Gujarat · Monsoon · Narmada

Gujarat’s water crisis rooted in years of misplaced priorities

As things stand now, Gujarat is facing prospects of a serious water crisis that may extend till at least next average or above average monsoon. State level Rainfall so far this monsoon is 19% below average as on Sept 1. But the state level average hides the local situation.

Some of the districts that have received rainfall with high deficits, as per IMD figures till Sept 1, 2018 include: Kutch: -58%; Patan: -58%; Gandhinagar: -51%; Morbi: -47%; Ahmedabad: -48%; Surendranagar -43%; Banaskantha: -55%; Mehsana: -52%; Devbhoomi  Dwarka: -40%. These district level figures indeed show massive rainfall deficit with less than a month of  monsoon remaining. Continue reading “Gujarat’s water crisis rooted in years of misplaced priorities”

Monsoon

The mirage of normal monsoon

According to IMD, India is having normal monsoon this year, so far, as per rainfall till date (Sept 1, 2018). Against normal rainfall of 721.1 mm, India has received 676.6 mm rainfall, which is 6.2% below normal, considered within normal rainfall definition as per IMD. So India is having normal monsoon rainfall, says IMD. Let us check this against some ground realities.

However, East and North East India, one of the four regions for which IMD provides rainfall data, has so far had 27% below normal rainfall, while South India had 9% surplus rainfall.  Thus, while at all India level, what seems all normal, is average of different, though serious departures from normal rainfall. Let us say this is first level of mirage of normal rainfall. Continue reading “The mirage of normal monsoon”

Maharashtra · Monsoon

Maharashtra Monsoon Musings – July 2018

Maharashtra celebrates Ashadhi Ekadashi today[i], also called Dev Shayani Ekadashi, when god Vishnu went to sleep. Ashadhi Ekadashi is a cultural phenomenon in Maharashtra, holding a special place in the hearts of devotees and atheists alike. This is the day when the Vaari, a travelling caravan of devotees reach Pandharpur, the abode of Pandurang or Vitthal from various places in the state. Pandurang is a special god himself. He is the loving god of the farmers and cattle herders and the toiling masses of the state.  People travel to Pandharpur with tradition attire and gaiety. Ashadhi Ekadashi is supposed to fall right in the middle of monsoon as coughing Parineeta told me in the morning, enjoying the Pune rains. She also said that Farmer leader Sharad Joshi used to be unhappy with this festival as farmers left behind their fields right in the sowing season to go for the Pandharpur Vaari, away from their fields for days at end. Festivals are always fun though. Continue reading “Maharashtra Monsoon Musings – July 2018”

Dams · Monsoon

Welcome development: River basin wise rainfall maps from IMD!

We have noticed during just concluded South West monsoon season that IMD (India Meteorological Department) has started a new and welcome feature in rainfall data reporting[i]. The Data is available in maps, on daily, weekly and seasonal basis. We are not sure when this practice started, we noticed it only during 2016 monsoon season.

This is most welcome development, since getting rainfall data at basin level is most appropriate and useful, since basin is the hydrological unit that will experience the impact of rainfall or lack of rainfall in the basin, in form of floods or droughts. It can also be very useful for flood forecasting and preparedness, among many other uses. We hope IMD will develop and refine this further.

In each map, the actual rainfall for the given period is given for each basin, as also the normal rainfall & % departure from normal. Usual colour code is used to show the basin as blue if rainfall is more than 120% of normal rainfall, green if rainfall is 81-119 %, brown if rainfall is 60-80% of normal and yellow if rainfall is below 60% of normal rainfall.

Continue reading “Welcome development: River basin wise rainfall maps from IMD!”

Climate Change · Dams · Drought · Monsoon

Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll: “Warming Indian Ocean means a Weakening Indian Monsoon”

AboveAll-India Summer Monsoon (June-September) Rainfall Anomalies during 1871-2015. Note that since 1950s, not only has the incidence of droughts increased, but rainfall in the excess of 10% has also decreased markedly Source: IITM Paper Interanual Variations of Indian Summer Monsoon

When it comes to Global Warming and Climate Change (not interchangeable terms), India and the world have witnessed a series of firsts in the past year. The last 11 months have been the warmest months in recorded history, each monotonously breaking a previous record[i]. In India, regions like Maharashtra including Marathwada have experienced back to back droughts, in addition to increasing frequency of Extreme Weather events like Hailstorms and unseasonal rainfall. Variability of Western Disturbances has increased, which is linked with extensive anthropogenic warming over Tibet[ii]. Our response to Climate Change and the challenges it poses has been far from satisfactory. There has been no impact of National Action Plan for Climate Change, due to the inherent problems in its inception[iii]. State Plans lay languishing for several years, without clear accountability and transparency[iv]. India’s INDCs (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution) indicate more harm than good.[v] Continue reading “Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll: “Warming Indian Ocean means a Weakening Indian Monsoon””

Agriculture · Climate Change · Dams · Drought · Environment · Ganga · Irrigation · Monsoon · Narmada · Rivers · South Asia

Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin Nov 02, 2015 (Festival Fishing on occasion of Kati Bihu in Assam)

People of a village in Morigaon district of Assam fish in groups to celebrate ‘Kati Bihu’ on Sunday. The festival is closely related to agriculture, celebrated on the first day of the Kati month of the Assamese calendar. It is that time of the year when paddy grows in the fields and cultivators work hard for a good harvest.— Photo: Ritu Raj Konwar, The Hindu

Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin Nov 02, 2015 (Festival Fishing on occasion of Kati Bihu in Assam)”

Agriculture · China · Climate Change · Dams · Drought · DRP News Bulletin · Environment · Ganga · Irrigation · Monsoon · Nepal · Pakistan · Rivers · Sand Mining

Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin Oct 26, 2015 (Saving Tigers is Saving Rivers, Story of once dry Tamirabarani River )

Tamirabarani teaches: Saving tiger is saving river  After Kalakkad-Mundanthurai was declared tiger reserve in 1992, Tamirabarani river has regained its perennial status. Though shorter than Cauvery and Vaigai, Tamirabarani has always held a special place in the state. It started turning dry for four months every year. People of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin thought their river too was going the way of other state rivers. But a move to save the tiger inadvertently became a save the-river policy. The Union ministry of environment and forests declared the Kalakkad – Mundanthurai area as a tiger reserve in 1992. In three years, there was a noticeable change. A study on water inflow into the Karayar river, a tributary, inside the reserve was taken up. Records show that from 1946 till 1990, the river received only 13,000 cubic feet of water annually. After the area was declared as a tiger reserve, the inflow increased to 23,000 cubic feet.

Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin Oct 26, 2015 (Saving Tigers is Saving Rivers, Story of once dry Tamirabarani River )”

Climate Change · Dams · Drought · Floods · Ganga · Irrigation · Monsoon · Narmada · Rivers · Sand Mining

Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin Oct 19, 2015 (Migratory birds keep away from NCR due to warm weather)

Sardar Sarovar Dam gates can’t be closed till last person displaced is rehabilitated: SC.

CIC tells centre to give Polavaram project info to RTI applicant

Scrap Renuka dam if Centre-HP row can’t be sorted out: SC

State orders release of Godavari water to drought-hit Marathwada

HC Bombay directs inquiry into release of Gangapur dam water for Shahi Snan at Kumbh Mela

Bhama Askhed dam project: Agitation turns violent

Pinjal-Gargai dam project in Mumbai faces protests

Amid heated arguments Nashik Municipal Corporation approved additional Rs 36cr for Makane dam plan

Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin Oct 19, 2015 (Migratory birds keep away from NCR due to warm weather)”

Climate Change · Dams · Ganga · Irrigation · Monsoon · Sand Mining · Uttarakhand

Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin Oct 12, 2015

Arunachal:-  Siang People’s Forum writes to MoEF to not allow mega dam on Siang River, State Govt. supports the cause

Assam:- Locals, CM show stiff resistance to Lower Subansiri power project

Himachal:-Jispa Dam project faces opposition

Uttarakhand:- From 60 to 7000 patients in 3 years, Uttarakhand floods play havoc with mental health

Maharashtra:- Drought-Hit Maharashtra to generate 400 mw hydropower

Himalaya:- Dams, Hydro projects & other development works may wipe out many unknown species being discovered in Eastern Himalaya

Climate Change :- The Hydropower Methane Bomb No One Wants to Talk About

Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin Oct 12, 2015”

Climate Change · Dams · Drought · Environment · Ganga · Hydropower · Irrigation · Monsoon · Rivers · Sand Mining

Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, Oct 05, 2015 (On Climate Agenda Govt. scale down targets but on ground still pushing hard many hydro projects)

HYDROPOWER

Hydro fast loosing sheen in renewable energy basket  and the share of hydro is likely to decline further as through the past three years, the installed capacity of hydropower projects has remained around 40,000 Mw. While the report superficially may appear as a sigh of relief nevertheless on ground Indian Govt. is still in a hurry to push many big hydro power projects particularly in North-Eastern States. Last month only Piyush Goyal Power Minister cleared the Teesta-III and spoke of clearing Subansiri too. In Siang basin Pauk, Heo, Tato-I are recently approved by MoEF Panel. Protest against 780 Nyamjang Chhu HEP is going on. Similarly several projects in Ganga, Barhamputra and Satluj basin are being cleared and constructed in plain violation of stipulated green norms. Public and private developers are repeatedly ignoring environmental concerns and not addressing the issues raised by local people.

Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, Oct 05, 2015 (On Climate Agenda Govt. scale down targets but on ground still pushing hard many hydro projects)”