Tag Archive for 'india’s water supplies'

Power Is Restored Across India After Crippling Blackout

Photo retrieved from: www.nytimes.com

“The blackout affected an area encompassing about 670 million people, or roughly 10 percent of the world’s population. It trapped coal miners, stranded train passengers and caused huge traffic jams in the nation’s capital.

Mr. Moily said at a news conference on Wednesday that the power supply was restored by 3 p.m. Tuesday for emergency services like railways and airports, and that by the evening the power situation was “normal.”

“I can reassure the entire nation” Mr. Moily said. “That kind of situation will never repeat in the national scene.”

Federal officials initially blamed the northern states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh for taking from the grid far more than their electricity allotments. Part of the reason may be that low rainfall totals have restricted the amount of power delivered by hydroelectric dams, which India relies on for much of its power needs. Another cause may be that drought-stricken farmers are using more power than expected to run water pumps to irrigate their crops.”

Read more: New York Times


Blackout: Weak monsoon to hit power, kill crops

Photo retrieved from: www.sott.net

“NEW DELHI: The faltering monsoon has pushed the country to the brink of severe shortages of power and drinking water, apart from hurting crop planting as India’s biggest water reservoirs need to be quickly replenished to generate electricity and irrigate fields for the rest of the year.

The situation can still be retrieved if the monsoon revives quickly, as forecast by the weather office, but the rainfall deficit has widened in the past week and total rains in the season are 31% below average, which has reduced rice planting by 26% compared with last year. This has also dried up many reservoirs, particularly in Maharashtra and Karnataka, where the water table has dipped sharply.

Hydroelectricity supply usually peaks in the monsoon months of July and August, allowing coal-fired power stations to plan maintenance shutdowns during this period. But this year, the power situation has deteriorated as demand has soared beyond what utilities had anticipated while many plants are idling or underutilised due to scarcity of coal and gas.”

Read more: The Economic Times


Ripples that may last

Photo retrieved from: www.thehindu.com

“According to the study recent data reveals that the rainfall pattern in India is changing significantly and a major reason for this changing pattern is climate change. The frequency and magnitude of high rainfall events is increasing while the number of rainy days is decreasing. This raises the possibility of increased frequency and intensity of floods. The onset of monsoon and the gap between rainfall events is becoming irregular.

These changes are likely to have a massive impact on all farmers, particularly rain-fed farmers. Adaptation will be helped if we make rainwater harvesting and groundwater change the top priority in our water resources policy and programmes.

Groundwater is India’s lifeline and to protect it a three-point strategy is advocated. Firstly, ensure the sustenance of existing groundwater recharge systems including local water systems and their catchments. Secondly, give top priority to the creation of more such systems. Thirdly, put in place a credible, legally enforceable, community led regulation. At the same time, the government should promote greater access of groundwater to the underprivileged, particularly the Dalit communities.

The study also advocates organic farming as increased organic matter in the soil will also increase water security for rain-fed farmers by enhancing the moisture holding capacity of the soil. Water-saving, high-yielding and low-input requiring practices like the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) should be promoted. Water intensive crops and GM crops should be discouraged.”

Read more: The Hindu


Groups to raise awareness against water privatisation

“Various groups of citizens of Mangalore will raise awareness among people on the proposed move of the State government to privatise water supply in the city.

At a meeting here on Saturday, the groups took note of the decision of the Mysore City Corporation asking Jamshedpur utilities and services company (JUSCO) to stop water supply in that city. “The same company was slated to take up the supply in Mangalore. We cannot allow it here,” said Vidya Dinaker of the Citizens Forum of Mangalore. “We now have better understanding of the ills associated with privatisation of water supply,” she said.

T.R. Bhat, a retired bank official, said that people had to dispel the impression that privatisation of water supply would ensure 24-hour water. “We need to be concerned about how the increase in water charges will affect the poor. We are not sure of the hidden charges that these private water supply companies will impose,” he said. Absence of necessary personnel and water leakage cannot be a reason to hand over the supply to private agencies, he said.”

Read more: The Hindu


Water: New weapon Of Mass Conflict

Photo retrieved from: www.hindustantimes.com

“A classified US report listed India’s three major river basins — Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra —among the world top 10 water conflict zones in ten years from now.

The report based on National Intelligence Estimate on water security said the chances of water issues causing war in next 10

years were minimal but they could disrupt national and global food market and cause tension between states.

“Beyond 2022, use of water as a weapon of war or a tool of terrorism will become more likely, particularly in South Asia (India), the Middle East and North Africa,” the report said.

An insight on where India stands on water crisis is available in the recent household census data for 2011.

The per capita availability of water for a household has reduced with increase in number of households from 24.1 crore in 2001 to 33.1 crore in 2011.

As a result around 3.8 crore women travel on average more than 500 meters to fetch drinking water — an addition of 1.2 crore women in this water fetching women club. Their collaborative effort means covering 47 times the distance between earth and moon every day.”

Read more: Hindustan Times

Water Sector Options for India in a Changing Climate

Photo retrieved from: www.washfinance.com

“On the eve of the World Water Day 2012, the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People (SANDRP) is happy to publish its new report: Water Sector Options for India in a Changing Climate. The report highlights that for the poorest sections, also most vulnerable in the climate change context, the water, food, livelihood and energy security, closely linked with the environment security, is already getting severely affected in the changing climate. It is well known that water is the medium through which climate change impacts are most dominant. South Asia is considered possibly the most vulnerable region in terms of number of people that would be affected by climate change impacts, and within South Asia, India has the largest vulnerable population. The importance of understanding the Water Sector Options in such a situation cannot be underestimated. The report highlights the options for coping and mitigating climate change challenges in water sector in India.”

Read more: www.sandrp.in