As the World Celebrates Fisheries day today, the India Rivers Forum (IRF) focusses this week on use of Rivers as waterways in its annual program. Spread over five sessions, the online event on Nov 26-27, 2022 is co-organised by Manthan Adhyayan Kendra and IRF. Riverine fisheries and fisherfolk are adversely affected by the current waterways program of the government, and as usual, the government does not even find it necessary to assess the impact of the program on these poorest, weakest, most neglected and most vulnerable section of our population, leave aside the question of compensating them or involving them in the program. The IRF program “Rivers as Waterways in India: Bane or Boon?” will highlight this and many other aspects of the waterways initiative of the government, which aims to include 111 rivers across the length and breadth of the countries.
The five sessions of the IRF program will be titled: “Overview of Indian Inland Waterways”, “Viability of Indian Inland Waterways”, “Impacts of Indian Waterways”, “Governance of Indian Waterways” and “Rivers as Waterways in India: Bane or Boon?”. The two event will have more than 25 speakers. The final session will be chaired by former judge of Supreme Court of India, Justice (Retired) Madan Lokur. Justice Lokur will also give away the Bhagirath Prayas Samman awards of 2022 and Anupam Mishra Medal 2022, the names of the recipients this year will be shared in that final session on Nov 27, 2022.
We hope you will find IRW 2022 event useful and will attend the same. The link for participant registration can be found at: https://indiariversforum.org/indiariversweek2022/. At this website you can also find the poster, schedule, introductory note and full program schedule. Please share this widely and help us spread the word.
On the occasion of the World Fisheries Day 2022, SANDRP has shared following reports:
1. WFD 2022: Inland, Coastal Fisherfolks’ Struggle Amid Hostile Climate: https://sandrp.in/2022/11/21/wfd-2022-inland-coastal-fisherfolks-struggle-amid-hostile-climate/
2. WFD 2022: Positive River Fisheries Reports from India & Dam Removal Abroad: https://sandrp.in/2022/11/19/wfd-2022-positive-river-fisheries-reports-from-india-dam-removal-abroad/
3. WFD 2022: River Pollution Killing Fish En-Masse; New Threats to river fish: https://sandrp.in/2022/11/20/wfd-2022-river-pollution-killing-fish-en-masse-new-threats-to-river-fish/
4. WFD 2022: Mass Fish Deaths in Lakes, Ponds in India: https://sandrp.in/2022/11/20/wfd-2022-mass-fish-deaths-in-lakes-ponds-in-india/
Two more reports will be shared. Please share this widely and help us spread the word.
HYDRO POWER PROJECTS
SANDRP Blog INDIA’S HYDRO GENERATION CONTRIBUTION AROUND 10% for SIX YEARS India needs to pay attention to optimizing generation from existing hydro and explore the possibilities of installing hydro projects at 97% of India’s existing large dams where there is no hydro component. We also need to first manage our peak hours’ power demand and optimize generation from existing hydro during peak hours, only after assessing and addressing the social and environmental impacts of peaking hour power generation from large hydro projects. Else we will be destroying more rivers and their biodiversity and livelihoods of people dependent on such rivers, while throwing more money into the pockets of consultants, contractors, equipment suppliers, cement companies and other vested interests. The Ministry of Environment and Forests and its Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects too needs take this opportunity to improve their pathetic environmental governance rather than keep pushing more clearances for projects through corruption, manipulations and violations. https://sandrp.in/2022/11/15/indias-hydro-generation-remains-around-10-for-six-years/ (15 Nov. 2022)
Arunachal Pradesh Protests against hydro projects to continue The Lower Subansiri project has been marred by controversy from the beginning due to apprehensions of adverse impact in Assam’s Dhemaji and North Lakhimpur districts. In Ghunasuti area 50 km downstream of the dam site, members of the Mising community have alleged that flood frequency on Subansiri river has worsened since the dam’s construction resumed in 2019.
– The Dibang Multipurpose Project and the Etalin hydroelectric project are set in the Dibang river valley in Arunachal Pradesh, which is home to the indigenous Idu Mishmi and Adi communities.
– According to Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator of the South Asia Network of Dams, Rivers & People, the Indian government has been eyeing the northeastern region since the beginning of the millennium but could not make progress in the first two decades due to intense opposition. Protests will continue in this decade as well, he predicted. (By Snigdhendu Bhattacharya) https://science.thewire.in/environment/northeast-hydroelectric-power-indigenous-peoples/ (18 Nov. 2022)
In 2019, India declared large dams to be a source of renewable energy, paving the way for a hydel push that is being extended now in the name of the climate crisis.
When the Dibang project got a forest clearance in 2014, the environment ministry imposed five conditions and two recommendations because of the area’s rich biodiversity. One recommendation was for the Arunachal Pradesh government to classify a part of the dam’s reservoir as a national park. But the state government refused. A 2016 study showed the exceptional biodiversity of the Dibang river basin, but the NHPC has been concerned only with the diversity inside sanctuaries in the basin. Eja Pulu, a member of the indigenous Idu Mishmi community, said, “I am deeply confused trying to understand on what basis the project got forest and environment clearance.” https://science.thewire.in/environment/northeast-hydel-ignore-climate/ (18 Nov. 2022)
PM Modi on Nov. 19 dedicated the 600 MW Kameng Hydro Power station to the nation. Built at a cost of ₹8,450 crore, the Kameng power project is the largest such project commissioned in the region. https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pm-modi-inaugurates-kameng-hydro-project-1st-greenfield-airport-in-arunachal-101668840371059.html (19 Nov. 2022)
Himachal Pradesh Mandi: Darang villagers object to 2 hydropower projects The residents of Segli panchayat under Darang subdivision in Mandi district have opposed the move of the state government to build two micro power projects on the Chalhar nullah. They are apprehensive that the hydropower projects will lead to water scarcity in their area. The residents said that they were dependent on cultivation of vegetables and other agricultural produce, which required adequate water for irrigation. Apart from this, some families were running water mills in the water stream to sustain their livelihood. So, they were not in favour of the setting up of these power projects in the area.
– “Recently we held a meeting and decided that if the government doesn’t consider our demand amicably, the residents of this panchayat will hold a massive protest to oppose the decision of the government. This panchayat was already affected by the natural calamities in the past,” Chhape Ram, vice-pradhan of Segli gram panchayat said. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/darang-villagers-object-to-two-hydropower-projects-453095 (21 Nov. 2022)
CoP27 Glacial Retreat, Variable Monsoon Major Threats The impacts that the report warned about can already be seen, according to Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator of South Asia Network of Dam, River and People (SANDRP), a rights and advocacy group. He thinks the government needs to stay prepared for more events of flash floods, avalanches, rock fall, and landslides in the hilly areas, and for adverse agricultural impact in the plains. He said, “The water flows down quickly in cases of high-intensity rainfall in a short duration, leading to less water percolation. Besides, such extreme weather events are also likely to aggravate river erosion, especially in the Brahmaputra valley.”
– Aditi Mukherji, one of the authors of the report pointed out that in the heavily-agriculture-dependent plains, such as in West Bengal, variable monsoon has prompted some farmers to use irrigation pumps during the monsoon crop season, which they never required before. This shot up farming expenses and some farmers preferred not to sow at all. Both Thakkar and Mukherji stressed that India needed to prioritise improving the early warning system for extreme weather events. https://www.outlookindia.com/national/climate-change-himalayan-glacial-retreat-variable-monsoon-major-threats-to-india-says-report-at-cop-27-news-237388 (15 Nov. 2022)
MoEF Agenda of the EAC meeting to be held on Nov 15, 2022:
1. Damanganga-Vaitarna-Godavari (Kadva/Dev) intrastate link project at Village Chinchutara, Bhendipada, Vadachapada, Bedukpada, Udhale, Tehsil Mokhada, Dist Thane (Mah) by National Water Development Agency – Terms of Reference
2. Completion of Balance Works Of Two Units (2×115 Mw) At Lower Sileru Hydro Power House And Improvement Of Power Canal Works At Mothugudem(v), Chintoor(m) Of Alluri Sita Rama Raju Dist, Andhra Pradesh by Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corp Ltd – Environmental Clearance
3. Teesta River Basin Study in W Bengal by W Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd – For TOR http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/Agenda/_071120229F1Y8T6Z.pdf
Madhya Pradesh People oppose the proposed Chinki Boras Project in Upper Narmada Valley in Madhya Pradesh at the public hearing.
पूर्व मंत्री रामपाल सिंह ने प्रस्तावित चिनकी बांध को निरस्त कराते हुए नर्मदा नदी पर अब कम ऊंचाई वाले 2 स्टॉप डैम बनाए जाने की स्वीकृति प्राप्त कर ली है। सिंह ने बताया कि यदि यह बांध बनता तो न सिर्फ हमारे रायसेन जिला को बल्कि नरसिंहपुर, जबलपुर, दमोह आदि जिलों को भी प्राकृतिक संपदाओं का भारी नुकसान होता। चिनकी बांध के निरस्त होने से जिले में मौजूद बहूमूल्य प्राकृतिक संपदाओं में शुमार एशिया की सर्वोत्तम उपजाऊ भूमि व पुरातात्विक महत्व के स्थलों, वन भूमि व वन्य जीवों सहित कई ग्रामों के डूब क्षेत्र में चले जाने सहित अन्य नुकसानों से बचाया जा सका है और इन्हे बचाने लिए हमने चिनकी बांध को निरस्त कराए जाने सभी हरसंभव प्रयास किए हैं। सिंह ने कहा कि चिनकी बांध की जगह अब बोरास-चिनकी बैराज नरसिंहपुर जिले में चिनकी एवं रायसेन जिला में बौरास के पास अब कम ऊंचाई के दो स्टाप डैम बनाए जाने की स्वीकृति मिल गई है। अब यह परियोजना 1400 करोड़ से बढ़कर 4400 करोड़ की हो गई है। https://www.naidunia.com/madhya-pradesh/raisen-raisen-news-6730786 (01 March 2021)
अजयगढ़ की रूंज डेम परियोजना एक बार फिर मुआवजे को लेकर विवादों में है… परियोजना के डूब क्षेत्र में आने वाले विस्थापित किसान और आदिवासी सही मुआवजा नहीं मिलने से नाराज है… विस्थापित किसानों को मुआवजा नहीं मिलने पर बांध का निर्माण कार्य कई बार रोका गया… मुआवजा नहीं मिलने पर किसान और आदिवासी अब सड़को पर उतर आए है… आक्रोशित लोगों ने प्रशासन के खिलाफ जमकर नारेबाजी की… और एसडीएम को ज्ञापन सौंपा… लोगों ने ज्ञापन में रूंज डेम का निर्माण कार्य बंद करवाने… और प्रशासन से सही मुआवजे देने की मांग की है… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tvNTqwiwDk (03 Nov. 2022)
Sardar Sarovar Project The resentment is driven by a feeling that big businesses are making a windfall even as local residents struggle to eke out a living. Narendra Tadvi, the farmer who couldn’t build a homestay in his house, said the BJP would “suffer heavy losses” in the elections in tribal areas because of the statue. “It is not that we are against the statue itself,” he said. “All we want is that we should be part of it because it is our land.” https://scroll.in/article/1036493/modi-said-the-statue-of-unity-would-change-local-adivasis-lives-most-say-it-has-for-the-worse (15 Nov. 2022)
Himachal Pradesh C:\Users\Bhim\Downloads\Ensure no debris dumped in Giri river: Himachal Pradesh High Court to govt Strange situation, where the govt is saying there is no need for dam on Giri for Shimla, the HC is asking the govt to reconsider the matter! Should HC be doing this? https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/ensure-no-debris-dumped-in-giri-river-himachal-pradesh-high-court-to-govt-452318 (19 Nov. 2022)
Polavaram Project 892 acres to be submerged in backwater Telangana has informed the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) that the floods in Godavari in July inundated 103 villages, submerging 40,446 acres in the State. . 892 acres of agricultural land will be submerged in the backwater of Polavaram project in five villages on either side of Godavari from Bhadrachalam to Dummugudem within the State at FRL of 150 Ft of Polavaram project.
– The Engineer-in-Chief of Telangana C. Muralidhar informed the authority that the water depth at Bhadrachalam would be more than 28 ft throughout the year at the minimum drawdown level and 43 ft at FRL. Due to backwater, there was also a problem of local drainage congestion along the river banks. About 35 major and medium streams add to the congestion on either side of the river. The only solution for drainage of water in low-lying areas of Bhadrachalam town and adjoining Burgampahad and Sarapaka would be continuous pumping.
– Mr. Muralidhar stressed the need for demarcation and mapping of areas affected by Kinnerasani river and 35 streams. The government of Andhra Pradesh failed to demarcate the areas affected by stagnation along Kinnerasani and Murreduvagu stream. Beside demarcation, the AP government should be asked to inform the PPA of the operation schedule of the gates on the spillway of the project. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/892-acres-to-be-submerged-in-backwater-of-polavaram/article66145497.ece (16 Nov. 2022)
Kerala State Dam Safety Organisation and State Committee on Dam Safety formed as per the Dam Safety Act passed by Parliament; the forums replace the Kerala Dam Safety Authority. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/kerala-constitutes-two-forums-to-monitor-dam-operations/article66145112.ece (16 Nov. 2022)
Navy to set up state-of-the-art SONAR system in Idukki dam The Navy is setting up the Sound Navigation and Ranging (SONAR) on an experimental basis. An indigenously developed Submersible Platform for Acoustic Characterization & Evaluation (SPACE) facility, being readied at the Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory at Kulamavu, will also be installed as part of the exercise to assess their functioning efficiency. The SPACE facility has a specially designed submersible platform that can be lowered to the depths of the dam for conducting underwater research. The L & T Shipbuilding has aided in the construction of the facility. Sameer Abdul Aziz is the project director. https://www.onmanorama.com/news/kerala/2022/11/17/navy-sonar-space-idukki-dam.html (17 Nov. 2022)
Tamil Nadu State gets over 600 tmcft of Cauvery water for the first time in 60 years With Tamil Nadu’s realisation of the Cauvery river water exceeding the 600-tmc ft-mark on Friday, November 18, 2022, for the first time in the last six decades, the focus is on whether this year’s realisation will surpass an all-time high of about 750 tmc ft (thousand million cubic feet) recorded 61 years ago. Under normal circumstances, the remaining period of the water year, which ends in May, will experience reduced rainfall in the catchment of the Cauvery. Even if the coming five and a half months witness a repeat of the previous year in terms of realisation, the State may get at best, around 90 tmc ft more which will be 60 tmc ft less than what was realised in 1961-62.
For statistical purposes, the highest realisation as recorded at Mettur between 1963-64 and 2012-13 was 476.65 tmc ft during 1964-65. Tamil Nadu had to wait 11 years to get more than 400 tmcft in a year. During 1975-76, the reservoir recorded around 427.7 tmc ft. After the publication of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s final award in the gazette of the Central government in 2013, Biligundulu has replaced Mettur as the reference point for measurement. Till date, this month, about 28 tmc ft was realised.
Due to a huge realisation in the present water year, water level has remained at 120 ft at Mettur reservoir for over a month. Earlier this year too (during July 16- September 23), it was in an identical situation. Consequent to the release of excess flows from the reservoir for weeks, the Lower Anicut, which is the last measuring point in the State for the Cauvery flow, may have registered the surplus flow of over 450 tmc ft draining to the sea. Even though the wasted quantity is equivalent to nearly four times the storage of the Mettur reservoir, the topography of the State is such that not much can be done to prevent its occurrence, says a veteran irrigation engineer. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-gets-over-600-tmcft-of-cauvery-water-for-the-first-time-in-60-years/article66154689.ece (20 Nov. 2022)
Farmer claims illegal bungalow, borewells in Manjalaru dam area Collector KV Muralidharan has promised to carry out an inspection near Manjalaru dam area after a farmer from Devathanpatti alleged there are several illegal constructions and borewells in the area. The famer, Kannan, raised the issue during an agriculture grievance redress meeting at the collectorate on Saturday (Nov. 19). He pointed out many farmers have been illegally installing borewells and a retired government officer has constructed a bungalow in the dam area. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil-nadu/2022/nov/20/farmer-claims-illegal-bungalow-borewells-in-manjalaru-dam-area-2520132.html (20 Nov. 2022)
INTERLINKING OF RIVERS
Telangana ‘Take up Godavari-Cauvery interlinking only after Mahanadi-Godavari link’ Telangana Government has requested the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) planning the interlinking of Godavari-Cauvery rivers to consider the Godavari-Krishna link phase only after the completion or at least active construction of Mahanadi-Godavari link of the interlinking of rivers project since surplus water is not available for diversion in Godavari at 75% dependability. Sending the observations of Telangana on the discussions held on November 15 as part of the 70 th meeting of the governing body of NWDA on Godavari-Cauvery link proposal, Engineer-in-Chief C. Muralidhar wrote to the Chief Engineer of the nodal agency explained that a dam proposed by erstwhile Andhra Pradesh at Inchampalli for utilisation of Godavari waters in Telangana region was strongly objected to by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh due to submergence issues in their territories.
– Now that the fresh proposal too is for taking up diversion from Inchampalli, it might again lead to objections by Chhattisgarh as the location is very close to the inter-state border. Sammakkasagar Barrage already constructed by Telangana at 24 km downstream of the site proposed for Inchampalli Barrage would also cause difficulties in routing the flood as the lag time would be very less between the two barrages. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/take-up-godavari-cauvery-interlinking-only-after-mahanadi-godavari-link/article66154625.ece (18 Nov. 2022)
INTERSTATE WATER DISPUTES
Krishna Water Disputes Telangana: Govt asks KRMB to create rule curves for Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) has been asked by the Telangana government to create rule curves for the Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs (NSP). Telangana’s Engineer-in-Chief (Irrigation) C Muralidhar said in a letter to the river board’s chairman on Nov 19 2022 that despite the Telangana government’s requests, the KRMB and the Centre had not provided the information used to create the rule curves for the Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs.
– He requested the authorities to modify rule curves in accordance with the Telangana government’s request. According to the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (GWDT), no flows from Nagarjunasagar to the Krishna Delta were required; yet, the Central Water Commission’s (CWC) rule curve restricts the transfer of NSP water to the Krishna Delta. Similar to this, Telangana has asked KRMB to change the rule curves that provide electricity generation at Srisailam to be carried out by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in a proposal to in-basin requirements from NSP, but this has not been done to date, he said. Muralidhar further requested that the KRMB change the rule curves to properly accommodate Telangana’s in-basin needs of 160 TMC and to cap Andhra Pradesh’s outside basin diversion from the Srisailam Reservoir at 34 TMC. He made it quite apparent that the Telangana government was not prepared to accept the Andhra Pradesh proposal that water diverted during spills not be tallied against shares of the states. https://www.siasat.com/telangana-govt-asks-krmb-to-create-rule-curves-for-srisailam-nagarjunasagar-2461121/ (19 Nov. 2022)
In its latest letter to the KRMB, the Telangana Water Resources Department has raised several river water sharing issues and some of them targeting Andhra Pradesh. It raised the issue of working arrangement for sharing of Krishna water between the two States. Those in know of the things say several issues raised by Telangana in the latest letter to the KRMB are nothing new and repeat of old issues. https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra-pradesh/2022/nov/20/telangana-shoots-off-another-letter-to-krmb-to-rake-up-water-issues-2520171.html (20 Nov. 2022)
Bengaluru City’s hydrology FROM PAANI: Hydrology of Bengaluru: The infographic shows the surface hydrology-rivers, lakes, and raja kaluves (i.e., drainage) of Bengaluru urban spread over 2196 sq Kms, overlaid on its topography (Elevation data from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) of United States Geological Survey) . A prominent ridge runs through the center of Bengaluru, shown in the infographic as a drainage divide. To the west is the Arkavathi River Basin, forming 46% of the district. To the east is the Dakshina Pinakini River Basin, occupying 54% of the district.
Using the Survey of India (SOI) Toposheets of 1973, we mapped 855 lakes in the Bengaluru Urban district. Four hundred and thirty-five (435) lakes to the west of the drainage divide, flow into Arkavathi, Vrishabhavathi, and Suvarnamukhi rivers. Four hundred and twenty (420) lakes to the east of the divide (including the Chinnar River that drains most of Anekal Taluk) flow into Dakshina Pinakini river.
The infographic also shows Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the City Municipality spread over 709 sq kms is situated inside the Bengaluru Urban district. The lakes, raja kaluves, and the river/stream corridors inside BBMP are under BBMP custodianship with the exception of Bellandur & Varthur lakes which are under Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA). https://paani.earth/regions/bengaluru_homepage/hydrology-of-bengaluru/
Musi, Hyderabad Paris-inspired bridges across river Telangana IT, Industries minister KT Rama Rao asked the official not to design the bridges exactly as they saw in Paris. The minister asked them to design bridges that fit the city’s topography. In order to provide boating facilities at Musi River, the government entrusted the responsibility of maintaining the water level in the river to the Musi River Development Corporation, Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply & Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), and the irrigation department. There are proposals for many bridges across the river in Hyderabad. Many historical structures are located on the bank of the river. They include Telangana High Court, City College, Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station, Osmania General Hospital, Salar Jung Museum, and State Central Library. https://www.siasat.com/hyderabad-to-get-paris-inspired-bridges-across-musi-river-2459777/ (18 Nov. 2022)
Cooum For the third consecutive northeast monsoon, the clean stretch of the Cooum in Tiruvallur district is having a good flow and the water has been overflowing in recent days in most check dams across the river. https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/cooum-comes-alive-after-recent-rain-check-dams-turn-into-tourist-attraction/article66149404.ece (17 Nov. 2022)
Report What does water want? Erica Gies Most modern humans have forgotten that fresh water’s true nature is to flex with the rhythms of the earth, expanding and retreating in an eternal dance upon the land. It’s hard to feel these rhythms when rivers and streams are buried and hurried away via concrete pipes or canals. In fact, water is inclined to linger to a degree that would shock most of us because our conventional infrastructure has erased so many of its slow phases: floodplains, wetlands, mountain meadows and forests.
But when water slows on the land, that’s when the magic happens. Water cycles underground, supporting habitats and food for many forms of life, including us. In many places around the world, groundwater is considered an emergency supply when surface water runs low. But, in fact, what’s below and what’s above are intricately linked by gravity and hydraulic pressure. The key to greater resilience to both flood and drought, say the water detectives, is to find ways to let water be water, to reclaim space for it to interact with the land. https://psyche.co/ideas/what-does-water-want-most-humans-seem-to-have-forgotten (15 Nov. 2022)
BRAHMAPUTRA Arunachal Pradesh Satellite data analysis on Siang river turning muddy In view of recent reports of the Siang river turning muddy, the State Remote Sensing Application Centre (SRSAC) started monitoring the river, using high resolution satellite imageries. “Multi-date satellite data of different dates of this month of Siang river near Pasighat shows highest turbidity on 6 November, 2022.
It was observed that turbidity of Siang is reducing and almost clear on 14 November, 2022,” the SRSAC informed in a release. SRSAC Joint Director Liagi Tajo said that the source of the muddy water is yet to be confirmed. “The SRSAC is still browsing various satellite imageries of the turbid water all along the Siang river to find out the source of it and the exact cause of muddiness,” he said. https://arunachaltimes.in/index.php/2022/11/18/satellite-data-analysis-on-siang-river-turning-muddy/ (18 Nov. 2022)
CAUVERY Tamil Nadu Sinking delta The Cauvery delta in Tamil Nadu, which is already subject to subsidence due to anthropogenic factors, is predicted to face more serious consequences. Several parts of Nagapattinam district, which is the tail-end segment of the Cauvery delta, may face the severity of submergence due to delta subsidence, and sea-level rise.
Alterations that have been taking place in the Cauvery basin are climate variability and climate change, changes in rainfall patterns and related hydrological conditions, rapid urbanization, land use and land cover changes, shoreline changes, delta subsidence, seawater intrusion and groundwater salinity and the negative impacts of hydrocarbon exploration. Global research on climate science warns about the implications of global warming-induced climate change on water. It is predicted that temperature is likely to go up in the Cauvery delta, which may harm the crop water requirement, crop growth and productivity.
The changes in monsoon rainfall patterns, periodic cyclones and coastal erosion are adversely affecting delta farmers. The recent rainfall of 440mm in the delta in a couple of days, more so in Sirkazhi, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai and Cuddalore, has submerged crops in 1.5 lakh acres. This is the context in which we need to take stock of what is being negotiated in Egypt. (S Janakrajan) https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/climate-change-that-sinking-feeling-is-real/articleshow/95521662.cms (15 Nov. 2022)
SUTLEJ Punjab No new real estate projects in Kharar, Zirakpur: PCB The development comes in the wake of reminders and repeated failure on part of the municipal councils of the two towns to ensure zero discharge of sewage into Ghaggar river. The PPCB has now asked the Local Bodies Department to put a full stop on “new projects” till new STPs are “installed and commissioned”. The two towns, considered hotbeds of real estate in Punjab, are being held responsible for allowing untreated waste enter various waterbodies, which eventually pollute the Ghaggar.
On November 2 this year, PPCB Member Secretary Karunesh Garg had shot a letter to the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, highlighting that “a new STP of 17 MLD capacity for Zirakpur and one of 10 MLD capacity for Kharar were at planning stage”. Sources said the capacity of a STP installed at Zirakpur was of 17.3 MLD while the one at Kharar had a capacity to treat 11 MLD of sewage. “The two STPs are unable to deal with the existing water pollution load of Zirakpur and Kharar. There is a gap of 17 MLD in generation and treatment of sewage in both these towns,” they said.
Sources within the government claimed that municipal councils of Zirakpur and Kharar “giving a go ahead to various new projects and sanctioning building plans of new projects” and giving “no objection certificates for disposal of treated/untreated waste water into sewer lines” in the area, without considering the fact that the existing STPs were already overloaded, further polluted natural drains. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/chandigarh/no-new-real-estate-projects-in-kharar-zirakpur-ppcb-452708 (20 Nov. 2022)
GANGA Uttarakhand Local media report 18 Nov. 2022 on how Bageshwar-Girechhina road widening muck, debris being dumped in Gomti river in presence of PWD officials. This is increasing silt load & polluting both Gomti, Saryu rivers and could cause disaster during monsoon season. The Revenue, Forest and PWD Departments are aware of the violations but have taken no action.
YAMUNA Himachal Pradesh Ensure no debris dumped in Giri river: HC The High Court has directed the state government to ensure that no debris is thrown or illegal dumping is done in the Giri river. The court directed the State Pollution Control Board, Public Works Department (PWD) and the Forest Department to carry out joint inspections and identify all vulnerable places where such illegal dumping was being carried out and thereafter seal these places by erecting well or wire mesh. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/ensure-no-debris-dumped-in-giri-river-himachal-pradesh-high-court-to-govt-452318 (19 Nov. 2022)
Delhi River gasps for life The most visible expanse of polluted waterbody in Delhi, the Yamuna, is an example of disregarding nature while designing cities. Freelance journalist Vidheesha Kuntamalla writes that the Yamuna and its rich floodplains carry the adverse impact of people’s indiscriminate use – pollution, effluence, litter, construction and more. Although about 70 per cent of the city’s drinking water needs are met by the river, no care has been taken to preserve it, reducing it to a pathetic stretch of sewer water, before exploring what could be done to restore and rejuvenate it.
– “Huge barrages and hydropower plants in the upstream reaches of the river are inhibiting its flow. This, along with encroachments on the flood plains, the discharge of untreated sewage water and release of pollutants from agriculture and industry, is killing the Yamuna. Without restoring the flow of the river, there is no solution in sight,” says Bhim Singh Rawat of SANDRP. https://questionofcities.org/delhis-real-town-planner-the-yamuna-still-gasps-for-life/ (18 Nov. 2022)
FISH, FISHERIES, FISHERFOLKS
Uttarakhand मछली पकड़ने के लिए नदी में एक साथ कूदे 20 हजार लोग यमुना नदी की सहायक अगलाड़ नदी में रविवार (June 26) को ऐतिहासिक राजमौण मेला धूमधाम से मनाया गया। कोविड काल की वजह से दो साल के अंतराल के बाद मनाये गये राजमौण मेले में टिहरी जिले के जौनपुर विकास खंड, देहरादून के जौनसार, उत्तरकाशी जिले के गोडर-खाटर क्षेत्र, विकासनगर व मसूरी सहित आसपास के लगभग 15 से 20 हजार लोगों ने सामूहिक मछली पकड़ने के इस अनूठे त्योहार में भाग लिया और ऐसा अनुमान है कि लगभग किलो मछलियां पकड़ी गयी होंगी। अनूठे मौण मेले में मसूरी से आये सैकड़ों पर्यटक भी इस दौरान मौजूद रहे।
अगलाड़ नदी में ट्राउट मछलियों के लिये अनुकूल वातावरण पाया जाता है। इसलिये यहां पर ट्राउट प्रजाति की मछलियां ज्यादा पायी जाती हैं। प्रत्येक साल जून के अंतिम सप्ताह में अगलाड़ नदी में मछली पकड़ने का सामूहिक त्योहार मौण मेला टिहरी रियासत काल से मनाया जाता रहा है। बुजुर्ग ग्रामीणों का कहना है कि मौण मेला लगभग 157 सालों से मनाया जाता रहा है। लेकिन वर्ष 2020 और 2021 में कोविड संक्रमण के कारण नहीं मनाया गया। दो साल के अंतराल के बाद रविवार को मनाये गये मौण मेले को लेकर ग्रामीणों में भारी उत्साह रहा।
रियासत काल में मौण मेले की सुरक्षा का जिम्मा टिहरी नरेश द्वारा वन विभाग को सौंपा जाता था। पूर्व में अगलाड़ नदी के ऊपरी हिस्सों में घुराणू का मौण तथा मंझमौण नाम से दो अन्य मौण मेले भी आयोजित होते थे जो सत्तर व अस्सी के दशक तक आते आते इतिहास के गर्त में समा गये। अब नदी के अंतिम छोर पर सिर्फ राजमौण का आयोजन होता है, जिसको भीण्ड का मौण भी कहा जाता है। क्षेत्र के जनप्रतिनिधियों द्वारा उत्तराखण्ड राज्य बनने के बाद इस राजमौण को राजकीय मेला घोषित करने की सरकार से मांग की जाती रही है, लेकिन सरकार द्वारा इस ओर गंभीरता से कोई आश्वासन नहीं मिला है। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/dehradun-city-maun-mela-in-mussoorie-approx-20-thousand-people-jumped-into-river-for-catching-fish-22838566.html (26 June 2022)
Mizoram 8 labourers dead after stone quarry collapses 8 bodies have been recovered from the debris of a stone quarry that collapsed in south Mizoram’s Hnahthial district on Monday (Nov. 14), an official said Tuesday (Nov. 15). Hnahthial district deputy commissioner R. Lalremsanga said the bodies of 8 out of 12 people reported missing at the quarry site have been recovered from the debris of the massive landslip till 7 am on Tuesday (Nov. 15)
– Hnahthial Superintendent of Police (SP) Vineet Kumar had said that the incident occurred at around 3 pm on Monday (Nov. 14) at Maudarh village, near Hnahthial town. “Of the 12 persons reportedly missing, 4 were employees of ABCI Infrastructures Pvt Ltd while 8 others were a contractor’s employees,” he said.
– 13 people were working when a massive landslide occurred at the stone quarry. “Only one worker managed to escape from the spot,” the SP said. Eye witnesses claimed that workers had dug too deep and had upset the stability of the stone quarry resulting in the entire hill crumbling down on the workers.
– Lalremsanga said that 5 earth excavators, a stone crusher and a drilling machine were also completely buried under the debris. He said that area impacted by the landslide is approximately 5,000 square metres. The stone quarry is owned by the ABCI, which is executing widening of a section of the national highway between Hnathial town and Dawn village. https://www.telegraphindia.com/north-east/mizoram-8-labourers-dead-after-stone-quarry-collapses-4-still-missing/cid/1898176 (15 Nov. 2022)
Dave Petley: A provisional interpretation might be that the quarry operations had not removed enough of the weathered material high up on the slope, which then failed due to the loss of toe support. The debris then triggered some failure of the rock being quarried in the lower part of the slope. It is interesting that the weather was sunny and dry at the time of the failure. In general investigations of landslides like this conclude that they were avoidable accidents. https://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2022/11/16/maudarh-1/ (16 Nov. 2022)
Himachal Pradesh Water scheme in Thural goes defunct due to illegal mining A lift irrigation scheme feeding half a dozen villages in the Garthoon area of Thural Tehsil has become defunct due to illegal mining in the Neugal river. The Irrigation and Public Health Department had started lifting water from the Neugal through the scheme 10 years ago. Because of reckless and unscientific illegal mining near bore wells, pump house of the scheme and deep trenches that have been dug up in the riverbed, there is no water left in the rivulet and the scheme has gone defunct. Earlier, the lift irrigation scheme feeding Sanhoon, Damen, Haldra and Phanger villages have dried up following illegal mining in the Mol khud.
– Large-scale mining has also affected groundwater level as bore wells have also dried up. A senior IPH Department officer says the Assistant Engineer, IPH Department, Thural, has written to the District Mining Officer, Kangra, for initiating action against culprits. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/water-scheme-in-thural-goes-defunct-due-to-illegal-mining-450954 (15 Nov. 2022)
Uttar Pradesh:- Local media clips and video reports for 15-16 Nov. 2022 revealing illegal, mechanized mining of sand continues at Mandawar area in Kairana block of Shamli district where miners have been diverting flows of Yamuna and creating cross sectional embankments in clear violations of norms. Sadly, this has become annual affair during lean season period adversely affecting floodplain farmers and aquatic life in the river there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74O8paxRet8 (15 Nov. 2022) https://twitter.com/Indian_Rivers/status/1593617372975230976?s=20&t=7LPVfx9TCYfYxWOFMdDMYg;
कन्नौज जिले में खनन और फायरिंग के मामले में फरार आरोपी को दबिश देकर पुलिस ने गिरफ्तार कर लिया। इसकी भनक लगते ही बड़ी संख्या में पहुंचे भाइपाइयों ने कोतवाली का घेराव कर पुलिस कार्रवाई का विरोध किया। घंटों चली वार्ता के बाद पुलिस ने एक न सुनी, तो भाजपाइयों ने नारेबाजी शुरू कर दी। उधर, मामला बढ़ता देखकर कई थानों का फोर्स और पीएसी बल कोतवाली बुला ली गई। पुलिस लाइन के पास आठ नवंबर की रात खनन चल रहा था। खनन को लेकर पुलिस लाइन मोड़ के पास दो पक्षों में कहासुनी के बाद जमकर फायरिंग हुई थी।
इससे हरकत में आई पुलिस ने खनन के आरोप में अचल अवस्थी, सचेत पांडेय, कल्लू पाल, संतोष पाल, वासु वर्मा, रामकेश शर्मा और अर्पित के खिलाफ रिपोर्ट दर्ज करते हुए एक डंपर, तीन ट्रैक्टर ट्राली और बाइक को कब्जे में ले लिया था। वहीं फायरिंग के मामले में पुलिस ने 15 लोगों के खिलाफ भी रिपोर्ट दर्ज की थी। इस मामले में चार को गिरफ्तार कर जेल भी भेजा था। इसके बाद से पुलिस फरार आरोपियों की तलाश में थी। https://www.amarujala.com/uttar-pradesh/kanpur/police-arrested-mining-accused-in-kannauj-bjp-people-surrounded-kotwali (19 Nov. 2022)
तीर्थनगरी के ब्रजघाट में गंगा से अवैध रेत खनन का काला कारोबार बदस्तूर जारी है। खनन माफिया रात दिन गंगा नदी का सीना चीर चांदी काट रहे हैं, वहीं जिम्मेदार अधिकारी नींद में हैं। खनन करने वाले लोगों का मजबूत नेटवर्क ही कहेंगे कि प्रशासन की कार्रवाई से पहले ही इन्हें भनक लग जाती है। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/uttar-pradesh/hapud/garhmukteshwar/news/people-of-neighboring-district-amroha-are-doing-mining-from-the-island-of-ganges-administration-is-not-taking-care-130576985.html (18 Nov. 2022)
कुशीनगर में छोटी गण्डक नदी के किनारे इन दिनों खनन विभाग और पुलिस की मिलीभगत से अवैध बालू का खनन हो रहा है। जहां बिना पट्टे के ही अवैध रूप से धड़ल्ले से सफेद बालू का काला कारोबार फल फूल रहा है। बरसात के बाद नदियों में पानी घटते ही यह कारोबार तेजी पकड़ लेता है। पैंतीस सौ रुपये से चार हजार रुपये प्रति ट्राली की दर से अवैध बालू बेचकर मोटी कमाई की जा रही है। शिकायत करने पर माफिया मारपीट करने लगते है। पुलिस भी माफिया का ही साथ देती है। यही कारण है कि खनन से गांव को हो रहे खतरे के बाद भी कोई आवाज नहीं उठाता। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/uttar-pradesh/kushinagar/news/mining-mafia-occupied-the-small-gandak-river-of-kushinagar-130547909.html (13 Nov. 2022)
Bihar Picture of how at night boats illegally mine sand from Ganga in Patna and Vaishali districts.
वैशाली में तेज रफ्तार ट्रक ने चार महिलाओं को रौंद दिया है, जिसमें एक महिला की मौके पर ही मौत हो गई है तो एक की हालत गंभीर है. दो अन्य महिलाओं को आंशिक चोट आई. घटना को अंजाम देने के बाद तेज रफ्तार ट्रक ड्राइवर मौके से फरार हो गया. स्थानीय लोगों का मानना हैकि हाजीपुर जंदाहा मुख्य सड़क पर अवैध बालू लदा ट्रक बेहद तेजी से गुजरता है. आधी रात के बाद से सुबह के 8 बजे तक बालू लदे सैकड़ों ट्रक और ट्रैक्टर को सड़क पर देखा जा सकता है. जिस वजह से आए दिन सड़क दुर्घटना होती है. बावजूद इसके पुलिस प्रशासन किसी तरह का संज्ञान नही लेती है. https://www.etvbharat.com/hindi/bihar/state/vaishali/woman-died-in-road-accident-in-vaishali/bh20221013161254490490478 (13 Oct. 2022)
आरा-बक्सर नेशनल हाईवे पर जिले के शाहपुर थाना क्षेत्र के बिलौटी गांव के समीप शनिवार की सुबह बेलगाम बालू लदे ट्रक ने छठ करने घर जा रहे बाइक सवार दो बीएमपी जवानों को रौंद दिया। हादसा इतना दर्दनाक था कि ट्रक बाइक को करीब 300 मीटर तक घसीटते हुए खाई में पलट गई। हादसे में दोनों जवानों की घटनास्थल पर ही दर्दनाक मौत हो गई। घटना को लेकर लोगों के बीच अफरा-तफरी का माहौल कायम हो गया। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/bhojpur/arrah/news/the-truck-dragged-for-300-meters-after-the-accident-130494201.html (30 Oct. 2022)
मोतिहारी में बेटे का जन्मदिन पर पूजा के लिए जा रहे एक परिवार के 5 लोगों की दर्दनाक मौत हो गई। परिवार जिस ऑटो में सवार था, उस पर बालू से लदा ट्रक पलट गया। बालू में दबकर बेटे (जिसका बर्थडे था) और परिवार की 4 महिलाओं की सांसें थम गईं। हादसे में परिवार की 5 महिलाएं घायल हो गईं। हादसा मुफस्सिल थाना क्षेत्र के बैरिया देवी स्थान के पास हुआ। जिस ट्रक से ये हादसा हुआ वो बालू लेकर जा रहा था। साइड के चक्कर में अनियंत्रित होकर ऑटो के ऊपर पलट गया। हादसा इतना भयानक था कि लोगों के शव ट्रक के नीचे दब गए। 4 क्रेन की मदद से शवों को निकाला गया। https://www.bhaskar.com/local/bihar/motihari/news/road-accident-in-motihari-5-killed-after-the-collision-the-truck-loaded-with-sand-overturned-on-the-auto-rescued-with-the-help-of-four-cranes-130302470.html (Sept. 2022)
WETLANDS, LAKES, WATER BODIES
Study By 2070, 50% of mangroves will shift or vanish due to climate change By 2070, the Indian Mangroves will reduce and shift by around 50%, especially in southern India, due to decline in suitable habitats along the east and west coasts of India, revealed a research conducted by Birbal Sahni Institute Palaeosciences (BSIP). If Mangroves are reduced, the natural infrastructure that protects our coast and villages located on the coast will be washed away. A team of five researchers led by BSIP senior scientist Jyoti Srivastava carried out the research on two mangrove species namely Rhizophora mucronata and Avicennia officinalis which are dominating India’s coastline. The research has been published in Elsevier: Ecological Informatics.
– Mangroves in the southwest and southeast of the country that covers four states: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh will be in the most vulnerable condition. These coastlines will submerge and the mangroves in the area will degrade more as compared to other areas.
– BSIP first collected all the available mangrove fossils records that included a collection of pollen records of the two species from around 6,000 years ago to know how these species survived and what its distribution was. The scientists modelled the distribution of these plants in the past with the help of past climate data and validated it through several techniques. Going through the model projection and past records, they found the two mangrove species had comparatively widespread distribution in the Indian coastline and were flourishing well. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/by-2070-50-of-indias-mangroves-will-shift-or-vanish-due-to-climate-change-says-study/articleshow/95591069.cms (18 Nov. 2022)
Uttarakhand रुड़की आइआइटी ने सूखाताल में पक्के निर्माण पर उठाए सवाल हाई कोर्ट ने नैनीताल की सूखाताल झील में निर्माण का स्वत: संज्ञान लेती जनहित याचिका पर सुनवाई करते हुए अगली तिथि 22 नवंबर नियत कर दी है। रुड़की आइआइटी ने सूखाताल में निर्माण किए जाने पर सवाल खड़े किए हैं। यहां तक कि राज्य सरकार की ओर से दाखिल जवाब में संलग्न आइआइटी रुड़की की रिपोर्ट का हवाला दिया है।
रिपोर्ट में साफ कहा गया है कि सूखाताल में स्थायी निर्माण नहीं होना चाहिए। झील की सतह पर अभेद्य निर्माण सामग्री का उपयोग नहीं किया जाना चाहिए। सूखाताल से ही नैनी झील में 40-50 प्रतिशत पानी की आपूर्ति होती है। यदि पक्का निर्माण कर सूखाताल से रिसाव की चेन को बाधित कर दिया गया तो इसका नैनी झील के अस्तित्व पर प्रभाव पड़ेगा। https://www.jagran.com/uttarakhand/nainital-roorkee-iit-report-raised-questions-on-concrete-construction-in-sukhatal-of-nainital-23210505.html (17 Nov. 2022)
Uttarakhand Make ponds in memory of loved ones In order to tackle water scarcity, social activist Dwarika Semwal from Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand has started a campaign called ‘Kal ke liye jal’ (water for future) for rainwater preservation. As part of the campaign, the 41-year-old goes from door to door making villagers aware of the dire water crisis and motivating them to dig ponds and water pits.
According to Semwal, who runs an organisation, Himalaya Paryavaran Jadi Buti Agro Sansthan, the strategy of connecting human sentiments with a conservation campaign seems to have struck a chord as many people from different parts of the state are coming forward to join the initiative. Under the campaign that started eight months ago from Chamkot village of Uttarkashi, nearly 3500 ponds and water pits have been built around the village so far. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/make-ponds-in-memory-of-loved-ones-in-uttarakhand/articleshow/95647388.cms (21 Nov. 2022)
Edit Preserving the precious A decrease in groundwater extraction may indicate better water management; however, the report — called the National Compilation on Dynamic Ground water Resources of India — itself says that the improvement is only “marginal” and may be explained by natural conditions and changes in methodology that the Central Ground Water Board and States, which conduct the survey, adopt. In fact, the number of groundwater blocks, or wells, used for estimation were more than those in previous years and it turns out that the percentage of blocks where groundwater was ‘critically’ low was around 14%, or roughly similar to that in previous years. https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/preserving-the-precious-the-hindu-editorial-on-ground-water-use/article66132386.ece (14 Nov. 2022)
Gurugram Villagers oppose landfill site Residents of three Gurugram villages — Balola, Gwal Pahari and Baliawas — are up in arms against the setting up of a waste treatment plant in the Aravallis. The civic authorities have earmarked 20 acres for the project at Balola village. Residents there allege the authorities earlier exploited the Bandhwari area for decades and they won’t let their village be used as a landfill site. “The village is in the forest area. The setting up of a waste treatment plant here will pollute air, water and soil,” said Master Karam Singh of Gwal Pahari. The villagers have approached the CM and threatened to launch a protest.
The authorities have earmarked 92 acres at Gothra Mohabbatbad and 52 acres at Pali, both in Faridabad, and 20 acres at Balola in Gurugram for waste treatment plants. Being in the Aravallis, the selection of the Balola site has drawn flak from various sections. “The authorities claim the waste will be cleared on a daily basis, but we know how things work. We won’t allow the plant to come up in our village,” said Mangal Tanwar of Balola. “Earlier, 34 acres of pristine land at Bandhwari in the Aravallis was damaged irreversibly. Now, this choice of site will cause more damage. We need to save the forest,” said environmentalist Vaishali Rana Chandra, in a letter to the state authorities. The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram had earlier identified a 5-acre site in Basai. The project was scrapped after objections by its residents. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/landfill-site-in-aravallis-three-gurugram-villages-raise-a-stink-452289 (19 Nov. 2022)
Amritsar A number of localities in the city have been regularly complaining about the contaminated water supply. The MC officials claimed that the water supply lines were laid decades ago and there is a need to replace the old pipelines. However, the state government is going to replace the existing infrastructure under 24×7 canal-based water supply in the city. The officials claimed that after implementation of source-based water supply, the water contamination problem would end. https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/amritsar/mc-collects-water-samples-in-vijay-nagar-452759 (20 Nov. 2022)
JJM/ RURAL WATER SUPPLY
Andhra Pradesh Minister for Medical, Health and Family Welfare Vidadala Rajini said that the Krishna River water will soon be supplied to the households in A. Konduru mandal, where several chronic kidney diseases are being reported. She said necessary permissions were sanctioned and the project worth ₹38 crores will be taken up under the Jal Jeevan Mission. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/krishna-water-to-kidney-disease-ridden-a-konduru-soon-says-ap-health-minister/article66157631.ece (20 Nov. 2022)
Study Soil the best decomposer: PAU A study conducted by the microbiology department of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has found that if the straw is cut and chopped and incorporated with soil it decomposes naturally and in 20 days the field is ready to sow wheat crop. Sharing details of the finding, Dr GS Kochar, head, department of microbiology at PAU said that a number of studies revealed that enhanced decomposition of rice straw can be achieved through application of microbial consortium (fungi, bacteria and actinomycetes).
However, trials were conducted at PAU Ludhiana during the year (2020-21) using different in-house and commercial cultures and following three step regimes i.e. chopping/spreading, manual or tractor mounted spray and incorporation revealed some important facts. Use of added microbial consortia confers no additional advantage over native soil microbes after paddy straw incorporation as reflected in wheat productivity comparisons, stated Dr Kochar in his findings. Large scale trials on PAU seed farms covering about 170 acres also showed no significant increase in wheat yield due to use of microbes.
The university vice chancellor Dr SS Gosal has recommended short duration varieties particularly PR 126, which matures by the end of mid or last week of September and leaves enough time for stubble management. Anoopraj Singh Grewal said that incorporation could be possible if the government offers incentives. “Why farmer would incur additional burden on fuel for chopping and cutting the straw, incorporate it in the field with tractor and water the field. Government should offer something to encourage the farmers. With a short window period no one wishes to take the risk,” said Grewal. https://www.hindustantimes.com/cities/chandigarh-news/soil-the-best-decomposer-pau-study-101668463122532.html (15 Nov. 2022)
West Bengal Mamata writes to PM to formulate plan to control Ganga erosion Mamata Banerjee has written to PM Modi, expressing concern over the continuous erosion of the Ganga River bank in Malda, Murshidabad and Nadia districts. She requested the PM to advise the ministry concerned to conduct a detailed study, involving all stakeholders, and formulate an integrated plan to control the situation.
Banerjee said the interventions would have high-cost implications and also urged the prime minister to ensure that suitable budgetary provisions are made for the same under the Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP). While noting that he had written a similar letter in February this year but “nothing had moved forward”, the chief minister said anti-erosion efforts had been “attempted piecemeal with no holistic approach being taken”. Banerjee also sought reconsideration of the Centre’s decision in 2017 to withdraw the Farakka Barrage Project Authority’s extended jurisdiction to protect the river bank from further erosion.
Banerjee stated that the state had to take up urgent bank protection work over the last four years at the cost of Rs 168 crore. Another Rs 80 crore was spent after the 2021 monsoon for anti-erosion work on a 14 km stretch along the river. https://www.telegraphindia.com/west-bengal/mamata-banerjee-writes-to-prime-minister-narendra-modi-requests-to-formulate-plan-to-control-ganga-erosion/cid/1898670 (17 Nov. 2022)
Sikkim Highway ravaged by rain, river before inauguration The alternative highway stretching from Adampool to Reshithang that was aimed at easing Gangtok’s heavy traffic has been cut off by multiple landslides and cave-ins due to incessant rain on Wednesday (May 11) evening. The 6.2 km was awaiting inauguration. Local residents also alleged how with the expansion of the road and supporting walls, had resulted in the river becoming narrower now than in the past, affecting its natural flow. Meanwhile, the road has been closed for vehicles until the restoration is completed.
Eyewitnesses said the ferocity of the rainfall was so much that the Rani River was flowing aground on the highway due to many blockages. The blockages were also noticed on the multiple streams that cut through the highway to reach the river. These streams tend to get clogged due to rampant dumping of waste from across the state capital which ultimately reaches the river. Many under-construction housing and commercial sites have also contributed to the clogging on the highway.
Minister Samdup Lepcha said, “In our early estimation, the damage caused to the highway could be well over Rs 50-60 crore. There is a depth of almost 8 metres from the road to the river. Despite that, the river appears to have run aground. It’s a natural disaster, so from the government’s side we will do what is necessary to restore the highway as soon as possible.” Local legislator GT Dhungel said, “ There is massive urbanization happening in Gangtok, high up in the hills, but the runoff of rainfall is being curtailed, it naturally comes down to the river.” “From rain to sewerage water, everything comes downhill to the river. The restoration will not be only here on the highway or the river belt, but in a step by step manner, correction beginning from river training, followed by restoration of the road, all drainage related works from steam training or other allied works needed,” Dhungel added. https://www.eastmojo.com/sikkim/2022/05/13/gangtoks-alternative-highway-ravaged-by-rain-rani-river-before-inauguration/ (13 May 2022)
Chennai A history of floods Aditya Ramesh Chennai’s floods are embedded within inequality and the wider ecology of disasters in low-income settlements. Seeing their regularity purely as planning and engineering problems neglects this complexity. https://www.theindiaforum.in/article/history-floods-chennai (23 Dec. 2021)
Sikkim MLA blames plastic in streams for landslides The former bureaucrat also highlighted how the problem of littering and plastic is a major concern during the monsoon. As water bodies like streams, locally called Jhora and Dhara, are clogged by plastic. “Eventually the water clogging becomes so bad in many of these Jhoras that it results in breaking free, which for us is a landslide. Gangtok has been marred by many landslides and for years, this has been one of the major reasons. Along with rapid urbanization and the ensuing pollution, the situation in Gangtok is likely to get worse”, stated the Tadong MLA. https://www.eastmojo.com/sikkim/2021/07/03/sikkim-upper-tadong-mla-blames-plastic-in-streams-for-landslides/ (03 July 2021)
Great Nicobar Island: Stage set for a great tragedy? Decks have been cleared for construction of a mega logistics hub at a strategic location in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, with the Centre granting environment clearance for the ambitious project and green-lighting diversion of more than 130 sq km of forest land to build shipping and aviation infrastructures in the Great Nicobar Island. The two clearances came within days, ignoring widespread criticism for the Rs 75,000 crore project, with researchers red-flagging the shortcomings of the proposal and pleading to the government to carry out detailed impact assessment surveys before thousands of tonnes of concrete and steel are poured in an idyllic and pristine island over the next 30 years. https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/great-nicobar-island-stage-set-for-a-great-tragedy-1163715.html (19 Nov. 2022)
Report Climate change’s true toll on Asia laid bare with drought and landslides to blame In 2021 alone, the cost of damage by weather and water-related hazards totalled a whopping $35.6billion (£30.3billion) – and affected 48.3 million people. Asia’s economic losses from natural disasters rocketed in 2021, a report published by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has found. Compared to the 2001–2020 average, the cost of the damage from landslides increased 147 percent last year, with losses from drought going up by 63 percent and flood by 23 percent. Presented on Nov 14, 2022 at the COP27 climate conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, “the State of the Climate in Asia 2021” report highlighted not only the increasing financial toll of climate change, but also its human and environmental consequences.
– Water-related extremes, the authors noted, are the most significant natural hazards in Asia — with flood and storm events accounting for 80 percent of all the disasters. In fact, these resulted in 4,000 deaths, around four-fifths of which were the result of flooding. The highest economic losses from flooding in Asia last year were felt in China ($18.4 billion), followed by India ($3.2billion) and Thailand ($0.6billion). Storms were also responsible for significant damage-related losses, most prominently in India (at $4.4billion), China ($3billion) and Japan ($2billion).
– While flooding may have accounted for the most fatalities, the report also noted droughts affected the largest number of people, with sand and dust storms also a major problem. https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1696339/asia-climate-change-economic-loss-drought-flood-landslide-wmo-cop27-science-news (14 Nov. 2022)
Abstract Fluvial aggradation and incision are often linked to Quaternary climate cycles, but it usually remains unclear whether variations in runoff or sediment supply or both drive channel response to climate variability. Here we quantify sediment supply with paleo-denudation rates and provide geochronological constraints on aggradation and incision from the Sfakia and Elafonisi alluvial-fan sequences in Crete, Greece. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/esp.5492 (30 Sept. 2022)
India-Pakistan WB to hand over projects’ papers of controversial Kishenganga & Ratle HEPs The World Bank is to formally hand over to the Court of Arbitration (CoA) and Neutral Expert (NE) on November 21, 2022, the documents related to the dispute between Pakistan and India on the designs of controversial projects — 330 MW Kishenganga and 850MW Ratle Hydropower projects.
– The expert teams of both the parties to the dispute, Pakistan and India, would attend the ‘Handover briefing by WB to the Court of Arbitration and Neutral Expert (NE)’ — the two forums available under the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 to resolve the dispute or the difference between the two nuclear countries. The handover meeting is to be held in Washington on November 21, 2022.
– The World Bank has already constituted on the demand of Pakistan the Court of Arbitration comprising seven members — one chairman, two arbitrators each from parties to the dispute (Pakistan and India), a technical member and a legal member. Likewise, it has also formed a one-man Neutral Expert as was demanded by India. Both forums would state their proceedings simultaneously to resolve the issues concerning the disputed designs of both projects.
– The World Bank on October 17 appointed Sean Murphy as chairman of the Court of Arbitration (CoA) and Michel Lino as the Neutral Expert.
– Pakistan has raised three objections on the design of Kishanganga project built on Jhelum river’s tributary saying that the pondage of the project is 7.5 million cubic meters which is excessive and it should be one million cubic meters. Pakistan also wants India to raise intake by up to 1-4 meters and also raise spillways up to nine meters high.
– And on the issue of the design of the Ratle Hydropower plant being constructed on the Chenab River, Islamabad raised four objections. Pakistan wants India to maintain a free board at one meter whereas India wants to keep it at two meters. In addition, India wants to keep the pondage of 24 million cubic meters but Pakistan wants the pondage to be of eight million cubic meters. Pakistan also wants the intake of the project to be raised by up to 8.8 meters and its spillways should be raised by up to 20 meters. https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1010774-controversial-kishenganga-and-ratle-hydropower-projects-wb-to-hand-over-projects-papers-to-arbiters-neutral-experts-on-21st (17 Nov. 2022)
India-Nepal Nepal exported electricity worth Rs10.38 billion (INR 6.49 B) to India till mid-November since the Nepal Electricity Authority resumed selling power in India’s power exchange market on June 2 2022. (364 MW earlier and now 409 MW now). In June 2022, it was paid an average of Rs12.15 per unit, the price decreased to Rs8.74 per unit in the following month. And in November, the price came down to Rs6.68 per unit. https://kathmandupost.com/money/2022/11/19/nepal-exports-power-worth-rs10-38-billion-to-india-in-five-months (19 Nov. 2022)
Pakistan Fault developed in Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Plant Federal Minster Qamar Zaman Kaira on Nov 14, 2022 informed the National Assembly that the fault developed on July 4, 2022 in 969 MW Neelum Jhelum Hydropower Plant (commissioned in 2018) would be fixed in six months. He informed the house that the cracks emerged from inside the mountains which damaged the main tunnel, subsequently the powerhouse became dysfunctional. M/s China Gezhouba Group Company, the Contractor for construction of Civil Works was engaged for carrying out the remedial works. Contract agreement was signed with the firm on August 25, 2022. Neelum Jhelum Project is having 68 km of tunnelling system, out of which length of water tunnel is 51 km (48 km headrace tunnel and 3.5 km tailrace tunnel). In tailrace tunnel at one location from 251m to 293m d/s from the powerhouse, there is a blockage about 42m in length due to tunnel collapse.
– The plant was shut down on July 6. Dewatering was started on July 10. https://www.nation.com.pk/15-Nov-2022/fault-developed-in-neelum-jhelum-hydropower-plant-would-be-fixed-in-six-months-kaira (15 Nov. 2022)
Nepal Ineffective EIAs According to Madhu Ghimire at the MoFE, more than one-third of all EIAs approved over the last 25 years were in the hydropower sector. The Nepal Government’s Guidelines for Study of Hydropower Projects state that all hydropower projects in the country must release 10% of water downstream throughout the year. But experts say that implementation of this rule is negligible.
Batu Krishna Uprety co-authored a 2019 report on the environmental impacts of hydropower projects on the Modi Khola, a tributary of the Kali Gandaki River in western Nepal. The Modi Khola is just 50km long and has a small watershed of 675 square kilometres, yet two hydropower plants are in operation on the river, and six others are under construction.
“We found no water being released by hydropower. It’s the same across the country and it’s a very worrisome situation,” Uprety tells The Third Pole. The 2019 report quotes an engineer involved in construction of a hydropower project on the Modi Khola as saying he never saw an EIA report, nor was he informed about measures to follow to reduce environmental impacts.
“We are aware that projects have not released water as stated in environmental assessments, but we can’t force them to do so, as we need electricity to meet growing demand, especially in winter when the flow is low,” says Kul Man Ghising, managing director of the Nepal Electricity Authority. https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/nature/why-are-eias-so-ineffective-nepal/ (15 Nov. 2022)
Bangladesh Habitat loss, climate change threaten native freshwater fishes There were at one time more than 300 native freshwater fish species in Bangladesh, but many have disappeared while others are on the verge of extinction due to habitat loss, overfishing, pollution and climate change. Open rivers and other bodies of water in Bangladesh are dwindling fast due to development interventions, unplanned urbanization, encroachment and siltation, which are destroying the habitats of indigenous fish species.
– According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the statuses of 64 freshwater fish species in Bangladesh range from vulnerable to critically endangered while 30 have become extinct in the wild during the last 30 to 40 years. Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) has so far revived 37 out of 67 species that disappeared from the wild through captive breeding programs and conservation efforts. https://news.mongabay.com/2022/10/habitat-destruction-climate-change-threaten-bangladeshs-native-freshwater-fishes-with-extinction/ (20 Oct. 2022)
THE REST OF THE WORLD
USA US advances largest dam demolition in history Decision by regulators comes after years of advocacy by Native American tribes and environmentalists:- U.S. regulators approved a plan Thursday (Nov. 17) to demolish four dams on a California river and open up hundreds of miles of salmon habitat that would be the largest dam removal and river restoration project in the world when it goes forward.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s unanimous vote on the lower Klamath River dams is the last major regulatory hurdle and the biggest milestone for a $500 million demolition proposal championed by Native American tribes and environmentalists for years. The project would return the lower half of California’s second-largest river to a free-flowing state for the first time in more than a century.” https://apnews.com/article/business-california-native-americans-dams-salmon-311ea96fda0fe1b0052ab8cef9ae36a9 (18 Nov. 2022)
The J.C. Boyle Dam diverts water from the Klamath River to a powerhouse downstream, in Keno, Ore. USD 500 m Plans for the largest dam demolition project in U.S. history and globally to save imperiled salmon could soon become reality, with the first stages of construction starting in California as early as this summer. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission meets Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022, and is expected to vote on whether to approve the surrender of PacificCorp’s hydroelectric license for four dams on the lower Klamath River in remote northern California.
– The scope of the project exceeds the other largest U.S. dam demolition to date, when two century-old dams were breached on the Eolwha River on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in 2012, said Kober, of American Rivers. Environmental experts are unaware of any other river restoration project in the world with a bigger scope than the one planned for the lower Klamath, she added. Across the U.S., 1,951 dams have been demolished as of February, including 57 in 2021, the organization said. Most of those have come down in the past 25 years as facilities age and come up for relicensing. https://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/US-regulators-to-vote-on-largest-dam-demolition-17591223.php (17 Nov. 2022)
Study Rise of heat waves in rivers Using 26 years of United States Geological Survey data, researchers compiled daily temperatures for 70 sites in rivers and streams across the United States, and then calculated how many days each site experienced a heat wave per year. From 1996 to 2021, the annual average number of heat wave days per river climbed from 11 to 25, the team reports October 3 in Limnology and Oceanography Letters. This is the first assessment of heat waves in rivers across US.
– The study tallied nearly 4,000 heat wave events — jumping from 82 in 1996 to 198 in 2021 — and amounting to over 35,000 heat wave days. The researchers found that the frequency of extreme heat increased at sites above reservoirs and in free-flowing conditions but not below reservoirs — possibly because dams release cooler water downstream. Most heat waves with temperatures the highest above typical ranges occurred outside of summer months between December and April, pointing to warmer wintertime conditions. Human-caused global warming plays a role in riverine heat waves, with heat waves partially tracking air temperatures — but other factors are probably also driving the trend. For example, less precipitation and lower water volume in rivers mean waterways warm up easier, the study says.
– Compared with a gradual increase in temperature, sudden heat waves can have a greater impact on river-dwelling plants and animals, he says. Fish like salmon and trout are particularly sensitive to heat waves because the animals rely on cold water to get enough oxygen, regulate their body temperature and spawn correctly. There are chemical consequences to the heat as well, says hydrologist Sujay Kaushal of the University of Maryland in College Park who was not involved with the study. Higher temperatures can speed up chemical reactions that contaminate water, in some cases contributing to toxic algal blooms. The research can be used as a springboard to help mitigate heat waves in the future, Kaushal says, such as by increasing shade cover from trees or managing stormwater. In some rivers, beaver dams show promise for reducing water temperatures. “You can actually do something about this.” https://www.sciencenews.org/article/heat-waves-rivers-united-states-fish-plants-water-quality (20 Oct. 2022)
Hidden ‘Paleo Valleys’ Could Help California Survive Droughts Abstract: In the Central Valley of California, there is an urgent need to supplement the recharge of the groundwater systems by implementing managed aquifer recharge. With approximately 170 km3 of available groundwater storage space, water deemed to be excess during wet years could be spread on the ground surface at selected locations allowing it to move downward to recharge the underlying aquifer system. Along the eastern edge of the Central Valley there are large paleovalleys that can act as fast paths expediting the downward movement of water. These paleovalleys, incised and then filled with coarse-grained materials – sand, gravel, cobbles – at the end of the last glacial period, are referred to as incised valley fill (IVF) deposits. If located, these deposits would be optimal sites for managed recharge. In this study, we assessed the use of a helicopter-deployed geophysical method to efficiently locate IVF deposits throughout the Central Valley. This study provides the evidence to support the rapid adoption of the AEM method to locate IVF deposits along the eastern edge of the Central Valley. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hidden-paleo-valleys-could-help-california-survive-droughts/ (18 Nov. 202)
Alarm over WHO’s ‘weak’ PFAS limits for drinking water More than 110 scientists and regulators worldwide are raising a public alarm over what they label “weak” PFAS drinking water limits proposed by the WHO, which they charge used shoddy science and “arbitrarily” dismissed hundreds of studies linking the “forever chemicals” to serious health problems. Some further alleged the process of developing the guidelines was corrupted by industry-aligned consultants aiming to undercut strict new PFAS limits proposed in the US, and weaken standards in the developing world. The chemicals have been called “forever chemicals” due to their longevity in the environment. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/nov/19/pfas-world-health-organization-who-drinking-water (19 Nov. 2022)
Compiled by SANDRP (email@example.com)
Also see: DRP News Bulletin 14 Nov 2022 & DRP News Bulletin 07 Nov 2022
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