlier Kaveri river water sharing formula and took away 14.75 Tmcft of water from Tamil Nadu and gave it to Karnataka. Of this, 10 Tmcft was to be accounted from the groundwater component from the delta region and 4.75 Tmcft was allotted additionally to Bengaluru city. This can have implications on climate resilience in the delta region and can increase the ecological footprint of Bengaluru city… Bengaluru, the city that is the recipient of reallocated water from the delta, has let so much effluent to collect in one of their lakes, that it froths and burns. With climate change making rainfall and temperature profiles unreliable, the Kaveri valley may be seeing the deficit year scenario more often. The reallocation could then make sharing more difficult and also worsen the environmental situation.” (https://india.mongabay.com/2018/03/23/is-the-supreme-court-judgment-on-the-kaveri-environmentally-sustainable/)

Kerala files review petition in Supreme Court Kerala has asked Supreme court to modify the verdict to allow the State to divert five tmcft from its total share for drinking water requirements of Kozhikode Corporation and 13 panchayats. Kerala urged the Supreme Court that this diversion would not affect the legitimate interests of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

– Kerala is utilising a portion of the water allocated to it in the trans-basin Banasurasagar Multipurpose Project for generating power. The tail waters are used to provide drinking water supply to the Kozhikode Corporation and 13 panchayats in Kozhikode district. The water is also used for irrigation in north Kerala.

– Operational since 1988, Kerala has invested ₹1613.22 crores in various components of the project. The State argued that a modification in the order would justify the investments made in the project and ensure the continuation of vital drinking water supply to Kozhikode Corporation area and 13 panchayats. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-moves-sc-for-review-of-cauvery-dispute-verdict/article23325591.ece

Contours of Cauvery Management Body Though anonymously, this report quotes Union Water Resources Ministry officials, giving contours of the proposed Cauvery Management body that was to be set up by March 30, as per the Supreme Court order of Feb 12, 2018. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/central-body-may-oversee-cauvery-water-distribution/story-HIUJQoLZcVoDUcvpvyDgZL.html


Micro Irrigation Fund a non starter A dedicated Micro-Irrigation Fund (MIF), proposed nearly 14 months ago in the Budget 2017-18, hasn’t become operational as yet as its proponent, the Union finance ministry, couldn’t decide if the state governments are to be given interest subsidy on the MIF loans.

– According to official sources, the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC), headed by the expenditure secretary, had approved the plan only on February 23, 2018.

– Jain Irrigation Systems, Finolex Plasson Industries and Premier Irrigation Adritec are some of the major companies in the micro irrigation sector in India and mostly catering to horticulture sector. Recently, Karnataka and Maharashtra have taken steps to make drip irrigation compulsory for sugarcane, one of the highest water-consuming crops. The Centre has been encouraging other states to make drip irrigation mandatory for sugarcane. http://www.financialexpress.com/industry/micro-irrigation-north-block-stymied-rs-5000-crore-fund-for-a-year/1105750/


PAINED POETRY: आओ नदियाँ नष्ट करें!

चलो कहीं कोई नदी खोजकर उसको भी हम नष्ट करें।
अगर कहीं कोई बची हुई हो, उसको भी पथभ्रष्ट करें।

नदियों में मलमूत्र बहाकर हमने उनको मार दिया।
जीवनदायी नदियों का हम सब ने बंटाढार किया।

मैया-मैया कहते-कहते उनकी दुर्गति कर डाली।
अब तो नदियों को मैया कहना भी लगता है गाली।

जीव-जंतु सब परेशान हैं, जाएं तो अब जायँ कहाँ?
मानवरूपी विकट जीव से कैसे जान बचायँ यहाँ?

खुद को अक्लमंद कहते हैं, और मूर्खता करते हैं।
नदियों को मृतप्रायः बनाकर, दम विकास का भरते हैं।

कहते जिनको जीवन-रेखा, उनका जीवन मिटा रहे।
नदियों की हत्या करके खुद अपना ही मुँह पिटा रहे।

आज तलक इस दुनिया में, इंसान न नदी बना पाया।
एक भगीरथ हुए किन्तु, फिर कोई नदी न ला पाया।

फिर भी हम सब पढ़े-लिखे, मर-मिटने पर आमादा हैं।
उस पर यह गुमान कि, अक्ल में और सभी से ज्यादा हैं।

लेकिन नदियाँ निपटाने में, कौन अक्ल का लक्षण है?
जीवन का आधार मिटाकर, जीना बड़ा विलक्षण है।

मानव की मेधा में आखिर, तब कैसे विश्वास करें।
जब तक चाल न बदले, तब तक केवल गहरी श्वास भरें।

गंगा, यमुना या कि गोमती,
या फिर कोई और नदी।
या कि नर्मदा कावेरी हो,
झेल रहीं हैं त्रासदी।

इसीलिए लफ़्फ़ाज़ी छोड़ें, चलो
काम की बात करें।
नदियों का आगाज छोड़, उनके अंजाम की बात करें।

नदियों की आरती त्यागकर,
मंशा को स्पष्ट करें।
यदि हो पाए हमसे, तो आओ इतना सा कष्ट करें।

चलो कहीं कोई नदी खोजकर उसको भी हम नष्ट करें।
अगर कहीं कोई बची हुई हो, उसको भी पथभ्रष्ट करें।

By Dr Pankaj Shrivastava, APCCF, MP, (Feb 12, 2018)

Happy Birth Day, Yamuna! In pics from Friends of Yamuna Every year on the sixth day of summer Navratra the birthday of Yamuna river is celebrated. This year it was on 23 March 2018. On this occasion, SANDRP has prepared a photo blog covering almost entire length of the river. This photo blog has some amazing photos of Yamuna river, sent mostly by members of Yamuna Mitra Mandali, active all along Yamuna, compiled by Bhim Singh Rawat of SANDRP.

7 .Jan. 2018 images showing massive froth in Yamuna downstream Gokul Barrage


Yamuna dry at Wazirabad barrage Three days after her birthday, on March 26, Yamuna went totally dry just upstream of Wazirabad barrage, possibly because of stoppage of water from Haryana. https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in/videos/2002306973130299/

Yamuna remains dumping ground in Delhi In violation of NGT order dumping of debris continues in Yamuna river floodplain. DDA, Police fail to take action:

“The patrolling by guards hired by the DDA have exposed the magnitude of the serious violation of the National Green Tribunal’s order barring the dumping of debris on Yamuna riverbed. In the past six months, they have stopped more than 150 trucks carrying around 1,000 tonnes of debris from being dumped on the floodplain. But what is more intriguing is what happened to that debris. While the security agency and the DDA officials claim that all cases were reported to the police, the police claimed that they have received only a few cases which were dealt with according to the law. This has led activists to raise serious questions on the role of the police and the DDA in preventing the mafias from polluting the Yamuna.” https://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/dumping-of-debris-continues-unabated-in-yamuna-activists-question-role-of-police/story-XEuvXmh66WGT7Pph9qrC4J.html

Ganga is not cleaner, but NMCG gets awards! Union Minister gives the Certificate of Appreciation for ‘Encouragement and Appreciation of the Efforts in Ganga Rejuvenation” to the National Mission for Clean Ganga during the Water Digest Water Awards 2017-18 held on March 21, 2018. National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) was also awarded with IJ Global Awards 2017 Asia-Pacific Water Deal of the Year: Clean Ganga Varanasi Wastewater Project. A 50 MLD STP project in Varanasi under Hybrid Annuity based-PPP mode has been chosen as the “Water Deal of the Year”. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=177887

National Ganga Mission According to this PIB press release of March 22, 2018, strangely titled “Development of Ganga River”: Government of India has allocated/released Rs.1,675.00 crore to National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), out of which, NMCG has released/utilized Rs.1,062.81 crore to state agencies/executing agencies for development of Ganga River during the financial year   2016-17.

Government of India has launched Namami Gange Programme in May 2015 for conservation of river Ganga with total outlay of Rs. 20,000 crores. Cleaning of the rivers is an ongoing continuous process and NMCG has sanctioned a total of 192 projects of Rs.19630 crores for above activities, out of which, 49 projects have been completed so far.


When millions come to take dip in Brahmaputra Hindu devotees from Bangladesh, India and Nepal comes here on the eighth day of Bengali lunar month Chaitra to dip into the holy water of Brahmaputra, called Ashtami Snan. The gathering is at ‘Rajghat’, there are 14 ‘ghats’ where around 10 million people come, dip and go whole day and night. According to mythology, avatar Parashuram brought the holy water of the Brahmaputra to the plain land from Himalaya. He attached his axe to a plough to dig the path for Brahmaputra. Since his ‘langal’ (plough) was ‘bandh’ (stopped) here, this place’s name is ‘Langalbandh’. (Sheikh Rokon, 24 March, 2018; Langalbandh, Naraynganj, Bangladesh, on FB)

UPDATE ON LANDSLIDE DAMS ON YARLUNG TSANGPO: On March 21, 2018, Chintan Sheth on his twitter handle has shared information about “fresh landslide occurring over the 3rd dam on the Yarlung-Tsangpo causing riise in water levels behind that landslide, indicating partial blockage. Nevertheless, it seems like the river is flowing. Images from February 21st and March 21st are used for comparison.” https://twitter.com/tweetweetforest/status/976386102058614787

Rafting along Kali river along India-Nepal border disallowed by SSB Suddenly, the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) that conducts patrolling along the India-Nepal border has said rafting activities would not be allowed on Kali river that forms natural international border between two nations in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand. Rafting has been going on along this river at least since 2005 and there is no real change in the relations between India and Nepal, said the report. District administration seemed unaware of why this has been done. https://www.hindustantimes.com/dehradun/ssb-halts-rafting-on-kali-river-due-to-security-reasons/story-1bwGH7CYSBH7V7qcEaJWFL.html

National Geographic Report is shallow, bias, ill informed and misleading This is indeed shocking. From Title to details, the report seems shallow and misleading. One expects better reporting from National Geographic. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/rally-for-rivers-un-world-water-day-spd/

Why does the media accept the claim of Jaggi Vasudev uncritically? In this report, there are no details as to which stretch of which river in Mah or Karnataka is being revived, and how and yet the reporter does not even question anything. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/river-revival-enters-key-phase-in-maharashtra-karnataka/articleshow/63437136.cms

Narmada: Statue of Unity in the middle of a River: How NGT was mislead This is basically a promotional report for Statute of Unity, but provides some additional information and clearly shows that the amount of construction right in the middle of river and close to the dam is multiple times that was claimed in the NGT. http://metro.co.uk/2018/03/23/worlds-tallest-statue-will-look-like-7412322/

SAND MINING Mines Ministry pushes through sand mining framework The Ministry of Mines has launched Sand Mining Framework, according to their PR: http://mines.gov.in/writereaddata/UploadFile/Finalversion20032018.pdf. The framework document is not yet available on its website. (http://mines.gov.in/Home/Index) On a very short notice, it had invited comments the draft on Feb. 15. The last date for which was March 2, see: http://mines.gov.in/writereaddata/UploadFile/sandmining16022018.pdf. http://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/government-launches-sand-mining-framework/article23302652.ece

LAKES, WETLANDS Sukhna water level dropping Sukhna lake water level starts falling. It’s going down 0.5 ft daily. Has fallen 4.5 ft in last 5 months. The lake water level was recorded at 1,161. 90 ft on Sept 31 last year & it fell to 1,157.35 ft as on March 20.

Experts say the water-holding capacity of the lake has also reduced drastically, by almost 66% due to sand deposits. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/chandigarh/sukhna-water-level-drops/561181.html

Wetlands International launches a 10-year program Pantanal Wetlands, South America 128 million people in South America depend on Pantanal wetlands system’s health, in La Plata Basin. It is the second largest wetland system in South America after the Amazon. If Paraná River and Paraguay Rivers feeding the wetlands are dammed and tamed, benefits such as maintaining freshwater and food supplies for rural and urban areas will forever disappear. https://phys.org/wire-news/283072022/wetlands-international-launches-a-10-year-programme-in-a-globall.html

WATER POLLUTION Analysis by Central Pollution Control Board for 2013-17 More than half of the country’s critically-polluted waterbodies, in terms of chemical pollution, are found in Karnataka, with its capital itself accounting for 17 lakes and tanks with the highest chemical pollution. From Bellandur to Hebbal, 17 lakes and tanks in the city have been categorised as critically-polluted with Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) levels, topping 250 micro-grams per litre. The Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change provided a list of 38 rivers and 48 lakes, tanks and ponds in the country that have been categorised as critically-polluted in his response in Lok Sabha. Over 253 rivers and 259 water bodies are being monitored under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme. Interestingly, in the list of 38 rivers, only Bhima from Karnataka finds mention. “This is surprising as Arkavathy and Vrishabhavathy carry the sewage and industrial effluents from industries in and around Bengaluru,” said Sharachchandra Lele, researcher from Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bengaluru-tops-in-water-bodies-with-chemical-pollution/article23324428.ece

GROUND WATER Telangana: Uninterrupted power supply leads to drop in groundwater The introduction of uninterrupted power supply to agriculture sector in Telangana from January 1 this year has led to the depletion of groundwater table during December 2017-February 2018 period has been observed at 1.79 metres.

– the depletion during previous two corresponding periods — December 2016-February 2017 and December 2015-February 2016 — was 1.68 metres and 1.22 metres, respectively.

– The depletion of groundwater was observed higher than the State average in 16 out of 31 districts during the period with the table plunging by a highest of 3.41 metres in Medak district followed by 3.31 metres in Rangareddy and 3.01 metres in Kamareddy districts.

– Sowing of rabi crops has been in about 13 lakh hectares this time against 15.36 lakh ha last year. …Paddy is estimated to have been transplanted in about 8 lakh ha this season against 8.66 lakh ha last year. http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-telangana/fall-in-groundwater-level-not-alarming/article23289245.ece

Maharashtra Groundwater drops: Question mark about Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan: Latest data from CGWB shows that water level in 1.37 lakh sq km has declined out of total of 3.07 lakh sq km, as per the Nov 2017 readings, when compared with the average of previous decade.

– This shows that Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan seems to have been unscientific

– The recharge systems are silted up. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/groundwater-level-falling-in-almost-50-area-of-maharashtra/articleshow/63404707.cms

83% if Kerala wells polluted CWRDM study finds  on World Water Day that water in almost 83% of open wells and most of the rivers in Kerala is highly contaminated. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/83-of-open-wells-in-state-polluted/article23315106.ece

Kerala Dept directs not to renew NOC for bottled water plants Local self government department has directed local bodies not to renew the license of bottled water manufacturing units if they fail to produce No objection certificate from state ground water authority. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/local-bodies-to-demand-noc-from-ground-water-authority-for-bottled-water-manufacturing-units/articleshow/63301214.cms

Horizontal boring in tubewells more sustainable than vertical? Horizontal boring to clear up water veins to the dug wells (called Adda boring) is, this report says, less destructive than deep, vertical boring. But what pitfalls it has, besides exhausting the water from a larger periphery from the well?

– Will adda boring be the future solution for groundwater crisis? Sudhakar M., a hydrologist working in the irrigation department of Karnataka says studies are yet to be done to determine the sustenance of the water veins found through horizontal boring, but this relatively new method is better than vertical boring. “We know that vertical boring has done its damage in many areas. We have found high traces of flouride and other heavy metals in the water drawn from deep tube wells.”

– Padre agrees but gives a fair warning. “Though adda boring is less exploitative than vertical boring, conscious effort to recharge rain in adda bore’s catchment will make it more sustainable. However, this technology has to be used with restraint. Excessive use of this is not advisable,” he says. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/horizontal-wells-bring-more-water


WORLD WATER DAY 2018: INDIA’S POSITIVE WATER STORIES https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/world-water-day-2018-indias-positive-water-stories/

World Water Day: While PM Modi favours conservation, ministry announces river linking:

– “They should announce giving up on projects that destroy our rivers and water bodies such as large dams, hydropower projects in the Himalayas, the river-linking projects and the push for inland waterways which involve massive dredging and transform our rivers into mere channels,” Shripad Dharmadhikary says.

– “The UN report, while appreciating the community-driven and local efforts, should have also said that such options need to be exhausted before taking up any larger project. Also that larger projects are not only not delivering the promised benefits, the collateral damage of the costly larger projects is unnecessary, unjustified and mostly unacceptable when such projects are taken up without informed and bottom up democratic decision making,” adds Thakkar. https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/environment/world-water-day-while-pm-modi-favours-conservation-ministry-announces-river-linking

URBAN WATER Delhi for decentralised STPs and bulk water meters Two welcome announcements in Delhi Budget 2018-19, with deadlines and fund allocation: Installation of Bulk water meters and Decentralised STPs. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/daily-water-audits-to-plug-leakages/articleshow/63421008.cms

Chandigarh to fine water wasters Chandigarh Administration decides to fine Rs 2,000 on citizens found wasting water between April 15 to June 30. During summer Chandigarh faces a shortage of water as the city gets only 85 Million Gallons Daily (MGD) while the demand reaches up to 116 MGD. The gap in the demand and supply leaves several sectors and colony areas of the city high and dry.

Under the annual drive, watering of lawns, courtyards, washing of cars and other vehicles using hosepipe is not allowed. Chief Engineer Manoj Bansal said this time, there would be intensified checking. Pictures or videos of violators can also be posted on WhatsApp of the civic body team officials. If a person doesn’t pay the challan, the fine would be added to the water bill of the resident. The teams would be headed by a Sub Divisional officer who will hand over the challan to the violator on the spot.

A senior official added, “If somebody posts pictures of violators who are washing their cars using hose pipes or watering their laws, our team will go there and challan the violator on the basis of the video. Numbers of the officials are already given on the website but we will circulate it too.”

A fine would be imposed on a resident if the team finds overflowing water tanks, water coolers or leakage in pipes as well. According to officials, there would be special focus on the northern sectors as the civic body had found that water consumption in these sectors is high as compared to the southern sectors. The MC public health wing had found that there being houses of size more than one kanal, the consumption was more even up to 1,376 litres of water per person. Last year, over 500 people were challaned for wasting water. However, councillors had said that the number was quite less and the checking be intensified to stop the wastage. http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/from-april-15-pay-rs-2000-fine-for-wastage-of-water-5102753/

WILL MUMBAI PEOPLE SPEAK ABOUT THIS INJUSTICE? Telling picture from INDIAN EXPRESS. http://epaper.indianexpress.com/c/27266998

BMC bags questionable awards for water efforts The awards look like from some mutual admiration society, without any info about the criteria, jury or process. In any case, the three awards are infrastructure related, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation is not known to be good at optimum use of available resources, and its demands for more dams to displace more people and destroy forests and ecosystems is totally unjustified. http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-civic-body-bags-3-awards-for-water-preservation-efforts-2596681

NGT fine for not maintaining buffer zone around Bangalore lakes The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on March 21, in response to a Namma Bengaluru Foundation application slapped a cost of Rs 5 lakh (which may Bangaloreans called paltry) on real estate developer Mantri Techzone Pvt Ltd for failing to file a compliance report on its orders for maintaining a buffer zone around Agara and Bellandur lakes in Bengaluru.

– On May 4, 2016, the NGT’s principal bench had directed that a buffer zone and green belt of 75 metres be maintained in case of lakes, 50 metres for primary, 35 metres for secondary and 25 metres for tertiary rajkuleves (stormwater drains). http://www.deccanherald.com/content/664685/ngt-slaps-rs-5l-cost.html

Surat: Water Supply barely potable Water being supplied in Surat is barely potable, with very low dissolved oxygen levels. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/citizens-getting-water-which-is-barely-potable/articleshow/63388609.cms

AGRICULTURE SUBSIDIES FOR WATER EXPORT: Govt scraps export duty on sugar to ZERO. Production 29.5 MT in current season against 20.3 MT last year and demand of 25 MT. This is export of WATER from drought prone areas and Rivers like Ganga, when we do not have water for Ganga. http://www.financialexpress.com/economy/government-scraps-export-duty-on-sugar-to-boost-shipments/1105246/

USA: Another dam being brought down by USA “The long-awaited demolition of the Brecksville Dam has cleared its final hurdle and could be completed by the end of this year”, the Ohio EPA and the National Park Service announced on March 20, 2018. A newly-released final environmental assessment determined that the dam’s removal would have no significant impact on the health of the Cuyahoga River, allowing the deconstruction work to begin as soon as this fall, weather permitting.

The demolition of the 8-foot tall, 183-foot-long dam is expected to improve water quality, oxygen levels and river flow, while providing an inviting habitat for fish species not seen up river in decades, such as walleye, Northern pike, steelhead trout, white bass and potentially even sturgeon. By removing the dam, state environmentalists will take a major step toward returning the Cuyahoga to a fully functioning riparian ecosystem, flowing freely from its source in Geauga County to its mouth at Lake Erie. Only the 60-foot-tall Gorge Dam, which spreads 420-feet-wide at the Akron-Cuyahoga Falls border, will remain as an obstacle to a free-flowing, dam-free river after the Brecksville Dam is brought down.

A public hearing on the Gorge project, estimated to cost $70 million, is scheduled for March 22 at North High School in Akron. The Brecksville Dam project will include the installation of a pump that will divert as much as 13 million gallons of river water per day to the adjacent Ohio & Erie Canal, thus preserving the cultural and historic significance of the canal as a part of Cleveland’s Industrial Valley. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District will operate the system. Bill Zawiski, an environmental supervisor with the Ohio EPA in Twinsburg, said previously that the demolition project is not expected to be complicated or expensive. Zawiski previously worked to demolish dams in Cuyahoga Falls, Kent and Munroe Falls.” http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/03/brecksville_dam_demolition_pro_1.html

New tools help scientists better predict wet, wild atmospheric rivers: Peering out at sea, scientists last weekend saw a formidable sight: the spawning of a wet and wild storm the size of 30 Mississippi Rivers, headed towards California.

– The anticipation has officials all over the Golden State watching the skies and wondering: Will my town get a fraction of rain, or a bucketful? Will streets flood? Do we need sandbags?

– Until recently, it’s been a coin toss. But a growing network of sophisticated gauges, sensors and computers that can predict the power of “atmospheric rivers” with the greatest precision ever, estimating not just when rain will arrive, but where and how much — saving lives and property in the process.

– Our current weather is an example of a strong and warm atmospheric river, nicknamed a “Pineapple Express” because it is formed by winds over warm bands of tropical water vapor, holding great moisture. Much like a river on the ground carries water in streams through the earth, an atmospheric river carries water vapor in streams through the sky.

– The goal, said scientists, is learn how atmospheric rivers start, how they evolve — and what and when they’ll deliver.

– “The timing of heavy precipitation is a big deal,” said Anderson. “If we can track what’s happening, we’ll be better prepared to manage situations.” https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/03/20/bay-area-weather-new-tools-better-predict-atmospheric-rivers/

Compiled by SANDRP (ht.sandrp@gmail.com)

You may also like to see DRP News Bulletin 12 March 2018 & DRP News Bulletin 19 March 2018

Follow us on www.facebook.com/sandrp.in; https://twitter.com/Indian_Rivers

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