Dams · DRP News Bulletin

DRP News Bulletin 2 July 2018: Punjab Cabinet Meets To Discuss Water crisis, IS IT SERIOUS?

In a rare event, Punjab Cabinet met to discuss water crisis on June 26, 2018. The reports before the meeting seemed to give hope that may be Punjab will look at the water crisis in a fundamental, holistic way. https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/punjab-government-to-firm-up-water-conservation-plan-5233826/ (June 26, 2018)

But the cabinet ended up setting up a committee to assess the ground water situation in the state and submit a detailed proposal for water conservation.

– Punjab has the highest rate of groundwater exploitation and had on average withdrawn 28.2 million acre feet (MAF) water yearly during 2008-2013. However, the yearly average replenishment of water was only 18.9 MAF.

– 73% of Punjab’s irrigated area uses groundwater for irrigation, while only 27% uses surface water. The number of tubewells had gone up exponentially from 2 lakh in 1971 to 12.50 lakh in 2015-16, with 41% of these have water availability beyond the depth of 60 metres. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/5-member-committee-to-assess-punjab-ground-water/articleshow/64770186.cms  (28 June 2018)

70 pc groundwater in Malwa unfit for farms A study commissioned by the Centre’s Department of Science and Technology has found that over-use of groundwater in Punjab has led to high concentration of salts in the soil, destroying fertility. The study also found that 70 per cent of the groundwater in Malwa was unsuitable for irrigation. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/70-pc-groundwater-in-malwa-unfit-for-farms/611375.html (27 June 2018)

Also see, three part article on PADDY IN PUNJAB.

Paddy in Punjab, Part 1: Over-cultivation of water-guzzling rice crop threatens to deplete state’s groundwater reserve shttps://www.firstpost.com/india/paddy-in-punjab-part-1-over-cultivation-of-water-guzzling-rice-crop-threatens-to-deplete-states-groundwater-reserves-4619081.html (30 June 2018)

Paddy in Punjab, Part 2: High-cost farming is degrading quality of soil, driving small farmers to ruinhttps://www.firstpost.com/india/paddy-in-punjab-part-2-high-cost-farming-is-degrading-quality-of-soil-driving-small-farmers-to-ruin-4626831.html (30 June 2018)

Paddy in Punjab, Part III: State’s farmers discover there is life beyond rice and wheat, take to animal farming, fisheryhttps://www.firstpost.com/india/paddy-in-punjab-part-iii-states-farmers-discover-there-is-life-beyond-rice-and-wheat-take-to-animal-farming-fishery-4634421.html (20 June 2018)

HYDRO POWER

Industry Navayuga, Sikkim Power bid for Arunachal’s stressed power project Navayuga Engineering and state-run Sikkim Power Investment Corporation have submitted binding bids for the Rs 15,000-crore planned hydro power project in Arunachal Pradesh that is undergoing insolvency proceedings. The 1,750-mw project awarded by the Arunachal govt to Athena Energy Ventures on a 40-year concession has been stalled due to incomplete forest clearances and insufficient funds. Athena Energy owes Rs 550 crore to Indian Bank and Corporation Bank as working capital dues that the lenders were unable to recover from the former. Navayuga’s bid is pegged at Rs 300 crore, said sources directly briefed on the matter.

Sikkim Power Investment Corporation, the first state-run utility to participate in bidding for a bankrupt company, has offered a little over `250 crore. Athena Energy’s promoters include a consortium of state-run Power Trading Corporation, IDFC and A Sitaram Raju, according to its website. Karvy group’s MS Ramakrishna is a director of the company. Though Navayuga’s bid is said to be higher, the committee of creditors has disqualified its bid on the grounds that it violates provisions of Section 29 A of the insolvency and bankruptcy code which disallows people connected to defaulting promoters/companies from bidding for the stressed assets. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/navayuga-sikkim-power-bid-for-arunachal-pradeshs-stressed-power-project/64726699 (25 June 2018)

Arunachal CM inaugurates 6 MW Hydro Electric Project in Tawang CM PemaKhandu on June 25 inaugurated the 6MW Shaikangchu Small Hydro Electric Project (SHEP) at Gongkhar village in Mukto constituency of the Tawang district. “Tawang today has 14 numbers of hydel stations with total installed capacity of 11.41MW developed by hydropower department. With commissioning of Shaikangchu SHEP, the power generating capacity will be enhanced to 17.41MW,” said Khandu. https://nenow.in/north-east-news/arunachal-pradesh/arunachal-cm.html (26 June 2018)

DAMS

Kaleshwaram Project Rs 80K Cr Cost of KLISis just one of many big numbers “The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) project will pump a whopping 56,63,36,93,184 litre water every day from mammoth pumps. It will then be carried and circulated over 500 km from the source.”

– The barrage for the dam is being constructed at Madigadda. The water will then be pumped and diverted into a system consisting of pipelines, water tunnels, reservoirs, and canals. The water will be directed towards 20 reservoirs that would be dug in 13 districts. The reservoirs will then be interconnected through tunnels, the total length of which will be about 330 km.

– From August this year, the massive pumps at the dam will start pumping 2000 Metric Cube (2TMC) water that will be carried to Yellampalli reservoirs. It is reported that 50 per cent of the project will be complete by Dussehra. https://www.timesnownews.com/india/article/rs-800000000000-cost-of-telanganas-kaleshwaram-lift-irrigation-scheme-is-just-one-of-many-big-numbers/246695 (27 June 2018)

State could have saved ₹65k cr in Kaleshwaram Rare critical voice about Kaleshwaram from Telangana:The prestigious Kaleshwarama Lift Irrigation Scheme, while evokes surprise and sets records for various things, including round-the-clock work, massive equipment and a whopping ₹90,000 crore expenditure, Telangana Jana Samithi founder and president M. Kodandaram on June 25 said a pertinent question is being missed and not answered by the State govt.“Is the project on such large scale and design, necessary?”

Mr. Kodandaramalleged the huge cut from the exchequer was to benefit contractors and earn commissions for leaders.“If water can be lifted at 45 feet by constructing one barrage, why lift the same water at 110 feet, with three barrages (Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla),” he wondered. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/state-could-have-saved-65k-cr-in-kaleshwaram-kodandaram/article24256733.ece (26 June 2018)

Polavaram Dam Project has opened floodgates of corruption Polavaram Dam Project has corruption at so many different levels… here about the corruption in resettlement and rehabilitation. https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/environment/polavaram-dam-project-has-opened-floodgates-of-corruption-activists-60963 (27 June 2018)

Tamil Nadu 1 dam, 4 check dams on Agaram, Palar, Uthira Kaveri rivers planned Replying to DMK MLA AP Nandakumar, who said his constituency’s name is ‘Anaikkattu’, but there was no reservoir, CM Edappadi K Palaniswami on June 29 said that project plans are being prepared to construct a check dam at Karunkali village in Vellore district on Agaram river at a cost of `4.62 crore. In addition to that, construction of check dams at Poigai on Palar river at `7 crore, Pulimedu on Palar at a cost of `2.5 crore and Odukaththur on UthiraKaveri at a cost of `3 crore are under consideration, he said. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2018/jun/30/one-dam-four-check-dams-for-vellore-district-of-tamil-nadu-1835921.html (30 June 2018)

Hirakud Dam Google doodle on achievements of Indian scientist PC Mahalanobis Interestingly, this article says about work of P C Mahalanobis: “in 1926, he analyzed 60 years’ data related to floods in Orissa, which led to the construction of the Hirakud dam on the Mahanadi, after three decades.” https://www.indiatvnews.com/buzz/news-google-doodle-indian-scientist-prasanta-chandra-mahalanobis-125th-birth-anniversary-450111 (29 June 2018)

FLOOD 2018

Jammu-Kashmir Flash floods wash away 48 MW hydel project bund A bund to divert river waters into the diversion tunnel of the 48 MW hydel project at Lower Kalnai, a tributary of Chenab river in Doda district, was washed away June 30 morning.The bund was also damaged last year. Official says it was a Kuccha bund sources, however, said that apart from the bund, several equipment, including earthmovers, were washed away. Heavy damage has been caused to the project site, they added.

Construction of the hydel project is being undertaken by the Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation (JKSPDC) through Coastal Projects Limited that was appointed EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractor in Sept 2013. The project was to be commissioned by Sept 2017.

JKSPDC general manager Anil Sharma Sharma said work at the project was at a standstill as govt was yet to respond to the contractor’s request for 2 more years to complete the work. If granted, the project will be completed by 2021, he said, adding that so far only 10-15 per cent of the work has been completed. The Lower Kalnai project involved construction of a 3960-m long and 4.7-m diameter tunnel and a 60-m high concrete dam. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/jammu-kashmir-flash-floods-wash-away-48-mw-hydel-project-bund-5239464/ (30 June 2018)

Also see, Floods in Kashmir, leading to suspension of AmarnathYatra. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/amarnath-yatra-suspened-from-baltal-and-pahalgam-flood-alert-in-jammu-and-kashmir-1875628?pfrom=home-topstories (30 June 2018)

As per another report, 3 persons, including a woman, were killed and nearly a dozen houses damaged in rain-related incidents in different districts of the Jammu region, officials said on June 30,  2018.The rising water levels induced fear among the Valley residents of a re-run of 2014 floods that caused widespread devastation and left over 300 people dead. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/jammu-kashmir/3-dead-in-rain-related-incidents-in-jammu-flood-alert-in-central-kashmir/612960.html (30 June 2018)

Himachal Pradesh Video of flood in Ravi river on 28 June. https://hindi.news18.com/videos/the-rain-was-so-much-that-the-river-ravi-was-remembered-for-the-year-1995-1431854.html?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Facebook_HIN%E2%80%8B

Ravi river flooding severely affecting life in five state assembly of Chamba, Hiamchal Pradesh.Here is Pictorial report showing damage trail by flood in Ravi river: https://hindi.news18.com/photogallery/himachal-pradesh/chambas-ravi-flood-recall-of-old-memories-in-area-1431927.html (28June 2018)

It seems that Pandoh and Larji dam authorities are releasing water in already flood Beas River since July 1 and it is reported to continue till July 2 in the wake of heavy rain forecast in coming days.

The report does not mention amount of water being released in the river. District administration has asked the people and tourists to stay away from banks of the Beas during rainy season as water flow is high and may increase further.River rafting has already been banned in Kullu district in view of public safety. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/beas-in-spate-water-from-larji-pandoh-dams-released/613617.html (1 July 2018)

Punjab Side wall of Bhakra mainline collapses A side wall of the main Bhakra canal caved-in near Century Enclave police post on the Nabha road leaving a 15-foot-wide gap in the late hours of June 29, 2018. Fortunately, the cave-in did not lead to the canal breach. However, experts believe that possibility of the breach could not be ruled out following heavy rains in the next few days. “The threat of floods looms large if breach occurs. The side wall must be reparied immediately,” they added.

Farmers of the nearby villages are worried because breach could destroy their paddy fields. Divers along the Bhakra canal said the gap had begun to appear in the early hours on June 29. Plants and trees on both sides of the Bhakra mainline have reduced the water-carrying capacity of the canal. BBMB has promised to plug it by July 1 evening. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/chandigarh/side-wall-of-bhakra-mainline-collapses/613186.html (1 July 2018)

MONSOON 2018

IMD Sub-Division Rainfall Map  21-27 June 2018. 

C 21-27 June 2018 SDW Weekly.JPG

Study Long Term Rainfall Trend over Meteorological Sub Divisions and Districts of India Based on IMD analysis of rainfall from 1901 to 2013, this paper says: ” It is observed from the annual rainfall analysis 10% of the number of districts are showing significant increasing trend and 13% significant decreasing (mainly in Uttar Pradesh) trend whereas irrespective of high and low rainfall regions, 10% area of the country is showing significant increasing trend and 8% of the area of the country showing significant decreasing trend in annual rainfall. In Meteorological Sub divisions, east & west UP are showing significant negative trend and some of the coastal sub divisions are showing positive trend. It is also observed that the country’s rainfall is not showing any trend.” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303104858_Long_Term_Rainfall_Trend_over_Meteorological_Sub_Divisions_and_Districts_of_India (July 2017) 

More details of this research in this article by NithiJamwal: http://indiaclimatedialogue.net/2018/06/25/changing-rainfall-patterns-cause-for-worry-in-india/ (25 June 2018)

IMD says by June 28, monsoon has reached most parts of India, except most of western Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Kutch and some parts of North Gujarat. http://www.imd.gov.in/pages/press_release_view.php?ff=20180628_pr_289 (28 June 2018)

Feedback on Facebook post by Anand Sankar:- Their monsoon progress curve this year has been very fishy. It’s going to be a very deficient monsoon this year. There is some epic cover up happening.

  1. Their own monsoon progress curve is abnormal.
  2. Those two cyclones in the Arabian sea should have been factored into forecasts. Even though they were pretty late to incorporate into long term forecast, short term forecast should include their impact.
  3. The monsoon eastern curve went from Bihar to Punjab in one day, after stagnating for almost 15 days?
  4. Delayed rain is as good as no rain.
  5. Again, volume of rain on a daily basis should be consistent, what’s point of a month’s rainfall being dumped in 5 days. It’s as good as the monsoon failing, as it leads to surface run off.
  6. I have been observing monsoon forecasting for over a decade now. I always get this nagging sense of dishonesty. They don’t want to declare a deficiency in the monsoon because farmers won’t sow their fields then. It’s political.

IMD predicts heavy to very heavy rainfall in most of Himalayan states (north and north east) over next two days particularly in Arunachal Pradesh. Assam has already seen two surges of floods, if it rains heavily in Arunachal, Assam may again face severe floods. http://www.imd.gov.in/pages/allindiawxwarningbulletin.php (30 June 2018)

While the IMD has already forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in Uttarakhand on July 1 and 2, meteorologists also warn of possibility of the state witnessing extreme weather conditions on these days.Mahesh Palwat of private weather forecaster Skymet says some parts of Uttarakhand may also see flash floods or a cloudburst, especially the lower districts. The reason is the monsoon trough has today shifted northwards.

The IMD says it is likely to shift further northward towards the foot of Himalayas and remain there between July 1 and July 6. Consequently, rainfall activity is very likely at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over Northern parts of UP, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, Western Himalayan region and Northeastern states on July 1, 2 and 3.

Whenever the monsoon trough moves towards northern foot hills, areas north of it receive excessive rains, explains Palawat. Meanwhile, the shifting of the trough is also accompanied with a Western Disturbance, adding to the enhancement in rain activity over most parts of Himachal and Uttarakhand, says the IMD. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/hills-to-get-heavy-to-very-heavy-rain-for-3-days/612984.html (30 June 2018)

MD has predicted extremely heavy rainfall for July 2, over isolated places in sub­Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam and Meghalaya: http://www.imd.gov.in/pages/allindiawxwarningbulletin.php (2 July 2018)

Odisha Farmers worried over sowing delay, Met predicts more rain Odisha received total 37 per cent deficit rainfall, compared to normal, by June 24. At least seven of the 30 districts in the state recorded a major rainfall deficit of between 50 to over 60 per cent in the state. Of them, Jagatsinghpur recorded the highest – 64 per cent. The other districts which received deficit rain include Nabarangpur, Nayagarh, Khurda, Kalahandi and Boudh.

However, kharif sowing should have started by the second week of June, after the onset of monsoon. “But as the rain has been missing for so many days and is now taking time to pick up strength, farm activities have been delayed by a couple of weeks,” said SadanandaSahu, a farmer on the outskirts of the capital city. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/farmers-worried-over-sowing-delay-met-predicts-more-rain/articleshow/64731476.cms (25 June 2018)

Uttar Pradesh Govt plans artificial rains in parched Bundelkhand IIT Kanpur, it seems suggested in a presentation to UP CM that cloud seeding can help solve water problem of UP part of Bundelkhand. Pune based IITM was also roped in. A senior Agriculture department official said that Rs 20 crore have been allocated for implementing the project on an experiment basis from this year. The project is likely to be implemented in parts of Bundelkhand after the monsoon season is over this year and, if successful, will be replicated in other parts of the state. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-yogi-adityanath-govt-plans-artificial-rains-in-parched-bundelkhand-2631244 (30 June 2018)

INTER STATE WATER DISPUTES

Telangana-Andhra Pradesh TS proposes sensors to measure water discharge at 21 more locations Telangana has proposed installation of telemetry equipment, sensors to measure both water level and velocity, at 21 more locations both in its territory and in Andhra Pradesh with a view to bring about total transparency in drawl of water by the two States and also to account for the utilisation in all irrigation systems depending on Krishna waters.

– This is in addition to the decision taken by Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to install the equipment at 18 locations in the first phase and another 29 locations in the second phase. The proposal on the third phase was moved at the recent meeting of the board convened to specifically discuss the issue of telemetry installation. The board has agreed to discuss the proposal in July. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-telangana/state-proposes-sensors-to-measure-water-discharge-at-21-more-locations/article24244265.ece (24 June 2018)

At the same time the State is likely to say no to the move for installation of telemetries in the Godavari basin. The Telemetries installed in Krishna basin to resolve water sharing issues between the two Telugu States, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are of no use so far. https://telanganatoday.com/ts-may-say-no-to-telemetries-in-godavari-basin (29 June 2018)

Cauvery River Water Dispute Karnataka govt to file appeal in SC against Cauvery panel Backed by an all-party meeting, the Karnataka govt on June 30, 2018 decided to go in for an appeal in the Supreme Court against the setting up of the Cauvery Water Management Authority and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee. The all-party meeting on the Cauvery issue decided that two senior officials nominated by the state govt as its representatives to the authority and the committee will participate in the July 2 meeting to present Karnataka’s views. http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/010718/karnataka-govt-to-file-appeal-in-sc-against-cauvery-panel.html (1 July 2018)

RIVERS AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS

NW-1 will fail unless siltation issue is addressed: Nitish Kumar Absolutely true: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on June 24has said that the Centre’s ambitious National Waterway 1 project will not succeed unless the issue of siltation is addressed to ensure free and adequate flow of water. “Given the present condition of siltation in river Ganga (especially in Bihar region), the NW-1 will not be successful until the issue of siltation is addressed and resolved,” Kumar said.

– Kumar cited the example of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI)’s cargo vessel getting stuck in January 2018 due to shallow water near Ramrekhaghat in the upstream of river in Buxar district. “Not only this, the tug vessel, which was sent to tow the cargo vessel, also got stuck 10 km away in the upstream,” Kumar said.

– Stating that several dams have been built on river Ganga interrupting its “natural flow” besides Farakka dam at the bottom, he said because of these dams, silt is not getting out. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/nw-1-will-fail-unless-siltation-issue-is-addressed-nitish-kumar/articleshow/64722176.cms (24 June 2018)

Ravish Kumar in his soft but candid style reveals present day condition of Ganga river. The 15 minutes prime time video reveals glaring facts about problem of Ganga siltation, water crisis in Banaras, current status of pollution and outcomes of govt efforts. It quotes Prof. Dinesh Misra, Himanshu Thakkar and Prof G.D. Agarwal (Swami Sanand) who is currently on fast for aviral Ganga in MatriSadan Ashram, Haridwar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zps9IMpbR2g&feature=youtu.be (25 June 2018)

RIVERS

India Rivers Week 2018 Call for Nominations for BhagirathPrayasSamman and Anupam Mishra Medal 2018. For exemplary work in river protection, for BPS and Exemplary media work on river related issues for AMM. https://indiariversforum.org/2018/06/05/call-for-nominations/

GANGA Ganga’s downward journey continues unabated: Experts “This time, there was hope. But four years down the line, apart from statements and plans there seems to be no action on the most important issue—the massive siltation in the river,” says Thakkar. But Thakkar says spending 70 to 80 per cent of the Rs 20,000 crore allocated for the programme is not exactly solving the problem. “There has to be a concrete plan for desiltation and it must be ensured that ‘aviral’ flow is maintained and the Ganga is rejuvinated,” he says. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/ganga-s-downward-journey-continues-unabated-experts/611392.html (27 June 2018)

Ganga’s downward journey continues unabated: Experts

Meanwhile water level in both Ground and Ganga falling in Varanasi: “Water department produces 311 MLD (Millions of Liters Per Day) water out of which 100 MLD comes from Ganga while the rest comes from handpumps”. https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/water-crisis-hits-varanasi-as-heat-takes-toll-on-river-ganga-118062800113_1.html (28 June 2018)

As per another report a battalion of 532 ex-servicemen named ‘Ganga Task Force’, including nine officers and 29 JCOs will be deployed in Allahabad, Varanasi and Kanpur for three years.The ex-servicemen will be involved in tree plantation on the river banks to check soil erosion, creating public awareness, participating in campaigns and patrolling the river for biodiversity protection and monitoring river pollution. They will also work with NGOs to encourage people to get their houses connected to sewage systems. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/army-of-ex-servicemen-to-protect-ganga-patrol-ghats/articleshow/64800516.cms (30 June 2018)

Also see, DainikJagran Hindi report on 9 dying units polluting Ganga in Kanpur. https://www.jagran.com/uttar-pradesh/kanpur-city-nine-dying-unit-increase-poision-in-ganga-18140689.html (30 June 2018)

WATER OPTIONS

How Maharashtra, Gujarat, Bengaluru, Chennai are tackling water crisis “What is going to be the tipping point at which we reimagine our water institutions” asked RohiniNilekani of Arghyam, a non-profit focused on water and sanitation. “It’s hard to say, but a crisis like the one we are in helps. Water is a vital issue, but there is no big imagination,” she said.

– MAHARASHTRA: “In 2016 and 2017, the participating villages created an aggregate storage capacity of 10,000 crore litres of water. We will know how much more capacity they have added this year in August,” Avinash Pol, who leads Paani Foundation effort in Maharashtra says.

– GUJARAT: What User Collectives: When VergheseKurien, celebrated for his contribution to the ‘Amul’ milk cooperative movement, was offered a chance to replicate the model to create a network of farmer collectives for the sharing of water flowing through Gujarat’s irrigation canals, he said it could not be done due to the “challenge of defaulters”. What he meant was that in water cooperatives it is not possible to debar a defaulter, which is possible in milk cooperative. The state now has ambitious plans to get over 4,400 ‘irrigation cooperatives’ up and running by 2020.

– BENGALURU LAKES: Friends of Lakes (FoL), for example, has grown from trying to conserve one lake in Bengaluru to now offering conservation services for around 22 water bodies in the city. But joining them is not easy. “We have a 3-6 month probationary period. If those who approach us do not involve the local villagers, farmers and fishermen, then we do not associate with them,” Ramprasad V., co-founder and convener of FoL said.

– CHENNAI RWH: Chennai is one of the few urbanized zones in the country where the groundwater table has consistently gone up on a number of occasions over the past decade, including last year. The reason: the city managed to implement the simplest possible solution of installing rainwater harvesting structures in a large proportion of homes and buildings. “Others should be copying what happened here,” said SekharRaghavan, who set up the country’s first ‘Rain Centre’. https://www.livemint.com/Politics/Ne6b83gyiZw3kmt3A3E9hL/How-Maharashtra-Gujarat-Bengaluru-are-tackling-water-crisis.html (26 June 2018)

WATER

SANDRP Report India serves up a counter-intuitive report on looming water crisis Article by Himanshu Thakkar in ASIA TIMES on A tale of two National Water reports: NITI AYOG and USGS. http://www.atimes.com/india-serves-up-a-counter-intuitive-report-on-looming-water-crisis/ (30 June 2018)

Composite-Water-Management-Index

About USGS report on US water consumption: The report credits a number of federal policy interventions with reducing home water use. The National Energy Policy Act of 1992 is a big one. It established efficiency standards for toilets (the now ubiquitous 1.6 gallons per flush), bathroom faucets (2.2 gallons per minute at 60 psi) and shower heads (2.5 gallons per minute at 80 psi). The legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. Further amendments to the bill, passed in 2005, improved efficiencies for water-using appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines… While our average per capita home water use is declining, it remains (at 82 gallons per capita per day) much higher than in other wealthy nations, including the United Kingdom (37 gallons per day) and Germany (32 gallons). https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/06/25/americans-are-conserving-water-like-never-before-according-to-the-latest-federal-data/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.27ad260b23d1 (25 June 2018)

“The exercise by NITI Aayog is far from transformative,” Himanshu Thakkar of SANDRP said. “Like the water data in India, it lacks rigour, quality, reliability, transparency of process and most importantly, forthright honesty.” https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/2018/06/27/official-recognition-to-indias-water-crisis-sparks-debate/ (27 June 2018)

Also see, TRT World, A Turkish TV News Channel talked with SANDRP coordinator on India’s water crisis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=kTKkDbh4FRE (28 June 2018)

Shripad Dharmadhikary also analysis the recent NITI AYOG report: But when the country’s premier think tank has to rely on reports from foreign and international agencies for highlighting such critical issues of our own water resources, it raises important questions: Are our own agencies not coming out with such assessments? Do the publications of our official agencies lack credibility? Is it that our official agencies are afraid to put out assessments that are critical of the current situation? http://indiatogether.org/what-you-can-t-measure-properly-you-can-t-manage-properly-government (1 July 2018)

Meanwhile this report says that MGNREGA is falling out of favour with Modi govt, leading to drastically falling rate of completion of water conservation works. Exactly what Modi did in Gujarat, with disastrous consequences there now as was seen the drought that Gujarat faced. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/with-half-a-million-new-farm-ponds-should-farmers-be-worried-about-deficit-monsoon–60985 (29 June 2018) 

Jammu & Kashmir Ice stupas not cutting ice with some farmers in Ladakh Hailed as a climate-friendly innovation, the ice stupas of Ladakh are now being slammed by some downstream farmers for diverting water they could have used for farming and groundwater recharge.

– “They divert all the water of the stream (PhyangNallah) from November for creating the ice stupas. This is quite dangerous for our farms,” SonamPhunsuk of Phey village downstream from Phyang village of famous SonamWangchuk of Ice Stupa fame, who owns several acres of agricultural land said. “Every year, we used to put that water in our farms and the wasteland around our village for recharging the groundwater and storing water for our use in spring. Diverting the water doesn’t allow us to do so.”

– To resolve the issue, the govt set up a committee, which helped for some time, but now is no longer helpful, so they hope to set up another committee which will include hydrologists, glaciologists, govt officials and civil society members. In response to written complaints of the village head of Phey village, Tsering Motup, the deputy commissioner of Leh, AnvyLavasa, had directed through an order dated February 16 that “all the persons directly or indirectly involved with the diversion of water from PhyangNallah for Ice Stupas shall desist from any act of water diversion.”

– Wangchuk has an answer: “PhyangNallah (Phyang stream) has roughly 100 million cubic metre water flowing through it annually. Of this, both Phey and Phyang village combined use much less than 10 million cubic metre of water over five months (of the farming season),” he has written in the letter. “If we channelize the rest of the wasted water into large lake-sized reservoirs along the hillside on the Phyang desert, then roughly 6 million cubic metre can be stored for later use. Similarly, another 4 million cubic metre can be stored using roughly 50 ice stupas. (Yet) 80% of the water will go into the Indus.” In his letter to the deputy commissioner, he has further mentioned: “Moreover, bringing large-scale water to the desert of Phyang is the only way groundwater and spring sources of Phey village will be recharged. This is particularly important in the face of widespread bore-well drilling in the Phyang desert.” http://indiaclimatedialogue.net/2018/06/27/ice-stupas-not-cutting-ice-with-some-farmers-in-ladakh/ (27 June 2018)

Also see, India consumes, poisons and wastes more water than any nation on earth. https://scroll.in/article/884229/zero-day-looms-as-india-consumes-poisons-and-wastes-more-water-than-any-nation-on-earth (1 July 2018)

URBAN WATER

MoEF’s notification on CETPs ends up giving carte blanche for industrial pollution“….MOEF did not elaborate wherefrom and who has sent requests for exemption of CETPs from the environment clearance process. The MOEF should be transparent in discussing these requests. It should develop a Status Report on CETPs, with evaluation and review of environmental, regulatory, financial, managerial aspects included, with a clear enunciation of the outcomes achieved through the instrument of CETPs in combating effluents and water pollution in India. This report should be the basis for discussion and debate on the future course of regulatory measures, with regard to process and action, to be taken for controlling pollution and specifically locating CETPs in pollution prevention efforts. Monitoring of CETPs, treatment plant performance, and discharges is an integral part of the operation of the environmental regulatory system. Information gathered from online monitoring should be utilised to develop the Status Report on CETPs.” https://www.firstpost.com/india/moefs-notification-on-common-effluent-treatment-plants-ends-up-giving-carte-blanche-for-industrial-pollution-4629851.html(June 29, 2018)

Karnataka City needs better water management S. Vishwanath on NitiAyog Water Index Report:

– The institutional strengthening and management of groundwater needs to happen quickly. Currently the Groundwater Authority looking after the whole of the urban area has 3 people.

-The Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board has no separate groundwater wing neither any specialised persons working to understand and manage it. Rainwater harvesting which also seeks to recharge groundwater has one engineer in charge. The MahanagaraPalike has no wing working on groundwater.

City needs better water management

– The institutional framework will need to be strengthened quickly as would the current legal framework. Ideally the Groundwater Authority would work in close coordination with the BWSSB, which would have a separate specialised unit to manage groundwater for the city.

– It is time we looked at nature-based solutions through a policy lens of better groundwater management and revive the culture of the open well. https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/city-needs-better-water-management/article24291699.ece (29 June 2018)

Tamil Nadu Chennai water situation not as dire as made out to be Strongly disagreeing with NitiAayog’s recent statement that Chennai would be among 21 cities in the country that would run out of groundwater by 2020, SanthaSheela Nair, a former civil servant, says that the situation is not as alarming as it is made out to be, if one is to go by the groundwater numbers of the city for the past 15 years.Ms Nair, who handled the subject of water supply in various capacities for many years, points out that even 15 years ago, Chennai set an example for the rest of the country by taking to the idea of rainwater harvesting (RWH) in a big way.

– She emphasises that political will demonstrated by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in supporting the concept 15 years ago made the RWH programme a “complete success.”However, the NitiAayog’s statement should be taken as a “wake-up call” as one cannot remain complacent, she says.

– To ensure that Chennai does not suffer as it did in the past, a two-pronged strategy needs to be adopted, she says.One, the concept of reuse and recycling of wastewater should be popularised in a big way. Two, with the limits of the city getting expanded, the authorities should adopt a decentralised method of meeting the drinking water supply requirements of people, apart from redoubling measures for preserving lakes and water bodies, meant for public water supply.

– On reuse and recycling of wastewater, Ms. Nair says 80% of wastewater can easily be reused and recycled even at home. She makes it clear that she is suggesting only the reuse and recycling of sullage or grey water and not sewage or black water.

– On decentralisation of water supply, local sources in extended areas of the city should be used to supplement and complement the city’s water supply system. People in these areas, which have been brought under the control of Chennai Metrowater, should not entertain the thought that they too will get water from high-cost desalination plants or other such sources, she says, recommending that all the water bodies meant for public water supply be declared water sanctuaries and maintained on the lines of reserve forests. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chennai-water-situation-not-as-dire-as-made-out-to-be/article24295181.ece (30 June 2018)

Opposition to water privatisation in Coimbatore Special officers substituting the right of elected corporation councils and passing resolutions and taking crucial policy decisions without deliberation and consideration in the council is against the constitution, an NGO has said, proclaiming to approach the court against the privatisation. Former councillors also say that given the scale of the project – Rs 2,661 crore for 26 years – a special officer cannot take the decision without consulting the council.

Narayanan said that ChangeIndia had filed a writ petition in 2017 in HC challenging the appointment of special officers as unconstitutional and the court had reserved the orders. Similarly, in May 2018, the organisation had filed another petition seeking an interim injunction on special officers of local bodies from taking any decision on implementation of schemes or passing any resolution until legally-elected bodies are in place.

A senior corporation official, however, defended the move, saying that the project was discussed in the council way back in 2008 and a resolution was adopted to rope in a private firm. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/coimbatore/voices-against-privatisation-of-water-supply-get-louder/articleshow/64754365.cms (27 June 2018)

GROUND WATER

MoWR Increasing water use efficiency key to rejuvenation of rivers: Water Resources Ministry Groundbreaking, coming from Union Water Resources Secretary UP Singh at a meeting in Delhi on June 28, 2018: There is “need to promote small surface storage and emphasise more on groundwater storage”. He said water management was a bigger problem, there is no dearth of water.

This is exactly what we have been saying for so many years, great to hear this from the Secretary, MoWR. http://www.uniindia.com/~/increasing-water-use-efficiency-key-to-rejuvenation-of-rivers-water-resources-ministry/India/news/1274091.html (28 June 2018)

Trillions of litres of water in dams are not reaching farmers’ Mihir Shah, head of several committees on water reforms set up by the Modi govt, is candid about the problems facing water management: “Sustainable groundwater management is the single most important water reform we need to urgently undertake since groundwater is, by far, India’s most important source of water… But over the years, even as groundwater has grown in importance, the central and state groundwater boards have been consistently shorn of human resource capacity.”

– Why his reform proposals have not gone forward: “Even so, the proposals have not moved forward due to the extraordinary resistance from vested interests within the Central Water Commission, who exercise an almost mystifying power over water policy in India. It gives me no joy to say this but I am afraid this has to do with the political economy of corruption in India.”

Sustainable groundwater management is the single most important water reform we need to urgently undertake, says Mihir Shah, former member of the erstwhile planning commission. Photo: Bloomberg

– “This is also the reason why despite spending more than Rs400,000 crore on major and medium dam projects in India, we have a recurring and intensifying crisis of water. Trillions of litres of water stored in our dams is not reaching the farmers for whom it is meant.”https://www.livemint.com/Politics/DNQJqmtysO2AlnHONcbZ2M/Trillions-of-litres-of-water-in-dams-are-not-reaching-farme.html (26 June 2018)

47% of govt office buildings do not comply with groundwater law A majority of govt buildings in the heart of Delhi do not comply with the basic legal requirement for all buildings to install rainwater harvesting structures. The list of defaulters includes the NITI Aayog, which had itself recently put out a report warning that groundwater is likely to run out fast in as many as 21 cities.

Only 43% of federal office buildings in Delhi comply with the govt mandate. The structures that do not comply include important govt buildings such as the premier conference venue, Vigyan Bhawan, offices of the external affairs ministry and the Election Commission, and many of the bungalows reserved for ministers, according to right to information responses from the central public works department (CPWD), which maintains most of the central govt structures in the national capital.

The central govt has been pushing cities across the country to step up and do their part, with efforts underway to install more than 8.8 million rainwater harvesting structures across urban India. However, progress has been slow, in part, because the govt is setting a bad example with the low level of compliance in its own office buildings, which is also a reflection of the seriousness of the intent, say activists. https://www.livemint.com/Politics/ttvR9g82HNwopTiMeFlHCL/43-of-government-office-buildings-do-not-comply-with-ground.html (29 June 2018)

Tamil Nadu Groundwater in Virudhunagar district a matter of concern Central Ground Water Board, South Eastern Coastal Region, Chennai, would soon start aquifier mapping in eight firkas in Virudhunagar district that have been classified as ‘critical’ and ‘over- exploited’ with respect to groundwater usage. A study of groundwater resources in Virudhunagar as on March 2013 revealed that out of 34 firkas, 16 firkas have been classified as ‘safe,’ 10 firkas as ‘semi critical,’ three as ‘critical’ and five as ‘over exploited.’ The over-exploited firkas are Cholapuram, Ethirkottai, Keezharajakularaman, Nathampatti and Pillayarkulam. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/groundwater-in-virudhunagar-district-a-matter-of-concern/article24275416.ece (28 June 2018)

Andhra Pradesh Groundwater level plummeted in Prakasam district The situation is no better during this month as the district witnessed a 45% deficit rainfall in June when it was supposed to receive 27.10 mm. The drop in groundwater level is 3.92 metres in June when compared to 3.23 metres last year. The fall is more pronounced in the western parts of the district with water available only below the depth of 20 metres in 15 mandals, Ground Water department deputy director M.Nagamalleswara Rao says.Nikarampalli village in Markapurmandal is the worst affected as groundwater is available only at a depth of 65.315 metres, he explains after making a water audit for the month. Water level ranges between 8.01 and 20 metres in 29 other mandals and between 3.01 and 8.00 metres in 12 other mandals in the district. https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/groundwater-level-dips-in-prakasam/article24307365.ece (2 July 2018)

WATER POLLUTION

Video report on Jetpur dying unit in Gujarat dumping chemical water in dam, villagers suffering from skin diseases: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vDO9rtJlxI (30 June 2018)

Video ‘Kodaikanal still won’t’ accept Unilever’s double standards and environmental racism. https://scroll.in/video/884665/watch-a-music-video-accuses-unilever-of- (29 June2018)

DELHI WATER

Bhalaswa landfill contaminates groundwater AmitaBhaduri of India Water Portal writes about Bhalsawa landfill and its impact on ground water and human health:“The Bhalaswa landfill commissioned in 1994 in north western Delhi, was supposed to be closed in 2010 when it reached about 22m in height and had about 8 million tonnes of accumulated waste. It has now grown higher than 41m and is still going strong. This go-to-repository which is more than 21 acres in area receives about 2,200 tonnes of waste per day. Bulldozers keep levelling the garbage while trucks continuously dump waste. Of this, about 700 tonnes per day goes to the compost plant near the site.”http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/delhis-bhalaswa-landfill-contaminates-groundwater (21 August 2015)

AGRICULTURE

Farmer angst stokes record pulses procurement in 2017-18 According to Nafed, the central agency assigned to procure directly from farmers at government-set MSP, an unprecedented 6.34 million tonnes of pulses and oilseeds, worth Rs 29,070 crore were purchased from about 3.5 million farmers till 22 June. This includes about 4.4 million tonnes of pulses (about 18% of the estimated 24.5 million tonnes produced), procurement of oilseeds at support prices were at 1.97 million tonnes or 6.4% of the estimated production.

While Nafed purchased about 4.4 million tonnes of pulses grown by farmers in 2017-18, procurement of oilseeds at support prices were at 1.97 million tonnes or 6.4% of the estimated production. Photo: Mint

– At support prices, the value of pulses procured by Nafed is Rs20,768 crore. While govt agencies procured about Rs 12,000 crore of pulses and oilseeds in 2016-17, procurement of these crops had never crossed Rs3,000 crore. “The question now is how the govt plans to dispose of these stocks and at how much losses,” said Siraj Hussain, former agriculture secretary. https://www.livemint.com/Politics/FoJ7WHJxWfSxV4uZmu3KII/Farmer-angst-stokes-record-pulses-procurement-in-201718.html (28 June 2018)

Small farmers upset over stricter regulations for organic tag Another anti small farmer move? This will obviously help the big grocery chains like big baskets?A new rule framed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which kicks in on July 1, bans the retail sale of food labelled as organic unless it has been certified according to one of two processes. FSSAI’s Agarwal argues that a clause exempts a “small original producer or producer organisation” directly selling to the consumer from certification. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/food/why-small-farmers-are-upset-with-indias-food-safety-regulator/articleshow/64809679.cms (1 July 2018)

In times of surplus, milk is no longer honey by Parthasarathi BiswasThis narrates how over last 15 years, cow milk production in Kolhapur has gone up, while Skimmed Milk Power prices have crashed internationally. Dairies are asking farmers to go back to buffaloes and also pleading with govt to help export the stock of SMP before the flush season starts in Sept, but without success so far. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/in-times-of-surplus-milk-is-no-longer-honey-5236306/ (28 June 2018)

ENERGY OPTIONS

Gujarat Farmers can now produce, sell solar power under SKY The Gujarat govt on June 23, 2018 launched a pilot project for the Suryashakti Kishan Yojana (SKY) which aims to cover 33 districts by setting up 137 feeders, covering 12,400 farmers. These farmers can generate electricity using solar energy and sell the surplus to the electric grid. The cost of the pilot project is estimated to be about Rs870 crore. To produce 1,42,000 HP of energy for irrigation through water pumps will require 177 MW of solar power generation in the pilot stage.

– The extra electricity given to grid would be purchased at a rate of Rs7 per unit. Of this, Rs3.50 would be paid by Electricity Distribution Company and Rs3.50 per unit (maximum limit of 1,000 units every year) by state govt as a subsidy. Of this amount, after deducting the loan installment, the remaining money will be deposited directly into the bank account of the farmers.

Gujarat government says the farmers can sell surplus power to the state owned power companies at Rs7 per unit for a period of seven years under Suryashakti Kishan Yojana. Photo: Bloomberg

– As per the new scheme, a farmer signing up for it will have to spend only 5 % amount of the total expenditure for installing the solar project (including solar panels and inverters). The central and state governments would pay 60 % amount as a subsidy. While remaining 35% amount would be a loan to farmer, interest on which would be paid by the state government. The duration for repayment of the loan amount has been fixed for seven years.

– “The state govt spends about Rs4,500- 5,000 cr every year for the subsidy given to farmers for using electricity for irrigation purpose. With SKY, this will come down immensely in due course. The govt can achieve a break even in about 5-7 years for the investment it has to make in setting up the solar infrastructure,” said a senior state govt official. https://www.livemint.com/Industry/Yo4kUy3NeBkdU293IJ3rMO/Gujarat-farmers-can-now-produce-sell-solar-power-under-Sury.html (23 June 2018)

Also see, What we can learn from California experience of roof top solar. https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/energy-speak/rooftop-solar-growth-in-california-and-what-india-can-learn-from-it/3099 (21 June 2018)

SOUTH ASIA

Bangladesh Govt declares 6th Hilsa sanctuary Bangladesh has declared the 83km-long stripe in Meghna River – from Hizla to Mehendiganj of Barisal district – as its 6th Hilsa sanctuary, to conserve the national fish population further. According to the Fisheries Statistical Report of Bangladesh 2016-17, Bangladesh annually produces 496,417 tonnes of Hilsa (which is about 12% of total fish production in Bangladesh). 65% comes from marine sources and 35% from rivers. Around half a million fishermen are directly dependent on Hilsa production for their livelihood, and another two million indirectly.

– Earlier declared Hilsa Sanctuaries in Bangladesh:

  1. 100km stripe in Meghna river – from Shatnol to Char Alaxandar
  2. 90km stripe of Shahbazpur Channel at Meghna estuary in Bhola district
  3. 100km stripe of Tentulia River in Bhola district
  4. 40km stripe in Andharmanik River in Patuakhali district
  5. 20km stripe at lower Padma (Padma confluence) in Shariatpur district https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2018/06/25/bangladesh-gets-its-6th-hilsa-sanctuary (25 June 2018)

Dhaka water supply system It says about Dhaka: “Having polluted its rivers with industrial effluents and municipal sewage, the city remains heavily (80%) dependent on groundwater for its drinking water needs. The temptation to source groundwater using deep tube wells is enormous particularly since the water quality is good and is potable without any treatment. The water table is at least 600 feet deep and it amounts to water mining from a resource that has accumulated over thousands of years. It has resulted in a rapid decline in Dhaka’s water table at the rate of about 2-3 metres per year for close to three decades.”The article talks about how Dhaka’s water system has undergone change since 2005/2007. https://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/cities-at-crossroads-ripples-of-reform-in-dhaka/1221665/ (June 27,  2018)

Nepal UP govt move Centre on issue of discharge of Nepal’s water into Sharda Nepal apparently has nothing to hold these water, so how can it control releases? The two barrages on Sharda, are both under Indian control. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bareilly/up-govt-move-centre-on-issue-of-discharge-of-nepals-water-into-sharda/articleshow/64798997.cms (30 June 2018)

THE REST OF WORLD

SANDRP Blog Mississippi and the Singing River A FASCINATING Tale of two rivers: Parineeta Dandekar writes about Mississippi and neighbour Pascagoula.”Mississippi is a phenomenon. Some say its a channel which moulds and creates music in ts wake, each place adding its own note, its own quirk, its own story. Some say its a cold-hearted beast.Pascagoula only flows. That’s what rivers do. It snakes and meanders and steps into the Gulf of Mexico gently, in its own unhurried pace making swamps of waltzing grasses at the delta.” https://sandrp.in/2018/06/26/mississippi-and-the-singing-river/ (26 June 2018)

International Rivers Kenya’s Lake Turkana inscribed as “in danger” over Gibe Dam impacts On June 28, 2018, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee took the decision to officially inscribe Lake Turkana as a World Heritage site “in danger” because of severe impacts caused by the Gibe 3 Dam, constructed upstream on Ethiopia’s Omo River. The dam and associated sugar plantations have severely restricted flows into Kenya’s Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake.

“We applaud the decision taken by the World Heritage Committee,” states Dr. RudoSanyanga, the Africa Director at International Rivers. “Ethiopia has knowingly and deliberately jeopardized the viability of Lake Turkana, which serves as a critical lifeline for half a million people in Kenya. This decision is long overdue.” https://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/press-release-unesco-world-heritage-committee-inscribes-kenya%E2%80%99s-lake-turkana-as-%E2%80%9Cin-danger (28 June 2018)

American Rivers Plan release for Klamath River Dam Removal The Klamath River Renewal Corporation, the entity managing the dam removal project, submitted its plan to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as part of its application to transfer the license for the four dams and remove them.This is termed as important milestone for the most significant dam removal and river restoration effort in history.  https://www.americanrivers.org/2018/06/plan-released-for-klamath-river-dam-removal/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=americanrivers (29 June 2018)

America Who Does LA River Development Benefit? The many facets of River Restoration..or Revitalisation. The L.A. river that winds its way over 51 miles in Southern California is the subject of long-desired plans to retain its crucial role as a flood-control channel for the city, while revitalizing the role it can play in the city’s life. The city’s master plan for the waterway, an update to the plan adopted by the county in 1996, focuses on the 32 miles of the waterway within the city. Led by L.A. County Public Works, with support from engineering firm Geostyntec, the project has brought on board celebrated architects and design firms, Gehry Partners and OLIN under the nonprofit umbrella River LA. https://commercialobserver.com/2018/06/who-does-l-a-river-development-benefit/ (15 June 2018)

A stream run through it Interesting story of Silver Bow Creek which was polluted from a century of mining. Now some Butte residents want the last two miles restored, to babble on through the city:

Silver Bow Creek was once 26 or so miles long from its headwaters on the Continental Divide, where a tiny thread of water joined Yankee Doodle and Dixie Creeks, each worked by miners from opposing sides in the Civil War. Some 24 miles of the creek below Butte, all the way to where it flows into the Clark Fork River and on to the Columbia River, have been restored.

For the last two decades, though, most of Silver Bow Creek has been meticulously rebuilt and restored by removing more than a million cubic yards of tainted soil and rock along most of its stretch, at a cost of about $150 million.

Now just two miles or so of the battered creek is unreclaimed — including a stretch that runs through neighborhoods in this city. In late May, after eight years of court-ordered secrecy surrounding the cleanup, some of the veil was lifted and the Environmental Protection Agency released its plan for finishing it.

It’s far cleaner, but will never be its old self. There are, in the best stretches, some 200 catchable fish per mile, while comparable streams have a thousand per mile. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/25/science/butte-superfund-silver-bow-creek.html (25 June 2018)

Australia If the Blue Mountains can be destroyed, what’s safe? Raising Warragamba dam wall by 14m, will hold back enough water to fill Sydney Harbour twice over. It would also inundate up to 4,700 ha of national parks – including more than 1,000 ha that is world heritage listed for weeks or months at a time.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jun/26/if-the-blue-mountains-can-be-destroyed-whats-safe (28 June 2018)

Iran Protest Over Water Scarcity Turns Violent In Southwestern Large scale public protests going against water scarcity and pollution in Iran over past couple of weeks:Critics say mismanagement by the authorities, combined with years of drought, has led to a drop in rivers’ water levels and the groundwater levels in the oil-rich province. https://www.rferl.org/a/protest-over-water-scarcity-turns-violent-in-southwestern-iran/29330155.html (1 July 2018)

At the same time, a severe water crisis in Iraq has forced the govt to suspend all cultivation of rice, a staple in the war-torn country’s diet.An unusually bad drought, coupled with new dam projects upstream of its main rivers, has led the govt’s agriculture ministry to take the drastic step of halting all farming of rice, corn and cereals that demand large amounts of water.

The Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which supply some 98 per cent of the country’s water, are at their lowest levels in living memory.Footage taken last month showed residents of Baghdad walking across the Tigris, with the water reaching only to their knees.In the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, thousands of dead fish were found floating dead on the banks of the dried-up river.

Some Iraqi officials have blamed Turkey, while Kurdish officials have blamed Iran. Both neighbouring countries have in recent years rerouted cross-border water sources they share with Iraq.Turkey started filling the Ilisu Dam – one of 22 dams and 19 power plants being built as part of their ambitious hydroelectric project – in March, earlier than the expected June 1 date agreed, which would have allowed more to flow before the agricultural growing season.Since then the level of water flowing into Iraq from Turkey has gone down by 50 per cent, the head of Mosul dam said earlier this month. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/19/iraq-suspends-rice-farming-water-crisis-deepens/ (19 June 2018)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Study Forests may lose ability to protect against extremes of climate change This University of Montana study says that some of the forests are likely to lose their capacity to adapt to the changing climate. The Forests’ ability to protect against changes is dependent on canopy and moisture availability. But water availability is changing with climate change and frequency and intensity of other disturbances are also increasing. http://indiainternationaltimes.com/forests-may-lose-ability-protect-extremes-climate-change-study/3603 (30 June 2018)

ENVIRONMENT

Gujarat Farmers try to block land survey for bullet train, driven out by police Farmers of Endergota village in Gujarat’s Valsad district on June 29 tried to stop the officials of National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL) from carrying out land measurement work for the high-profile Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, forcing police intervention. The incident comes a day after farmers at Bhatia village in the same district had not allowed officials of NHSRCL to conduct measurement work.

Over 25 farmers of the village are set to lose their land for the high-profile project. The sarpanch of the village, Jitubhai Patel, accused the local administration of putting pressure on them by using police force. Daulat Patel, a farmer whose land will be acquired for the high-speed train project, said that they had submitted a memorandum opposing the land acquisition to Valsad District Collector, but have not got a reply or assurance. https://indianexpress.com/article/india/land-acquisition-for-bullet-train-project-in-gujarat-farmers-try-to-block-land-survey-driven-out-by-police-5239429/ (30 June 2018)

Also see DRP News Bulletin 25 June 2018 & DRP News Bulletin 18 June 2018

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