DRP News Bulletin 11 September 2017 (Why This Rally Won’t Help The Rivers?)

The news media is filled with this new kid on the block, trying to wake the nation about the need to save our rivers… amazing to see so many film stars, politicians, governments, and public personalities, many of them rather innocently joining the band wagon… some friends were pleading that see, he is able to take the message of rivers to so many people, including lakhs of children… let us try and see if there is something positive here… may be, may be this is just the entry point, but the guy and his team have bigger vision? May be we need to give him longer rope, be more charitable and not jump to negativity?

We have kept all this in mind while writing this.

We see nothing from the people who are leading the rally, or their websites or messages that they understand the real threats faced by and reasons for the state of our rivers, are ready to even list such causes or protest any further move to destroy our rivers. The website claims it is “a nationwide awareness campaign to revive our rivers”. Can missed call save our rivers?

Besides sending missed call, the only other step the Rally is suggesting is planting trees along the river. While planting trees can help environment in general if right kind and number of trees are planted at right place (& we see no precautions about this on the Rally website), it cannot help bring the rivers out of the current crisis they are facing, particularly the causes for the crisis listed earlier. It can also not help rejuvenate rivers or “ensure our rivers are fed throughout the year by the moist soil. This will also reduce floods, drought and soil loss” as the website is claiming.

It is unfortunate to see Rajendra Singh of Tarun Bharat Sangh supporting the rally: https://twitter.com/ishafoundation/status/904541354360848384/video/1  

Some excellent report that highlight this: http://m.economictimes.com/opinion/poke-me/poke-me-rallying-to-protect-our-rivers-is-great-but-lets-get-the-science-right/articleshow/60412430.cms  

https://thewire.in/175252/rally-for-rivers-jaggi-vasudev-trees-narmada-adani-sand-mining/  

http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/why-tree-planting-not-answer-experts-question-jaggi-s-rally-rivers-68004  

http://www.firstpost.com/india/rally-for-rivers-isha-foundations-campaign-has-good-intentions-but-minimal-scientific-backing-4022799.html  

http://raiot.in/why-a-mercedes-driving-godmans-rallyforrivers-is-suspect/  

http://www.dailyo.in/voices/rally-for-rivers-sadhguru-jaggi-vasudev-bollywood-modi-government-ganga/story/1/19301.html 

HYDRO POWER

Report Coal to account for 68% of total power resources by 2026; hydropower generation to decline As per , BMI Research, a unit of Fitch Group recent report, coal will remain the foremost fuel preference for India’s power sector and is expected to account for around 68 per cent of the total power mix by 2026. The report also says that share of hydropower in the Indian power mix will reduce marginally over the coming decade, from around nine per cent currently to just over seven per cent in 2026, this is despite annual average growth rates in hydropower generation of 3.8 per cent, it said. SANDRP opines that it is unlikely that annual average growth rate in hydropower generation will be 3.8% as suggested here. http://www.newindianexpress.com/business/2017/aug/24/coal-to-account-for-68-percent-of-total-power-resources-by-2026-hydropower-generation-to-decline-r-1647672.html

Similarly Energy Business Review recognizes a number of disadvantages of hydropower, including impact on climate, environment, ecosystems, its high cost, deforestation, displacement and floods. http://hydro.energy-business-review.com/news/major-pros-and-cons-of-hydroelectric-power-5915836

Karnataka How a 3MW hydro project damaging the river and fish Such a remarkable story of how the river, the fish and fisherfolks are at the mercy of so called environmentally benign 3 MW hydropower project (Bhoruka hydel power unit, commissioned in 2001) on Cauvery. http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/ten-minutes-of-playing-catch-livelihood-of-small-fishing-communities-4825533/

Himachal Pradesh Locals protest against Luhri dam

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Shimla landslide David Petley writes about the recent Shimla landslide and indicates that poor quality road construction could be the reason. http://blogs.agu.org/landslideblog/2017/09/04/shimla-landslide-1/

MONSOON 2017

Madhya Pradesh Deficient monsoon The current southwest monsoon season from June 1 to September 6 has seen the state receive 24.7 per cent below-normal (long period average) rainfall. As many as 31 out of 51 districts have recorded deficient rainfall — shortfall in excess of 20 per cent — while being 10-20 per cent below-normal in 11 others. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/monsoon-troubles-after-junes-farmer-fury-madhya-pradesh-stares-at-prospect-of-drought-4832079/

FLOODS 2017

Assam Ranganadi Dam worsens flood devastation Indeed the Ranganadi dam has been the main cause of flash flooding in and around Lakhimpur district, adversely affecting the environment and socio-economic conditions of its people. In a statement, the North East Dialogue Forum has stated that NEEPCO is guilty of human rights violations. The forum has demanded a review of project operation rules. Several organisations in the state have demanded that the state and central governments figure out a permanent solution to the frequent floods, and de-commission the Ranganadi dam. The organisations also warned that NEEPCO should be ready to face dire consequences if it does not adequately compensate those affected. https://www.thethirdpole.net/2017/08/25/dam-worsens-flood-devastation-in-assam/

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Geo sand bags being put an embankment in Lakhimpur district, on August 12, 2017. PHOTO/ Biju BORO

Meanwhile, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that heavy rain in China may have caused flood in Assam. UNFORTUNATELY, WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO THE DATA WHEN IT IS SHARED BY CHINA. Moreover the contention that the third wave of flood may be due to high rainfall in China does not seem correct, seeing the NASA maps that clearly showed HEAVY rainfall in North East India, including Assam on Aug 10-12. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/heavy-rain-in-china-may-have-caused-assam-floods-himanta-biswa-sarma-4810880/

SIMILARLY ANOTHER REPORT CARRIES AN INTERESTING STATEMENT. As per RP Das, secretary of the Water Resource Department, his department had never received such data provided by China. The Water Resource Department never received any such data provided by China. He also said that they have been dependent on the data provided by Assam State Disaster Management Authority for flood alert. WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO THE FLOOD DATA THAT CHINA WAS SUPPLYING TO INDIA IN THAT CASE? WHO WAS USING IT AND TO WHAT END? WAS IT USED AT ALL? http://www.firstpost.com/india/sikkim-standoff-india-does-not-need-hydrological-data-from-china-to-predict-floods-say-experts-3970963.html

As per another report, CHINA HAS CONFIRMED IT DID NOT AND WILL NOT SHARE HYDROLOGICAL DATA due to Doklam incident. The question is, the data was to be shared from MAY 15, when there was no Doklam issue… why did it not share data then?  ” The Global Times, an English language Chinese daily, quoted a Chinese expert as saying that China cannot be expected to fulfil its obligation when India has no regard for its neighbour’s sovereignty and that China would not carry out normal cooperation on hydrological data unless India agrees to withdraw troops from Doklam.” https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170824/jsp/northeast/story_168795.jsp

It is so Shocking allegation by ill informed Indian Media. The barrages (Kosi, Gandak, Sharada) on the rivers that flow from Nepal to India are controlled by Indian engineers. They in any case do not have big capacity to store. http://www.livehindustan.com/uttar-pradesh/story-nepal-was-leaving-water-on-the-behest-of-china-from-the-barrages-1383698.html

ALSO SEE NOTABLE STATEMENTS FROM A THIRD POLE REPORT

– The Assam govt is also planning to reform the department to better cope with the floods every year. “Under the present set-up, it is impossible for the water resources department to tackle floods and erosion,” said officials.

– There has been no timely update about the floods this year. The flood monitoring system of the National Disaster Management Authority published its latest update on July 12. The CWC failed to issue timely flood warnings to the affected areas.

– the state water resources minister said a state-of-the-art flood-monitoring and warning system would soon be in place. While data for forecasting is important, there are also questions on how the people will be warned.

QUESTIONABLE MOVE A move is also on the cards to procure two or three dredgers to dredge a few tributaries of the Brahmaputra, on an experimental basis, as the water-carrying capacity of the rivers diminishes every year, the officials added.

INVITATION TO DISASTER? Sarbananda Sonowal, state chief minister, said that Assam has a proposal to develop 5,000 km of road-cum-embankments as part of Prime Minister’s programme for flood and erosion control. https://www.thethirdpole.net/2017/08/25/dam-worsens-flood-devastation-in-assam/

Also see an excellent report on Assam floods having rivers in focus. It also quotes SANDRP extensively. http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/understanding-inundation/article19566027.ece

Brahmputra Dredging Dredging Brahmaputra to achieve navigation is not feasible

It is hoped that clearing silt from the mighty river will improve navigation and ease floods and erosion, but experts say the project is neither economically viable nor a permanent solution

– PK Dutta, an engineer submitted the dredging plans to Prime Minister Modi. A more recent attempt to dredge the Assam-stretch of the Brahmaputra in 1974 was largely unsuccessful. Dutta’s plan envisages restricting the Brahmaputra within a-two kilometre wide course and using the dredged silt to reclaim the land lost to erosion to build the highways. The current plan remains the same but with one change that the channel to be dredged has been limited to 45 metres. However, no Detailed Project Report (DPR) is available for this project.

– But the project, set to start in September, has been mired in controversy with experts suspecting the dredging is easier said than done. An expert team from the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) visited Assam in September 2016 and reported that a detailed morphological and hydrological study of the river was needed to explore the possibilities for dredging its huge sediment deposits.

– Having such a large drainage area, the Brahmaputra is heavily charged with sediment and as a result of siltation has been steadily expanding–from two kilometres near Guwahati to 14 kilometres at places such as Sadiya and Dibrugarh. This is considered to be a major hurdle to dredging.The Brahmaputra is also a heavily braided river–another impediment to the plan.

– “The mighty Brahmaputra and its tributaries carry huge amounts of silt with its flow, around 1.8 billion tonnes per year. Carrying silt from the upper catchment of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries and depositing it in the main stream is a continuous process, mostly due to the vast deforestation and infrastructure development activities in the upper hilly catchment of the rivers,” says Pradip Puzari, a project manager at M/S Patel Engineering Ltd. “It is impossible to make the river bed free from silt deposition by dredging, unless a suitable mechanism is applied to capture and dispose of the silt load flowing into the main stream from its tributaries. Otherwise, the dredged portion of the river bed will be filled up with fresh silt immediately. Dredging along a particular width of a channel along the Brahmaputra for navigational purposes will not support a permanent solution to the recurring floods and erosion of the Brahmaputra basin.” Puzari maintains that the state government should come up with a transparent detailed project report (DPR) taking into consideration the riparians and riverine biodiversity.

– Numerous environmental concerns associated with dredging the Brahmaputra need to addressed, but the government seems to ignore those most critical. There are questions over how the construction of the expressways on both banks of the river is possible without disturbing the the river connections with other channels and water bodies. But one key question remains: how can the Assam government continue with such a massive project, without conducting the necessary environment impact assessment? http://www.businessnortheast.com/article.php?displayid=1010229&displaytype=Article

Bihar Another dimension of Bihar’s unprecedented floods This time around, the floods have reached even those places that have not witnessed one before. In Pashchim Champaran district, a few blocks have seen three to four cycles of flash floods. The situation has worsened in eight of the flood-affected blocks this week. According to the locals, the district has never experienced flash floods of this severity. Vinay Kumar, secretary of NGO Water Action says half of the affected populace in Pashchim Champaran has never seen a flood before. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/floods-ravage-bihar-northeast

West Bengal Why Teesta water released in flooded Mahananda As per an irrigation department official, more than 43,000 cusecs of water has been released by the Teesta barrage on August 20 which is also contributing to the increasing water level. This is shocking that even as Mahananda was in floods, Teesta water was being released to Mahananda, worsening the flood situation in Malda. WHY? http://www.firstpost.com/india/west-bengal-floods-situation-improves-but-malda-district-inundated-by-increasing-water-of-mahananda-3953755.html

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Also see, Nasa update includes the map depicting the unprecedented floods in Ganga basin in mid Aug onwards. https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=90920&src=nha

Maharashtra Lowlying areas of Jayakwadi on high alert JAYAKWADI dam is over 80% full and most dams in the upstream over 90% full, so Jayakwadi is expected to release water this year to downstream area. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/aurangabad/lowlying-areas-of-jayakwadi-on-high-alert/articleshow/60353024.cms

On the other hand, India’s & Maharashtra’s first Shoreline Management Plan prepared by Maharashtra Maritime Board, considering that sea level is expected to rise by 0.38 m by 2050. Interestingly, it says: “Experts note that dams and sand mining in rivers affect supply of new sand to beaches and cause erosion.” http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-state-s-sea-levels-may-rise-by-038-metre-by-2050-2536409

Urban Flooding WHO WILL ENSURE WE CHANGE AFTER MUMBAI FLOODS With incidents of urban flooding becoming common, thanks to increasing frequency of extreme rainfall events, at least two parallel initiatives are under way to prepare response strategies, and prevent the kind of situation that was witnessed in Chennai in 2015 and Mumbai earlier this week.

– One of these initiatives is being driven by the office of the Principle Scientific Advisor (PSA) to the Prime Minister, R Chidambaram, and involves the implementation of a pilot plan in Chennai. The other is being made by the National Disaster Management Authority and is likely to result in a similar pilot plan for Guwahati.

– One of the objectives of the two initiatives is to develop early warning systems, which will tell civic authorities which areas are likely to be inundated, by how much, and for how long for a particular rainfall forecast.

– The second objective, a more long-term one, is to improve drainage system in the cities, declog existing networks, adopt better solid waste management practices, and regulate new construction in low-lying areas.

WHO WIIL ENSURE THIS HAPPENS: In the roadmap circulated to the state governments, the NDMA has asked the civic authorities to ensure regular cleaning of drains, mapping of water bodies, and creating a system to alert people about heavy rainfall forecasts as short-term measures to deal with flooding. It has also asked them to formulate drainage master plans, remove encroachments and obstructions from natural drainage paths, and carry out topographical surveys of their cities. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/mumbai-rains-chennai-floods-assam-floods-mumbai-floods-strategies-to-tackle-urban-flooding-on-the-table-plans-to-develop-alerts-improve-drainage-4823060/

Meanwhile Nityanand speaks clearly, showing how the state and central govt and their organisations are all hand in glove in destroying Cheanni’s creeks. When the Kosasthalaiyar floods – and flood it will thanks to the encroachments — and the lives of Chennai residents are imperilled, it should be remembered that those in power at the Centre and the state could have, but did nothing to avert certain disaster. Like the 2015 floods, the next Chennai floods too will be man-made. http://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/why-chennai-like-other-indian-cities-will-definitely-flood-again/story-KVxgIt0zyctNFO70EklYGJ.html

As per another news report, fishermen living in hamlets along the Ennore creek in north Chennai want the estuary that has silted up to be dredged. Residents said that due to the silt piling up, they were unable to enter the sea. With the monsoon around the corner, they said that unless the estuary is dredged, water from the Kosasthalaiyar and Buckingham Canal that empty into the creek will break the banks and enter habitations. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/fishers-want-ennore-estuary-dredged/article19614042.ece

Gujarat Estimates of flood damage in about 10,000 villages in 17 affected districts

– About 10.98 lakh hectares of agricultural land of 4,333 villages & 6.44 lakh farmers were affected.

– 16,808 hectares of horticulture crop in 2,431 villages, affecting 4,989 farmers.

– Total payable relief, including agriculture, horticulture, cattle and land damage, stands at Rs 1,653 crore. Out of it, about Rs 867 crore has been given to farmers for their crop loss.

– Land erosion has affected 2 lakh ha where resowing is not possible this year. In addition to this, water logging in some parts of Sabarkantha district is a hurdle for re-plantation. http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/6-44-lakh-farmers10-98-lakh-hectares-hit-by-gujarat-flood/823911/

DAMS

SANDRP Blog Development NOT Dams: Pancheshwar affected people demand FIELD VISIT REPORT BY BHIM SINGH RAWAT of SANDRP, after visiting the dam site of proposed Pancheshwar project and some of the affected villages. It has some very breath-taking beautiful photos too. Plz help us take it to others interested by sharing. https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/development-not-dams-pancheshwar-affected-people-demand/  

Also see, two more recent blog on the Pancheshwar dam project titled

Neither people nor environment were heard  https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/pancheshwar-dams-public-hearing-neither-people-nor-environment-were-heard/ and

Loud Media Message: Public Hearing of Pancheshwar dam is illegal https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/loud-media-message-public-hearing-of-pancheshwar-dam-is-illegal/

IMG20170815141602

Pancheshwar Dam Pancheshwar is unviable project The DPR is based on a survey conducted 30 years ago and does not account for a spike in land prices in the interim, some villagers say. A forum they have formed to oppose the project has cited the example of how those displaced by the Tehri Dam are yet to be rehabilitated properly. Some locals are afraid that the dam’s construction will force people to migrate away from these districts, wondering how it would affect livelihood. Also, the DPR allegedly ignores the landless, labourers and several others. http://www.catchnews.com/india-news/the-indo-nepal-pancheshwar-dam-here-s-why-the-project-should-not-be-taken-up-at-all-78720.html  

Residents of a cluster of villages in Pithoragarh district have condemned the “duplicity” of the govt in celebrating ‘Himalaya Diwas’ while building the dam against the wishes of locals, who will lose their land and homes because of it. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/dehradun/villagers-affected-by-pancheshwar-dam-condemn-govt-duplicity/articleshow/60428767.cms

Also see HRIDAYESH JOSHI writes about the FRAUDULENT PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE PANCHESHWAR PROJECT https://scroll.in/article/848010/uttarakhand-is-building-a-dam-spread-over-an-area-larger-than-chandigarh-and-people-are-protesting

Meanwhile, a Nepali team of experts left for the Indian Capital on Sept 05 for bilateral talks to finalise a detailed project report (DPR) of Pancheshwar project. Use of water resources, location of the dam, installed capacity of the project, cost sharing, funding arrangements and construction modalities of the project have been the major bone of contention. Nepal to invest 37% of project cost. http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2017-09-05/nepali-team-heads-to-india-for-pancheshwar-talks.html

As per latest report, following the landslips triggered by two cloudbursts in the region recently that left nine persons dead, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has begun a study of the pattern of natural disasters in regions located upwards of Dharchula and Munsiyari sub-divisions of the district which fall in seismic zone V. We hope these studies are made public soon and form inputs for decision making about the Pancheshwar Dam.  http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gsi-team-to-study-pattern-of-disasters-in-uttarakhand/article19585441.ece

Polavaram Dam  Govt ignoring rehabilitating the people about to be displaced Time and again Andhra CM N Chandra Babu Naidu has been making statements about finishing the Polavaram Project before 2019 general elections. But not once has he mentioned anything about the rehabilitation planning for the ‘about to be displaced’ people. The affected people have formed  Polavaram Nirvasitula Sangham organization and is collectively leading their struggles against the hurdles they are encountering in the rehabilitation process. They are demanding proper implementation of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. In August, Govt officials submitted the revised estimated cost of the project which is 58, 319.06 crores to the Central Govt. According to 2010 -11 estimates, the project cost was 16010.45 crores. https://newsclick.in/andhra-cm-ignoring-rehabilitating-people-about-be-displaced-polavaram-project

In a separate development, NGT has directed the Environment Ministry and the State to examine a plea claiming that huge amounts of waste was being dumped in agricultural lands near the Polavaram project. It also directed them to look into the entire issue raised in the petition filed by an economist, Dr Pentapati Pullarao, and pass appropriate orders.

Pullarao had alleged environment violations at the site and claimed that huge quantity of waste material was being dumped in agricultural lands near Polavaram project. The plea has sought directions to the state govt to stop mud dumping in villages along West Godavari district for construction of the dam. One would have expected NGT to take action on this illegal act rather than asking MoEF and AP govt to examine the plea. http://www.firstpost.com/india/ngt-directs-environment-ministry-andhra-pradesh-govt-to-examine-waste-dumping-around-polavaram-project-4007817.html

Meanwhile the govt is likely to issued fresh tenders for the dam due to the current contractor’s (Transstroy) poor performance, achievement of just 27% of target is considered the main reason for termination of current contract. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ap-to-call-fresh-tenders-for-polavaram/article19626756.ece 

INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Editorial Caution warranted for river-linking project (in Live Mint) Great to see somewhat balanced edit on Inter Linking of Rivers Live MINT newspaper.

30 river linkages and more than 3,000 storage structures spread across a 15,000km canal network that will transfer 174 trillion litres of water every year, and will cost a total of Rs5.6 trillion.

River-linking critics insist that the project is built on bad science and an outdated understanding of water systems and water management. Specifically, the concept of surplus and deficit river basins—which is at the core of the river-linking project—is contested.

Also, the project seems to view the river as a unidimensional water pipeline when it is, in fact, an entire ecosystem—and any changes to its natural course will have an impact on all the flora and fauna, the wetlands and the floodplains that are intricately linked to the river system.

There are political challenges as well. Water transfer and water sharing are sensitive subjects that have already spawned century-long disputes, and few political parties today can expect to win the next election if they are seen as having signed away a scarce natural resource.

Moreover, water is a state subject in India, and even though the Centre is empowered to bring an inter-state river under its control to serve the national interest, it has effectively never done so owing to enormous resistance from the states.

Given all these concerns, not to mention the massive price tag, perhaps the govt would do well to consider other interventions, both on the supply side and the demand side, such as conservation of water resources and more efficient irrigation and agricultural practices, etc., to deal with India’s looming water crisis. http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/qOpr7STAP74Lb2ICtNMwoN/Caution-warranted-for-riverlinking-project.html#ampshare=http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/qOpr7STAP74Lb2ICtNMwoN/Caution-warranted-for-riverlinking-project.html

Meanwhile the new Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari has claimed that work will start in three months in 3 ILR projects, reality seems to suggest that his statements will meet the same fate as those of his predecessor. http://www.firstpost.com/india/centres-river-linking-schemes-despite-nitin-gadkaris-bold-claims-projects-unlikely-to-take-off-soon-say-experts-4021849.html

He has also announced central assistance for the ambitious river-linking scheme Damanganga-Pinjal and Nar-Tapi-Narmada, which will link five rivers in the Maharashtra.  http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/gadkari-s-55-000-crore-irrigation-boost-for-maharashtra/story-CjobINxbYEw1oT8yMHYeHI.html

The Water Resource Minister goes on making strange claims of completing TWO ILR schemes in two years, which does not have any clearances….

– “Of the three river-linking projects undertaken by us, two are in Maharashtra. These are worth Rs 20,000 crore. We hope to start work on these projects over the next three months and hope to complete them in two years,” Gadkari said.

– Fadnavis said the two river-linking projects will make available nearly 50,000 million cubic feet (TMC) water for the state. “After the agreement (with Gujarat), the state will get its share of water, but apart from that we will get additional 50 TMC from these two river projects,” he said.

– Fadnavis has proposed four more river-linking projects worth Rs 10,000 crore to which his ministry had given in- principle approval, Gadkari said. These projects are: Damanganga-Godavari, Damanganga- Vaitarna-Godavari, Par-Godavari and Nar-Par-Girna rivers. http://ptinews.com/news/9054065_Gadkari-promises-Rs-60-000-crore-to-Maharashtra-for-irrigation

INTER STATE WATER DISPUTES

Telangana TRS demands change in Central Water Policy In a letter to Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharathi on August 22, 2017, the TRS MP MP B. Narsaiah Goud said that almost all reservoirs in Karnataka have sufficient water while both Telangana and Andhra were facing shortage of water.  He said that the Central Govt was not taking any measures to create some kind of balance between the States dependent on Godavari and Krishna Rivers. Its true Centre should be taking initiative to ensure more equitable distribution of inflows in rivers at any point of time/ place, but the Centre seems to have no vision or will.http://www.thehansindia.com/posts/index/Telangana/2017-08-23/TRS-demands-change-in-Central-Water-Policy/321271

IRRIGATION

Maharashtra Gadkari’s ₹55,000-crore irrigation boost for Maharashtra Gadkari seems to be indulging in some jugglery here to push more funding into Maharashtra’s scam tainted irrigation sector n the BJP govt there has shown little interest in investigating the scam… Where’s all this leading to??? http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/gadkari-s-55-000-crore-irrigation-boost-for-maharashtra/story-CjobINxbYEw1oT8yMHYeHI.html

RIVERS

SANDRP REPORT Parineeta Dandekar of SANDRP starts a monthly column in Maharashtra Times, here is her first article on Rivers, cities and people, published today (Sept 3, 2017). http://maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com/editorial/samwad/city-river-and-things/articleshow/60339521.cms

Also see the Parineeta’s second Marathi article on rivers in Maharashtra Times. http://maharashtratimes.indiatimes.com/editorial/column/open-window/river-and-parineeta-dandekar/articleshow/60439311.cms

Kerala Govt to frame strong law for river protection As per Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas the state would enact strong legislation for the conservation of rivers. http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/thiruvananthapuram/2017/sep/06/state-to-frame-strong-law-for-river-protection-1653026.html  

Maharashtra Ulhas, Waldhuni rivers almost died due to pollution

HOPE SUPREME COURT TAKES THIS TO LOGICAL CONCLUSION & NOT DILUTE NGT ORDER

– A court order from August 14, which was published on August 18, said that there was ‘absolutely no coordination between authorities to protect the rivers’. The court asked the principal secretary, state environment department and member secretary of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to be present in person during the next hearing on September 18.

– The western bench of the NGT passed an order in July 2015 held Dombivili Industries Association (DBESA), Ulhas Nagar Municipal Corporation, the Kalyan Dombivili Municipal Corporation, the Ambarnath Municipal Council and others guilty of polluting Ulhas river with untreated effluents. The judgement imposed a penalty of Rs96 crore to restore the river.

– The SC, however, said that the penalty amounts may not be deposited at this stage. The court also ordered the two state government officers to appear before the court only after taking stock of the revival plan for the rivers after consulting the director, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, concerned authorities from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur and the National Institute of Oceanography.

– In 2012, NGO Vanashakti filed a petition with the NGT to direct the MPCB to shut all polluting industries discharging untreated effluents into the Ulhas river.In July 2015, the government agencies moved the Bombay high court (HC), which stayed the tribunal’s order of depositing the fine. On July 5, the SC passed an order staying the HC judgement. The apex court on July 17 directed the respondents to pay the fine and said that the civic bodies and the industries have the option of either filing a review in NGT or take the matter to the SC itself, within three weeks. The respondents chose the latter.

– The current SC order was in light of a special leave petition filed by Vanashakti in the SC, challenging the HC’s decision. http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/ulhas-waldhuni-rivers-have-almost-died-due-to-pollution-sc-tells-maharashtra-government/story-I8RPKcdr6Q5wOpJdCL8cvO.html

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1585.

Image of the same bend, but no camps – early March 2017. Photo credits: Siddharth Agarwal

GANGA SANDRP Blog Walking along Ganga in Uttarakhand in 2017 Siddharth Agarwal describes his walk along Ganga & Bhagirathi in Uttarakhand earlier this year and also compares it with observations of a trip along the same path three years ago by Theo. THe article also provides some amazing photos. https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/walking-along-ganga-in-uttarakhand-in-2017/

Uttar Pradesh MoEF rejects UP’s ‘religious smart city’ plan REJECTION IS GOOD NEWS BUT THE VERY FACT THAT SUCH A PROPOSAL WAS MADE?

– An environment ministry panel has rejected the UP govt’s proposal to develop the country’s first “religious hi-tech smart city” in Garh Mukteshwar, saying the project would “kill the cleanest part” of the Ganga and further endanger the dolphins, Turtles and critically endangered Gharials inhabiting the national river.

– The UP govt had proposed a new city spread over 7,395 hectares inside Hastinapur wildlife sanctuary and on both banks of river Ganga with an aim to inculcate a unique mix of technology and religion. The city was to be developed in a public-private-partnership model having high-end residential and commercial establishments.

– But the standing committee of the national board for wildlife, which reviews projects coming up in and around national parks and sanctuaries, rejected the proposal after a team led by the ministry’s inspector general of forests inspected the site. It found that the project had the potential to change “morphology and hydrodynamics” of the Ganga and will kill approximately 7km of the river in UP.

– “This (the project) will hinder the efforts towards the restoration of the Ganga river and will negatively affect the success of making a clean and vibrant Ganga which is one of the (central government’s) main agenda,” the team said in its reported submitted to the ministry of environment, forest and climate change last month.

– On the proposed barrage to divert 6,000 cusec of water from the river to have a man-made river front, the inspection report said it will “disrupt the downstream ecological process” of Ganga and will be in violation of the NGT’s July 2017 order which prohibited construction along the river. It also said the proposed 8.5km canal from the barrage will affect integrity of the wildlife habitat as it will hinder movement of wild animals. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/environment-ministry-panel-rejects-up-s-religious-smart-city-plan-it-ll-kill-ganga/story-CxFFHoC9CbQwgLpFJBs5GL.html

Center PMO for long had wanted Nitin Gadkari to take charge of Ganga cleaning Indeed, if all this has not helped, how is this change of guard at MoWR going to help?

– In July 2016, an informal sub-committee consisting of Gadkari, Minister for Road, Transport and Highways, Minster for Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti and Principal Secretary to PM Nripendra Mishra was constituted to look over the work related to Ganga cleaning.

– As per sources, the sub group was constituted as it was felt that Bharti, was unable to handle the work alone and needed advise of senior minister. It was to advise Bharti to expedite the work.

– Prime Minister Office also directly monitors progress of work related to Ganga and PM has held a series of meetings in last three years to take stock of the work.  http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/sep/03/prime-minister-modi-for-long-had-wanted-nitin-gadkari-to-take-charge-of-ganga-cleaning-1652028.html

Will being go getter, taking fresh guard or having familiarity with the Ministry work help Gadkari? Not likely: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/top-performer-nitin-gadkari-in-charge-as-government-eyes-clean-ganga/articleshow/60350058.cms

Similarly, Uma Bharti completely failed to achieve anything as a MoWR, she seemed busy catering to vested interests in pushing Ken Betwa Project or Pancheshwar project or such other high investment and destructive schemes and achieved nothing for Ganga. As per Himanshu Thakkar of SANDRP, the minister paid more attention on building infrastructure, spending huge money and bringing in technology, but little attention was paid on governance. Uma Bharti relied on bureaucrats who misled her. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/uma-bharti-ganga-experts-cabinet-reshuffle/1/1039555.html

YAMUNA WATCH discussion with river experts on the topic of ‘polluted Yamuna and how to save it, under Weekly Astitava Environment Series on Lok Sabha TV Channel moderated by Abhilash Khandekar. The participants are Shri Himanshu Thakkar, SANDRP and Shri Manu Bhatnagar INTACH. Kindly also spread the info among you friends and environment lovers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNrKdLu4uCA&index=52&list=PLVwSaSw61aK5hy0tbZ22DwbIE2mqFiMUS

SAND MINING

Karnataka Coastal districts to have a separate sand mining policy New Sand Mining policy in three coastal districts (Dakshin Kannada, Uttar Kannada and Udupi) As per law minister T B Jayachandra, the CRZ norms are controlled by the centre, over which govt has no control but the powers to allow sand mining in non-CRZ areas are under the state govt control. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/coastal-districts-to-have-a-separate-sand-mining-policy/articleshow/60362984.cms

WETLANDS

Jammu & Kashmir HC directs Govt to demarcate wetlands, conserve water bodies To protect water bodies, along with river Jhelum, HC August 18 directed govt to demarcate the wetlands and take measures to conserve water bodies in the Valley.

– Hearing a PIL, HC headed by Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Ali Mohammad Magrey ordered immediate demarcation of wildlife forests, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves by the concerned authority.

– To build interconnections between wetlands and rivers, the court ordered Commissioner Secretary Irrigation Department to convene a meeting and submit action plan on next hearing on September 11. Concerned Principal Development Authority was also asked to file fresh response about the details of map and network of wetlands interconnected with River Jhelum.

– Regarding a water body in the south Kashmir Rambi Ara, the court was told that the government has issued tenders for the construction of a fruit mandi. The concerned DC has also granted permission for the construction. Environment lawyer, Nadeem Qadri said the construction of the mandi would choke the canals and lead to flood-like situation to which the court directed the State counsel to file counter affidavit at the next hearing. The court ordered that no fresh construction should be carried out which are banned under law.

– The PIL filed by one Peer Noor-ul-Haq, seeking directions to remove encroachments to restore Padshahi canal, an age-old irrigation passage which lies at Nallah Sindh near Wayil Bridge in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir.

– Later, HC expanded the purview of the PIL and issued directions for safeguarding the Jhelum, the lifeline of Kashmir Valley. http://www.risingkashmir.com/news/hc-directs-govt-to-demarcate-wetlands-conserve-water-bodies-

WATER OPTIONS

Maharashtra Budgeting every water cup Marathwada village comes up with a novel idea to tackle water scarcity–water budget for each household. http://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/budgeting-every-water-cup

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Rajasthan Laxman Singh a wizard with water The village of Laporiya in Jaipur gets very little rainfall. The average for 18 years is less than 500 mm a year. In recent years it has been 300 mm. However a passionate campaign launched by them 25 years ago to harvest the little rain they get and plant trees has sent groundwater levels up. It has ensured the wells always have water and their lives are better for it. It takes long for a village to go from no-water to water but Laporiya is proof that it can be done.  The inspiration for the campaign is Laxman Singh, then a young scion of the main landowning family in the village and now an elder at 61. http://civilsocietyonline.com/hall-of-fame/wizard-with-water/

AGRICULTURE

Gujarat Govt “not interested” in turning farmers into solar power producers This article expresses apprehension that Gujarat govt is not interested in promoting solar power pump scheme among farmers. IWMI feels it can lead to reduction in groundwater use and yet be climate friendly as it can reduce thermal power use.

SOUTH ASIA

DRP 16

South Asia Flood More than 1,200 people have died across India, Bangladesh and Nepal as a result of flooding https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/30/mumbai-paralysed-by-floods-as-india-and-region-hit-by-worst-monsoon-rains-in-years

Another report says that India faced worst floods in 2007. 3.4 crores (4.1 Cr in 2007) have so far been affected in 280 districts with over 1000 dead. Additional 80 lakh people have been affected in 32 districts in Bangladesh. Nepal experienced some of the worst floods with 17 lakh people impacted in 35 districts of the country. Over 140 people have perished in the floods and an estimated $8.8 billion worth of crops destroyed, mainly in the terai districts of Nepal. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/this-years-floods-worst-in-a-decade/articleshow/60384123.cms

Here is one more amazing photo report on South Asian Floods (Nepal, Bangladesh, India) in Aug 2017. https://www.buzzfeed.com/anupkaphle/south-asia-is-also-experiencing-the-worst-flooding-in?utm_term=.li3Wxx3Pj#.vgV155Km2

Also see, NASA video that explains the process of monsoon in South Asia n elsewhere: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4397

India Nepal INDO NEPAL JOINT STATEMENT DATED AUG 24, 2017, following NEPAL PM MEETINGS IN DELHI has following to say about dams, water and hydropower projects.

– The two Prime Ministers, noting the positive and productive discussion on the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, directed the concerned officials to finalize its Detailed Project Report within a month.

– The Prime Minister of Nepal reiterated the commitment of Government of Nepal to address all pending issues on priority relating to 900 MW Arun-III and Upper Karnali hydropower projects, in accordance with the project development agreements.

– The Indian side conveyed the finalization of Detailed Project Report for the construction of head regulator and link canal from Tanakpur Barrage to the Nepali side.

– The two Prime Ministers welcomed the recent meeting of specialized committees in water resources, including the Joint Committee on Inundation and Flood Management, and the Joint Team of Experts. They expressed the hope that these meetings would enhance bilateral cooperation in water resources in areas such as irrigation, flood management and river training works. The two Prime Ministers agreed that the work on preparation of the Detailed Project Report for the Sapt-Kosi high dam and Sun-Kosi storage cum diversion scheme be expedited. The two sides also agreed to strengthen coordination and consultation on the pressing matter of inundation and flood management in the border areas. In this regard, it was agreed to take expeditious steps, including joint visits, to consider appropriate measures for sustainable solution. http://www.mea.gov.in/bilateral-documents.htm?dtl/28885/IndiaNepal_Joint_Statement_during_the_State_Visit_of_Prime_Minister_of_Nepal_to_India_2327_August_2017

As per another report during Nepal PM recent visit India and Nepal have signed eight pacts.. Nepal PM has also reportedly invited Indian PM for inaugurating the work of 900 MW Rs 5700 cr Arun 3 project in Nepal, being developed by Indian company. The project was approved by the Indian govt in February. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-nepal-sign-8-pacts-deuba-invites-modi-for-arun-iii-hydro-project-inauguration/articleshow/60206634.cms

Meanwhile Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has signed the power purchase agreement (PPA) with Upper Trishuli 3B, which is going to be jointly financed by NEA and Nepal Telecom. It is worth to mention that the cost of power from the project seems high as per unit rate of electricity has been fixed at Rs 4.80 and Rs 8.40 for the wet season and dry season, respectively. https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/nepal-electricity-authority-signs-power-purchase-agreement-upper-trishuli-3b-hydro-project/

As per latest report, Korean Joint venture likely to get contract for 216 MW Upper Trishuli HEP in Rasuwa district in North Central Nepal. However, the deadline to sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the NEA has passed.

– NWEDC has asked that a force majeure clause be inserted in the PPA under which the NEA will have to pay compensation if the developer fails to meet the contractual obligation due to unforeseeable circumstances like war, strikes or blockades, among other mishaps. The NEA is not willing to insert the provision in the agreement as it has already been included in the PDA.

– Likewise, the developer has asked the NEA to bear the hydrology risk associated with the hydropower project and include the provision in the PPA. If this provision is included in the PPA, the developer will not be fined even if it fails to supply the amount of energy pledged at the time of signing the PPA. The NEA is reluctant to include this provision in the PPA saying that it had already relaxed the hydrology penalty provision under which the developer will not be fined even if it fails to supply up to 50 percent of the pledged energy. http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2017-09-08/korean-jv-on-track-to-get-licence-for-upper-trishuli-hydropower-project.html

DRP 11

Here are details of status of some hydropower projects in Nepal. http://www.hydroworld.com/articles/2017/08/28-1-mw-lower-likhu-hydropower-project-in-nepal-receives-funding.html

Bangladesh  Govt plans to import 3000 MW power from Kunming, China, via Myanmar  Bangladesh will be importing electricity from China as the country has recently proposed a 3,000 MW power export to Bangladesh from Kunming, the capital of its southwest province Yunnan. According to the proposal of China, Bangladesh may import the electricity directly from Kunming using Myanmar as a transit route. https://energybangla.com/bd-eyes-to-import-3000-mw-from-china/

Bhutan Forestry can be the next big growth driver Debate has started in BHUTAN about non viability of hydropower export to India in future in view of India being power surplus and solar power cost is so low and hydro cost is so high. The changed energy situation in India calls into question the future of hydropower development in Bhutan. The suggestion in this article about exploitation of forest may or may not be the best option, but important to note that the debate about looking for hydro option has started there. http://www.kuenselonline.com/forestry-can-be-the-next-big-growth-driver-for-bhutan/

THE REST OF THE WORLD

Houston Flood HARVEY EXPOSES SERIOUS FAULT LINES IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN HOUSTON

DRP 21

– Houston is a very wet area. It’s low lying, it has clay soils, it’s poorly drained. We realized as we were looking at the map — thinking, How did these airport roads get flooded? — that, essentially, what we were seeing was the runoff from the airport runways draining into what are called bayous in Houston. We realized that the airport access roads had cut across the drainage routes for these bayous in a very casual way. They had not been engineered to really confront any substantial amount of flooding. That’s what trapped us at the airport. Regionally, we noticed that even interstate highways were flooded because the engineering of the roadway system wasn’t enough to accommodate the degree of water that was generated.

– Part two of Houston’s problems is the region’s absolutely sprawling, auto-oriented development. You have parking lots, wide roads, impervious surfaces, and uncontrolled development that more or less ignore environmentally sensitive areas. With an event like this, it becomes viscerally evident which residential areas are absolutely not safe from even moderate flooding. Driving out, it was so sad: We were driving past all this water, stretching for as far as the eye could see with houses poking out of it.

– A secondary priority for life safety is either discouraging or prohibiting settlement in low-lying areas — and there’s so much of that in Houston.

MARKET FAILURE And the market has made a lot of decisions that are absolutely not in context and not sensitive to the environmental needs of the area. I think Houston really needs to do some soul searching about how they govern land use and residential development.

DUTCH EXAMPLE There’s no disagreement in the Netherlands that large-scale governance is critical to providing protection from water. http://news.mit.edu/2017/3-questions-brent-ryan-on-hurricane-harvey-implications-for-us-cities-0901

Here is another interesting report throwing some light on whether climate change or urbanization should be blamed for the flooding

CALLOUS URBANISATION: Sam Brody, a Texas A&M University marine researcher who specialises in natural hazards, believes the addition of more than 1 million people moving to flood-prone areas near Houston since 2000 has overwhelmed the city’s ability to drain water. Current population of Houston is 6.5 million.

– The Texas coastal climate is changing, the sea level is rising and there are more heavy downpours, says Brody, but the key factor in the flooding is development in unsuitable areas.

– “If you are going to put 4 million people in this flood-vulnerable area in a way which involves ubiquitous application of impervious surfaces, you’re going to get flooding. The driving force is the built environment,” he says.

– According to a ProPublica/Texas Tribune investigation last year, Houston’s flooding was predictable. “As millions have flocked to the metropolitan area in recent decades, local officials have largely snubbed stricter building regulations, allowing developers to pave over crucial acres of prairie land that once absorbed huge amounts of rainwater. That has led to an excess of floodwater during storms that chokes the city’s vast bayou network, drainage systems, and two huge federally owned reservoirs, endangering many nearby homes,” said the report.

ROLE OF CLIMATE CHANGE: Writing in the Guardian, Michael E Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University, says: “We cannot say climate change ‘caused’ Hurricane Harvey but we can say that it exacerbated several characteristics of the storm in a way that greatly increased the risk of damage and loss of life. Climate change worsened the impact of Hurricane Harvey.”

POOR ARE WORST HIT: The floods will mostly affect the poor, he says: “When storms or floods hit cities, it is generally low-income groups that are hit hardest. Many informal settlements develop on land at high risk of flooding or landslides because their inhabitants cannot afford safer sites.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/02/flood-waters-rising-urban-development-climate-change

The report proves that dams has undisputed role Houston flood.

– EVEN AFTER RAIN STOPPED, Floodwaters streamed so quickly through the residential streets along the Buffalo Bayou, in West Houston, that some residents feared the nearby Addicks and Barker dams had broken. Instead, residents learned that the US Army Corps of Engineers was releasing water from the dams, flooding nearby subdivisions even as the storm was abating.

– Now, more than a week after Tropical Storm Harvey wreaked havoc on the region, some West Houston residents with homes near the dams blame the US Army Corps — and not the storm itself — for the catastrophic flooding. As bad as Harvey was, they said, it wasn’t until after the rain had stopped that their homes suffered the worst damage.

– On Tuesday, Houston attorney Bryant Banes filed a lawsuit against the federal government, accusing the US Army Corps of knowingly causing catastrophic flooding in the area by releasing the dams. The suit claims the move resulted in millions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses, including many that were not directly impacted by the storm. https://www.buzzfeed.com/salvadorhernandez/these-harvey-victims-blame-army-engineers-not-the-storm-for?utm_term=.aeQ9jjkON#.noyqppboy

Similarly another report explains the ABC OF URBAN DRAINAGE in Houston

– A centralized approach to stormwater management is a pipe dream.

– and relaxed FEMA regulations under the Trump Administration won’t help either.

– The Association of State Floodplain Managers has called for a national flood risk-management strategy

– Instead, Debo advocates that urban design mimic rural hydrology as much as possible. Reducing impervious surface and improving water conveyance has a role to play, but the most important step in sparing cities from flooding is to reduce the velocity of water when it is channelized, so that it doesn’t deluge other sites. And then to stop moving water away from buildings and structures entirely, and to start finding new uses for it in place.

– Rather than putting a straight channel through a subdivision, for example, Debo suggests designing one to meander through it, to decrease the velocity of the water as it exit. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/08/why-cities-flood/538251/

Meanwhile there are not very convincing argument from US dam operators to pre release in view of Hurricane Harvey. http://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/SJRA-No-water-pre-release-from-Lake-Conroe-11956870.php

As per another report Houston experienced 100 year flood in 2016 and now 500 year flood in 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/08/28/climate/500-year-flood-hurricane-harvey-houston.html?mcubz=1

Also see, very interesting narrative of earlier Houston floods of 1929 and 1936 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/08/30/houstons-besieged-dams-compromised-by-harvey-rainfall-were-built-70-years-ago-after-devastating-floods/?utm_term=.996b9b96bc14

Another interesting report about how the decision to build reservoirs was taken after the 1935 Houston floods. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2017/08/30/houstons-besieged-dams-compromised-by-harvey-rainfall-were-built-70-years-ago-after-devastating-floods/?utm_term=.996b9b96bc14

This article explains how the flood control reservoirs upstream of Houston work. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/How-the-Barker-and-Addicks-dams-work-12171719.php

Hurricane Irma Here is a very interesting initiative that involves people in real time flood monitoring and response. http://news.mit.edu/2017/map-real-time-crowd-sourced-flood-reporting-hurricane-irma-0908

Oroville Dam Breach Why spillway of Oroville Dam in USA failed Bad design and construction of the tallest U.S. dam a half-century ago and inadequate state and federal oversight since then led to a disastrous spillway collapse in February, an independent national team of dam safety experts said on Sept 5 as they urged tougher safety reviews nationwide.

– The report says water entering through cracks or repair seams in the main spillway may have triggered crumbling of the spillway. It cites a series of problems with the original construction of the spillway in the 1960s, including thin concrete, poorly placed drains and inadequate foundations.

– The federal regulations require outside consultants to conduct a thorough safety review of the dams every five years, including “due consideration of all relevant reports” on the dam by government agencies or consultants, as well as a “review and assessment of all relevant data.” http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/technology/article171341137.html

As per another report Oroville dam failure clues available in files: Yes, this too happens in US:

– The team of forensic investigators, commissioned by the state Department of Water Resources to study the cause of the February crisis, said similar problems could be lurking at other dams in California and around the country because of an over-reliance on visual inspections. This was stated in a report released on Sept 5, 2017.

– The team of forensic investigators, commissioned by the state Department of Water Resources to study the cause of the February crisis, said similar problems could be lurking at other dams in California and around the country because of an over-reliance on visual inspections. http://www.sacbee.com/news/state/california/water-and-drought/article171336797.html

DRP 19

Russia NO MORE HYDRO IN AMUR RIVER BASIN The biggest hydropower monopoly of Russia scrapped its last damming proposal in Amur River Basin and liquidated a subsidiary responsible for it. Map shows locations of existing HPPs (green) and new “flood-control” hydropower plants (pink) proposed for consideration after the disastrous 2013 flood. http://www.transrivers.org/2017/2012/

Global The hidden social and environmental costs of sand mining This is very informative and revealing piece. Used extensively in building, glass-making, road construction and electronics, legally and otherwise, sand and gravel are now the most extracted resources in the world, outstripping even oil and biomass. In the past 110 years, the amount of sand used in construction has increased 23-fold. Sand accounts for 79% of the primary material inputs for buildings and transport infrastructure, with demand in 2010 alone topping out at 21 gigatonnes. The article concludes by observing that there has been little in-depth research into the environmental, social and political effects of sand mining, and calls for urgent action to rectify this. https://cosmosmagazine.com/geoscience/the-hidden-social-and-environmental-costs-of-sand-mining

A UN report from 2014 estimates that humans extract over 40 billion tons of gravel and sand a year—traditionally, from quarries and rivers, but now often from coastlines, as well. “This is twice the yearly amount of sediment carried by all of the rivers of the world,” that report says, and “their use greatly exceeds natural renewal rates.” http://gizmodo.com/earth-is-running-out-of-sand-apparently-1802764060

CLIMATE CHANGE

Farmers Suicides Scientists claim poor analysis, wrong conclusions in recent research paper Irked by an attempt to link extreme temperature and farmer suicides in a recent paper, published by the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy Sciences of the United States) titled “Climate change and agricultural suicides in India” which claimed that ‘temperature during India’s main agricultural growing season has a strong positive effect on annual suicide rates, a group of scientists has issued a joint-press release questioning the authenticity of facts mentioned in the paper. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/poor-analysis-wrong-conclusions-in-recent-research-paper-claims-a-group-of-scientists/articleshow/60211844.cms?from=mdr

ENVIRONMENT

DRP 17

Report What is a Smart City in India? by Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava The report writes that Union govt thwarted an attempt to have clear standards and benchmarks for calling a city ‘smart’. Now there is no way to measure how the country’s flagship project is actually doing. Instead the govt set up a fuzzy index to push projects and technologies that private sector was pushing in the name of ‘smartness’. https://scroll.in/article/848933/what-exactly-is-a-smart-city-the-indian-government-does-not-want-you-to-know

Goa NIDHI JAMWAL writes about the historic fight now going on in Goa against the expansion of Mormugao Port, affecting lives of thousands of people. Right from the beginning, the govt has been working on the sly. Information about the projects was not shared with the public and we filed RTI applications to collect projects details,” alleged Abhijit Prabhudesai  of Federation of Rainbow Warriors. There is no comprehensive assessment of three projects together, which are going to cause immense environmental destruction in Goa. The world is moving away from dirty coal but the Indian government is endangering our lives for petty private gains. https://thewire.in/172344/mormugao-port-vasco-coal-iron-ore-adani-jindal-steel-dredging/ 

DRP 20

Odisha Villagers grow back their forest Women of this western Odisha district have traditionally forayed into forests nearby for harvesting leaves of the creeper called siali to augment a much-needed income. But now that the demand for siali leaves, biodegradable plates made of which are replacing plastic, has grown rapidly in international markets, especially in Europe, villagers here have begun growing siali and other produce with a longer-term view of harnessing dividends from their sale. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-villagers-grow-back-their-forest/article19615926.ece

You may also like to see DRP News Bulletin 04 September 2017 & DRP News Bulletin 28 September 2017

2 Comments on “DRP News Bulletin 11 September 2017 (Why This Rally Won’t Help The Rivers?)

  1. Pingback: Save our Rivers – This is my life!

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