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– Punjab has the highest rate of groundwater exploitation and had on average withdrawn 28.2 million acre feet (MAF) water yearly during 2008-2013.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)
SOUTH EAST ASIA Rivers are invaluable INTERESTING QUESTION: HOW MANY DIFFERENT WAYS CAN YOU MEASURE A RIVER? “Perhaps the most important – and largely overlooked – measure of a river is its value to the economy and wellbeing of a nation, a region, and its people. Simply put, large healthy, productive rivers like the Mekong and Ayeyarwady (or Irrawaddy) are unifying geographic features that serve as economic juggernauts, essential to long term growth and in maintaining the quality of life for millions of people.”
“These (FLOOD) benefits are valued annually at US$8-10 billion (K10.8 trillion), while floods in the Lower Mekong basin cause a much lower $60-70 million in damage every year.” “Floods and sediment are the artisans of river systems. If you lose them you are left to human-engineered solutions. That is now the only option for the US government in the Mississippi River. A $50-billion program has just been launched to rehabilitate the Mississippi delta. Conserving the natural processes that created it in the first place would have been a much more cost efficient option.” https://www.mmtimes.com/news/rivers-are-invaluable-south-east-asia.html Continue reading “ASIA-2017: Surplus power, cancelled Hydro and dam risks dominate”