Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin, August 03, 2015

HYDROPOWER  

NORTH-EAST: ARUNACHAL PRADESH: Mapithel Dam; Social organization demand decommissioning of Mapithel dam (03 Aug. 2015) Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) and Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) submitted memorandum to the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi demanding a halt to the construction of Mapithel Dam and immediate decommissioning of the project. A joint statement issued by AIPP Secretary General Joan Carling and NPHRM Secretary General Neingulo Krome said the construction of Mapithel Dam under the supervision of the Government of Manipur directly affects and threatens the several scheduled tribes in the affected districts whose sources of income are land and agriculture. It may be mentioned that when it is commissioned the dam would affect over 8,000 people in 22 villages. http://e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=28..030815.aug15

UTTARAKHAND: Expert Body recommends modification of Uttarakhand hydro projects prevent 2013-like disaster (31 July 2015) An expert body appointed by the Centre to analyze the adverse ecological and environmental impact of hydroelectric power projects (HEPs) in Uttarakahand has told the Supreme Court that comprehensive modification of the projects is required to prevent a repeat of 2013 disaster in the state. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Centre said the expert body (EB) had suggested promoters of the six projects– National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Tehri Hydro Development Coporation (THDC), GMR and Super Hydro Pvt Ltd—to incorporate a number of safeguards in view of the 2013 disaster. The government said the projects would not be allowed to operate till the companies modify their projects. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Uttarakhand-hydro-projects-need-to-be-modified-to-prevent-2013-like-disaster-SC-told/articleshow/48290097.cms

Chief Minister asks industry to invest in small hydroelectric projects (27 July 2015) Chief Minister Harish Rawat today sought help from the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry Uttarakhand for investment in small and micro hydel projects in the state. He sought support for 2 MW to 5 MW hydel projects under the policy formulated by the state government. The state is still not realizing how small hydro projects are equally disastrous for sensitive mountains.  In June 2015 SANDRP visit in Yamuna valley highlights how Gangani and Hanuman Ganga small hydro projects have caused irreversible losses to local environment and community people as well.http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/uttarakhand/cm-asks-industry-to-invest-in-small-hydroelectric-projects/110988.html

MANIPUR:  Thoubal multipurpose dam project; Contradicting its previous stand, Tribal Ministry shows helplessness in verifying State govt. claims over acquiring forest land with tribal’s consent (30 July 2015) Contradicting its previous statements, the tribal affairs ministry submitted before National Green Tribunal that it does not have the power or a mechanism to verify claims of state governments that consent of tribals had been sought under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, before handing over forests to industry. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/tribal-consent-cannot-be-verified-before-giving-away-forests-centre-115073000043_1.html

JAMMU & KASHMIR: Climate Change Impact; 8 cloud burst incidents in a month spell severe destruction in the state (27 July 2015) The state witnessed around 8 incidents of cloud bursts in the month of July 2015 causing disruption of normal life across the valley. Weather scientists say the hilly terrain of the state favours formation of cumulonimbus clouds and  the deadly interaction of two different wind patterns leads to shedding of larger droplets of water at a higher rate in a relatively short period, causing landslides and flash floods. At times, there is 100 mm rain in one hour in a small area, creating a torrent, smashing everything in its path and leaving a trail of destruction.Conditions across the Himalayas, including Jammu and Kashmir, are changing and witnessing extreme weather events due to climate change. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/jammu-kashmir/frequent-cloudbursts-have-state-on-edge/111633.html

HIMACHAL PRADESH: Advisor firm alleges that ‘JP’s objective of selling hydel assets to JSW not disclosed’ (28 July 2015) This is interesting, but I do not understand this fully. Stakeholders’ Empowerment Services, who is saying this, is supposed to be working in public interest, but one has to BUY their report! Also not clear what are the implications of their opinion. Does it legal or other implication for the JP-JSW deal going forward? Any guidance will be useful. http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/jp-s-objective-of-selling-hydel-assets-to-jsw-not-disclosed-115072801574_1.html

Bilaspur Court Orders to Filed a Criminal Case against Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure (27 July 2015) Reliance Group chairmen Anil Ambani, along with eight officials of Reliance Energy, are reported to have been booked on charges of fraud, criminal conspiracy and violation of environmental norms. The case has been registered at Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh. A Bilaspur district court has ordered investigation in the case after registering cases under section 120B of IPC as well as sections concerned with conservation of environment. It has also directed to file FIR against Reliance Infrastructure. The company while laying down transmission lines from Kaul and Parvati Hydro Power projects have axed down several hundreds of trees on the land of farmers without paying any compensation. Over 140 farmers from Bilaspur then took the matter to court when District Administration paid no heed to their complains. http://www.patrika.com/news/crime/fir-against-anil-ambani-company-reliance-infrastructure-1074484/#sthash.GVd8l2Yz.dpuf

DAMS

Govt. lacks data to assess impact of three more hydro power projects being built by China on Brahmaputra river (31 July 2015) Ministry of Water resources accepted today that it is aware of the fact that China is going ahead with plans to construct three more dams in Brahmaputra river but it lacks data to assess the impact of the proposed dams  on River Brahmaputra and India’s interests. Replying to the question of Gaurav Gogoi, Water Resource Minister Uma Bharati said the Government of India is aware of construction activity on Yarlung Tsangpo/Brahmaputra river at Zangmu on the Chinese side which is a Run of the River (RoR) hydroelectric project. http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/psearch/QResult16.aspx?qref=20841

226 dams are structurally unsafe and vulnerable in India (31 July 2015) Responding to a question in Parliament session, Water Resource Minister Uma Bharati disclosed that there are 226 dams in distressed conditions and added for rehabilitation. She also mentioned of National Committee on Dam Safety under Central Water Commission conduct comprehensive dam safety reviews of distressed dams. She also informed the members that Dam Safety Bill, 2010 have lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.   http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/psearch/QResult16.aspx?qref=20841

Bokaro admn (Jharkhand) sounds alert in Garga, Tenughat and Konar dams areas (03 Aug. 2015) Heavy rainfall for the past 48 hours has forced district administration to declare high alert in areas close to rivers as all the three dams (Garga, Tenughat and Konar) in the district have opened their sluice gates following rise in water levels. Massive water discharged has flooded rivers including the Damodar River which enters West Bengal after flowing through various parts of the district. Majority of low-lying areas and bridges have been submerged in water causing huge difficulties to the residents. The incessant rain for the last eight days had posed threat of floods around the catchment area of the Masanjor dam also. The situation has prompted dam authorities to open seven out of total 21 gates which has caused flood in parts of the Raneswar block of the district where houses and over hundred acres of paddy crops have been damaged. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ranchi/Bokaro-admn-sounds-alert-in-dam-areas/articleshow/48320324.cms

Centre bypasses law to restart work on Polavaram project (28 July 2015) Ministry of Environment and Forests issues illegal order putting their own stop work order on Polavaram dam in abeyance for a year, this is the third time MoEF is doing that, and without consent of the affected states of Chhattisgarh and Orissa: http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/centre-allows-ap-to-restart-work-on-polavaram-project-115072800055_1.html

Bhakra Beas Management Board told to give water release info 48 hrs in advance (28 July 2015) This should be possible for every dam and also such information should be in public domain: https://www.facebook.com/sandrp.in

Maharashtra tops list for people displaced by dam projects: Government (31 July 2015) This is based on a PIB release containing the statements of Union Minister of state for Water resources: Altogether 7,13,136 people have been displaced by a total of 100 dam projects in Maharashtra. Undivided Andhra Pradesh accounts for 4,64,675 persons being displaced by dam projects and was closely followed by Karnataka with 4,10,104 such people. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Maharashtra-tops-list-for-people-displaced-by-dam-projects-Government/articleshow/48296889.cms

INTER LINKING OF RIVERS  

Jafar Ahmed Chaudhary former environment secretary Bangladesh shares his concerns over India’s river-linking project (28 July 2015) Bangladesh concerns on India’s River Linking plans: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2015/07/28/101767

INTER-STATE WATER DISPUTES   

Odisha fumes over Centre’s nod to Andhra Pradesh for Indira Sagar Polavaram dam project (29 July 2015) New twist cropping up in Indira Sagar Polavaram dam project http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/odisha-fumes-over-centres-nod-to-ap-for-indira-sagar-polavaram-dam-project/articleshow/48261845.cms

RIVER AS NATIONAL WATER WAYS   

Govt plans to convert 101 rivers into national waterways (29 July 2015) Amitabh Verma, chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India, talks to Vijay C Roy & Jyoti Mukul, on what’s ahead. http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/govt-plans-to-convert-101-rivers-into-national-waterways-amitabh-verma-115072300630_1.html

MONSOON

Cumulative Seasonal Rainfall Map (01 June- 02 Aug. 2015) Despite excess rainfall drenching and flooding many states over last week, more than half the country remains rain deficit. We have almost run through the peak of monsoon 2015.

Cumulative Rainfall 01 June-02 Aug. 2015 (Source: IMD)

Cumulative Rainfall 01 June-02 Aug. 2015 (Source: IMD)

http://www.imd.gov.in/section/nhac/dynamic/Monsoon_frame.htm

Monsoon Defies El Nino Forecasts Answering Prayers of Indian Farmers (29 July 2015) Unusual warming of the Indian Ocean may have helped counter the impact of El Nino on monsoon and aided better rain. Showers through July 28 are just 3 percent below normal and more than 75 percent of India has received excess or normal rain, according to the department. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-28/farmer-s-prayers-heeded-as-indian-monsoon-defies-el-nino-danger

DROUGHT 

Frequent monsoon and drought years in coming decades: Scientists  (31 July 2015)  The rapid warming of the equatorial Indian Ocean region and cooling of atmosphere over the Eurasian continent centered around China would lead to frequent monsoon and drought years in the coming decades, according to scientists. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/frequent-monsoon-and-drought-years-in-coming-decades-scientists/articleshow/48297505.cms

IRRIGATION

In last three years, World Bank provided fund of 1984 crore for irrigation projects in Uttar Pradesh (30 July 2015) Replying to a questions in Parliament, Water Resource Minister Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat disclosed that during the last three years and the current year (2012-16), an amount of US$ 360 million (equivalent to Rs. 1984 crore) was received from the World Bank as loan assistance for the Uttar Pradesh Water Sector Restructuring Project Phase-2 (UPWSRP-II). http://164.100.47.132/LssNew/psearch/QResult16.aspx?qref=20840

Storage Status of 91 Important Reservoirs of the Country as on July 30, 2015 The Water storage available in 91 important reservoirs was 70.707 BCM which is 45% of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=123931

Odisha still pursuing decade-old minimum irrigation target (03 Aug. 2015) A decade after the Naveen Patnaik government drew master plan to provide at least 35 per cent irrigation in all 314 blocks, targeted minimum irrigation coverage is yet to be extended to as many as 125 blocks. According to latest report prepared by the Water Resource department, 125 out of 314 blocks in the State are found to be short of target. According to information obtained by exercise of the RTI Act, around Rs.140 crore have been spent in Bolangir for construction of 600 watersheds within 14 years, but no sizeable chunk of land has been brought under irrigation coverage. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-still-pursuing-decadeold-minimum-irrigation-target/article7493368.ece

Ground water pollution by leather industries in Palar river basin forces Vellore (Tamilnadu) farmers to irrigate crops with sewage for last three decades (03 Aug. 2015) Farmers of two panchayats — Girisamuthiram and Necknamalai — have been irrigating their fields with sewage water from Vaniyambadi Municipality for the last three decades, rather than groundwater, since they believe the groundwater was highly polluted with effluents from the leather industries. The farmers allege, perhaps justifiably, that the leather industry has caused ecological damage discharging untreated effluents into water bodies, particularly the Palar riverbed. http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/tamil_nadu/Forced-to-Use-Sewage-for-Irrigation/2015/08/03/article2954657.ece

After Orange City Water private ltd. deal, Nagpur Municipal Corporation losses increase by over Rs60cr/year (27 July 2015) After deal with Veolia for Urban Water Public Private Partnership, Nagpur Municipal Corp losses go up by Rs 60 crores per annum: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/After-OCW-deal-NMC-losses-increase-by-over-Rs60cr/year/articleshow/48229585.cms

Irrigation scam: Ajit Pawar kin’s firm got at least 16 projects (31 July 2015) This provides more links between Ajit Pawar and irrigation scam in Maharashtra, but it seems unlikely that Ajit Pawar will face the consequences since Fadanvis govt seems to be going slow and may be soft towards Ajit Pawar & irrigation scam: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/irrigation-scam-ajit-pawar-s-kin-s-firm-bagged-more-deals/article1-1374950.aspx

WATER

India set to become water scarce by 2025, government tells Parliament (31 July 2015)  India is faced with the alarming prospect of becoming water scarce in 10 years’ time, or by 2025, the government has said citing a study by a consulting firm in the water sector. In his reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat yesterday said that consulting firm ‘Everything About Water’ (EA Water) has concluded that India’s demand for water is expected to exceed all current sources of supply and the country is set to become water scarce by the year 2025. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-set-to-become-water-scarce-by-2025-government-tells-parliament/articleshow/48296420.cms

GROUND WATER : Petition in Supreme Court seeking directions for Govt. to check wasteful use of groundwater (01 Aug. 2015) Passing order on a PIL filed by Ramesh Ailwadi, a Supreme Court bench of Justices T S Thakur, V Gopala Gowda and R Banumathi issued notice to Centre and Delhi Govt. asking them  why extraction of ground water through borewells should not be regulated and meters be installed to curb wasteful use of the precious natural resource.http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Can-groundwater-use-be-charged/articleshow/48303802.cms

URBAN WATER:  Trial run of Pappankalan waste water treatment plant begins (27 July 2015) Delhi Jal Board has started trial run of the 20 MGD Waste Water Treatment Plant at Pappankalan. DJB claims that the move will benefit about 9 lakh people and reduce pollution load in Yamuna River. Meanwhile National Green Trinunal has issued notices to The Lawrence Road and Okhla Common Effluent Treatment Plants were issued a show cause notice for lacking upkeep and efficiency. http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/trial-run-of-pappankalan-waste-water-treatment-plant-begins-115072600697_1.html

WATER GOVERNANCE: School kids forced to drink unsafe water in Mansa district of Punjab (28 July 2015) Hazardous and contaminated water from hand pumps containing excessive fluoride, chloride and bacteria is the only source of drinking water available for children in a number of schools of Mansa and Bathinda districts. Though water from hand pumps have been declared unfit for drinking, with no other option available school children are drinking unsafe water. In Mansa about 50 per cent water samples were failed in a recently conducted test. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/community/schoolkids-forced-to-drink-unsafe-water-in-mansa-dist/112259.html

WATER OPTIONS:  Ranchi Municipal Corporation to give bore well permission only after installation of rain water harvesting system (27 July 2015) While this is welcome, let us hope it is implemented in a transparent, credible, accountable and participatory way: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1150727/jsp/jharkhand/story_33801.jsp#.VbuFtPmqqkq

RIVERS

POLLUTION: All candidates for CPCB chairman’s post rejected (28 July 2015) Central Pollution Control Board does not have a chairman since Feb 2012! It does not mean if there was a chairman, the situation would be very different, but shows how much priority the government has for river pollution control or Ganga: http://www.livemint.com/Politics/bEUeQfwtZWHnTDeT6EaHoJ/All-candidates-for-CPCB-chairmans-post-rejected.html

FLOOD:    Extent of flood damages till 02 August 2015

Population affected

 

No. of

human lives lost

No. of districts affected No. of villages affected No. of cattle/

Live- stock lost

Cropped area affected

(in ha)

Estimated value of Total damage

(Rs. In lakh)

 

 

4714514

 

186

 

55

 

904

 

 

58329

 

 

3790.42

 

175.43

http://www.ndmindia.nic.in/flood-2015/floodsAug-2015.htm   

W-BENGAL:  50 killed, Over 2 lakhs affected as floods wreck West Bengal (03 Aug. 2015) The flood situation in south Bengal remained grim on Sunday with the death toll crossing 50. Around 2.14 lakh people have taken shelter in 1,537 relief camps in the 12 districts affected by the deluge. With nine more deaths being reported from different districts on Sunday, the death toll from rains and floods climbed over 50. These deaths include the demise of four children. http://www.firstpost.com/india/floods-wreak-havoc-killing-over-50-people-in-west-bengal-3-in-manipur-2375974.html

MANIPUR: National media continues to ignore North-East India as Manipur hit by worst floods in last 200 years (01 Aug. 2015) This is said to be the worst flood in 200 years. 20 people have been killed in landslides induced by heavy rain in Chandel district. The state government is in total chaos and unprepared to tackle the situation. Imphal the capital city is not affected by the flood. Neither the national media nor state media reported the worst flood that affected in one of India’s most troubled states, Manipur. Entire Thoubal district and parts of Chandel district are submerged. Locals are opposing Thoubal Multipurpose Dam and Mapithal dam in both the districts. The state’s print media and television news channels, mostly based in the state capital Imphal,ignored the floods, while covering the a month long public strike demanding the Inner Land Permit law. http://www.countercurrents.org/chandra010815.htm

GUJARAT: Sabarmati sinks parts of Ahmedabad as record 2.5 lakh cusec water was released from Dharoi dam (31 July 2015) Sabarmati river’s water level rose dramatically creating sudden floods after 2.5 lakh cusecs of water was released into the river from the Dharoi dam in Mehsana district in north Gujarat.  The Sabarmati inundated the Ahmedabad’s low-lying areas of Chandrabhaga near the Sabarmati Ashram. As water level increased, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) evacuated people living in that area Around 1,000 residents of 13 villages of Dholka taluka that are situated near the banks of the Sabarmati were shifted to safer locations. Also see Rain Claims 26 lives in Gujrat, Odisha , 81 Dead, 80 Lakh Affected In Floods In Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal And Odisha http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sabarmati-sinks-parts-of-Ahmedabad/articleshow/48289938.cms   

ODISHA: Flood situation grim in Odisha as Komen continue to spell havoc (03 Aug. 2015) According to official estimates, so far around 5 lakh people from 597 villages in 15 blocks of these districts had been affected by the calamity. With cyclone Komen showing no signs of receding, the situation is likely to aggravate in Odisha and West Bengal. While 664 houses have been damaged in Jajpur district till date according to preliminary estimates, information about the other four affected districts of north Odisha are being collected. With nearly 3,000 tube wells and one piper water supply system hit by the natural disaster, steps are afoot to provide people halogen tablets to ensure that they do not drink contaminated water and fall prey to diseases. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/flood-situation-grim-in-odisha/1/455772.html

RAJASTHAN: Experts explain reasons behind flooding of India’s desert states (01 Aug. 2015) According Himanshu Thakkar of SANDRP “This happens when you introduce extra water to an area, without regard for drainage systems.  Areas like jaisalmer are known for a geological feature known as a ‘hardpan that does not allow water to percolate below it. In other words, the landscape simply isn’t built to absorb or drain away a high volume of water. The introduction of water through irrigation canals, shas already saturated the area. An excess of rain was probably one straw too many. Plus, the canals themselves interfere with natural drainage patterns. In the case of Rajasthan, this interference comes in the form of the mammoth Indira Gandhi canal system.” http://www.catchnews.com/environment-news/there-s-a-flood-in-india-s-desert-here-s-how-it-got-there-1438414292.html

BIHAR: Bihar is India’s Most Flood-Prone State: International Water Management Institute (01 Aug. 2015) Bihar is the country’s most flood-prone state with 73 per cent of its 94,163-sq.km area getting flooded annually, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) said in Patna today. 76 per cent people of North Bihar are at risk of getting caught in floods, said Giriraj Amarnath, senior researcher and project lead of IWMI, who added that Index-based Flood Insurance (IBFI) could prove to be a boon for the situation. http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/bihar-is-indias-most-flood-prone-state-international-water-management-institute-1202812 

RIVER REVIVAL: HC Nainital seeks govt reply on pvt firms dumping waste in rivers (23 July 2015) This is very welcome and interesting, though not clear what happened in the Nainital High Court on July 27:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/HC-seeks-govt-reply-on-pvt-firms-dumping-waste-in-rivers/articleshow/48193161.cms

SAND-MINING:  Impact of rampant sand mining on Rivers (07 Aug. 2015) The judiciary and the government have repeatedly tried to stop the indiscriminate mining of sand from riverbeds in northern India. Yet the loot continues, presenting the administration with a complex situation involving ecological and environmental problems and livelihood issues. http://www.frontline.in/the-nation/rivers-no-more/article7447581.ece?homepage=true

GANGA:  Farmers’ demanding fair compensation mars Clean Ganga Mission (03 Aug. 2015) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Clean Ganga Mission is getting delayed in his own parliamentary constituency of Varanasi as the protest by a group of farmers has left construction of 140 MLD sewage treatment plant at Dinapur stopped for more than three months. 42 farmers who have lost their lands for the plant are demanding compensation as per the new Land Acquisition Act. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/varanasi/Farmers-protest-mars-Clean-Ganga-Mission/articleshow/48323268.cms

YAMUNA: Missed deadlines take Yamuna to its death bed (27 July 2015) Yamuna effortlessly continue to consume mammoth of news bites every week. Lots of things are happening in Delhi at the whim of National Green Tribunal, which is endlessly going on issuing orders and notices to all concerned aiming at revival of River Yamuna by 2017 from Maili to Nirmal. So much is happening in Six months down the line, there is little movement on almost all aspects of the Rs 4,000 crore plan-drawn up after a sustained hearing – thanks to callousness shown by multiple authorities. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/yamuna-polluted-national-green-tribunal/1/454249.html   meanwhile taking note of DDA & DMRC field inspection, NGT issues notice to over 3000 nurseries on Yamuna floodplains (31 July 2015). After floodplain farmers, the nursery men are likely to face loss of livelihood for little fault of their. It seems agencies like DDA and DMRC are trying to divert the attention of NGT. DDA for past many years have set its eyes on Yamuna floodplain land and not to miss any instance to get it vacated at any cost from so called encroachers. DMRC on the other hand, have constructed illegal stations and depots on riverbed and continue to pollute it in many ways. People waiting to see a revived river are left dejected by Haryana govt. that is now going to confess before NGT that its unable to maintain the river flow all through Haryana upto Delhi. Complicating the revival of the river, two waste treatment plants are found releasing water with much high Biochemical Oxygen Demand in Yamuna. The decision of AAP govt. to regularize illegal Millennium Bus Depot on Yamuna River Bed has also earned ire of cities environmentalist. The worst part of Yamuna story this week is that even monsoon though for few weeks has failed to revive River Yamuna.

SOUTH ASIA

Pakistan’s new plan to embrace floods (29 July 2015) The Pakistan government is considering a new flood prevention plan that could transform the way the country deals with its devastating annual floods, by restoring wetlands, forests and floodplains http://www.thethirdpole.net/pakistans-new-plan-to-embrace-floods/

Glacier floods cause humanitarian crisis in Chitral, Pakistan (21 July 2015) Floods have caused unprecedented devastation in the remote Chitral valley of northwest Pakistan, leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded http://www.thethirdpole.net/glacier-floods-cause-humanitarian-crisis-in-chitral/

Flood strewn Myanmar continue to battle monsoon vagaries amid 21 deaths and thousands severely affected by heavy rain and landslides (31 July 2015) Authorities in Myanmar have confirmed that month long non-stop rain, landslides and flooding spell have killed 21 human and left between 67,000 to 110,000 people “severely affected” by the end of July 2015. There are reports of flood waters inundating large swaths of the country while strong wind current continue to batter Rakhine and Chin states that form border with   Bangladesh. As per the Ministry of Agriculture, Myanmar, nearly 525,000 acres of rice paddy fields have been flooded. But the trouble is yet to come to an end as Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology has forecasted further heavy rains and strong winds in the coming days across much of the Southeast Asian country.  http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-expected-heavy-rains-set-to-worsen-myanmar-flood-crisis/2888781.html

Unlearning from earthquake, Nepal plans to build large-scale pumped-storage hydropower project on disaster prone Seti River (30 July 2015) Engineering firm Lahmeyer International GmbH and sub-consultant Manitoba Hydro International have been awarded a contract by Tanahu Hydropower Ltd. to provide a number of services associated with the development of the 140-MW Tanahu pumped-storage project in Nepal. Tanahu will be located on the Seti River about 100 km from Kathmandu and will be Nepal’s first major pumped-storage hydropower plant, according to Lahmeyer. The project’s upper reservoir will be impounded by a 140-meter-tall gravity dam. http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2015/07/nepal-awards-contract-for-first-large-scale-pumped-storage-hydropower-project.html

Landslides in Western Nepal Leave at Least 33 Dead (30 July 2015) Landslides set off by heavy rain struck several villages in Kaski, a popular tourist area in western Nepal, killing at least 33 people, a senior. At least 10 other people were missing, and the death toll could rise. Many houses were buried, he said. Most of the 33 deaths were in Kaski, but two people were killed in the Myagdi district and one person was found dead in the Baglung district. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/31/world/asia/nepal-landslides.html?_r=0

CHINA

The Hidden Costs of China’s Shift to Hydropower (29 July 2015) Beijing hopes hydropower can wean China off dirty fossil fuels, but new dams will mean a big environmental toll. The report also says that Hydropower is responsible for far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal. But shifting away from coal in favor of water-driven electricity entails major risks. These include the low generating efficiency of hydropower, heightening the need for back-up coal power during sustained periods of low rainfall, weak grid systems and potential for large dams on international rivers to spark conflict with neighboring countries. http://thediplomat.com/2015/07/the-hidden-costs-of-chinas-shift-to-hydropower/

WORLD

California’s Drought Impact: Thousands Are Living Without Running Water (July 31 2015) With California in its fourth year of drought, there’s been little groundwater resupply and a lot more demand—particularly as farmers resort to pumping for water—leading the water table to drop dramatically and wells to go dry. Those with money can dig deeper wells, but this generally costs between $10,000 and $30,000—a cost that’s prohibitive for many Tulare residents. http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2015/07/drought-5000-californians-dont-have-running-water

CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate Change Will Cause Increased Flooding In Coastal Cities (28 July 2015) Climate Change Will Cause Increased Flooding In Coastal Cities. About 40 percent of the population of the United States lives in coastal counties, and many of the world’s major cities are similarly close to the ocean. http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewfrancis/2015/07/28/even-without-drastic-predictions-coasts-are-in-danger/

ENVIRONMENT                    

Amendments to six green laws to be ready by Oct-Nov (30 July 2015) “The TSR committee was not just a hurried job but everything with it was wrong—their constitution, their terms of reference, the methodology and the team which made the report. No one should be under any illusion. It was done entirely with the purpose of making business easier. It was the government’s pre-design and they are just following that,” said Himanshu Thakkar, an environmental activist working on water-related issues. http://www.livemint.com/Politics/dVkCsx7UxMC9Z9BshH4nKM/Amendments-to-six-green-laws-to-be-ready-by-OctNov.html

Environment minister Prakash Javadekar to meet MPs to decide fate of western ghats(31 July 2015) Ahead of its deadline for taking a final decision on the issue of Western Ghats by August end, environment minister Prakash Javadekar is set to hold a round of meetings with near 70 MPs from the stakeholder states. Javadekar will chair a meeting with the MPs from the Western Ghats states on August 3 in the Parliament to get a final round of feedback before deciding on the exact contours of the ecologically sensitive area. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/environment-minister-prakash-javadekar-to-meet-mps-to-decide-fate-of-western-ghats/articleshow/48289650.cms

World Bank won’t fund coal-related projects in India (31 July 2015) The World Bank has made a U-turn on its stance that coal is the backbone of the India’s energy economy 17 years after it agreed to lend $1.03 billion to Coal India along with a Japanese lending agency. The international lender has now decided not to invest in any coal-related project, be it a coal mine or a thermal power plant.  . http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/indl-goods/svs/metals-mining/world-bank-wont-fund-coal-related-projects-in-india/articleshow/48289628.cms 

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