DRP News Bulletin 16 October 2017: New Groundwater Guidelines threat to India’s Water Lifeline

GROUND WATER

New Draft Guidelines designed to privatise & destroy Groundwater The Ministry of Water Resources of the Union Government has on Oct 11, 2017 (see notice: http://www.wrmin.nic.in/forms/List.aspx?lid=1180&Id=6) put up draft guidelines on Groundwater management in India (see draft Guidelines: http://www.wrmin.nic.in/writereaddata/guideline-NOC-CGWA.pdf), with comment period of 60 days. The comments are to be sent to: Member Secretary, Central Ground Water Authority, West Block-2, Wing 3 (Ground Floor), Sector 1, RK Puram, New Delhi – 110066, e-mail: cgwa@nic.in.

New Draft Groundwater guidelines designed to destroy groundwater further and open floodgates for privatisation of common property resource? “Groundwater is a common property resource and should be used for greater good. But these guidelines are not doing that. Groundwater governance and management should happen in a transparent, participatory and accountable way but that too is not happening through guidelines,” Thakkar said.

Explaining, Thakkar said that the guidelines are “trying to make a system wherein state or district level authorities will be giving NOCs but whether those authorities have capacity to give NOCs after understanding the implications is the question.” “The draft guidelines also take out the need to recharge groundwater. Present regulations say that you if you take out groundwater you need to put in recharge capacity but now they are saying that’s not necessary and are only seeking charges. These things will definitely lead to further destruction of groundwater,” he added. http://www.livemint.com/Politics/irx1jFCWMFjGJk82Z8VZ2O/Govt-proposes-new-guidelines-on-groundwater-usage-by-industr.html, http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/oct/13/centre-proposes-water-conservation-fee-for-use-of-groundwater-1673480.html, http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2017/oct/14/townships-with-gym-club-must-pay-water-fee-1673790.htmlhttp://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/centre-proposes-nixing-recharge-requirement-for-industries-extracting-groundwater/story-kN3iPmO9m4MIoYkUX32n7I.html  

CBI registers corruption case against scientist of CGWB The Central Bureau of Investigation has registered a corruption case against a scientist – Sanjay Pandey – of Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), a technician – Chander Prakash Midha – of Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR, department of scientific and industrial research) among others for allegedly taking Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh each from various private industries in Haryana and Punjab for recommending issuance of NOC for them for extracting ground water for industrial use.

Officials said that Pandey, Scientist B, posted at CGWB in Chandigarh, and Midha are very close to each other and connived to get money from industries in Haryana and Punjab. They got their applications forwarded from regional officer of CGWA in Delhi, with recommendation of issuance of NOCs/permission to extract ground water for the industrial use.CBI sources said that they are probing role of other persons in the alleged irregularities.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/cbi-registers-corruption-case-against-scientist-of-central-ground-water-board/articleshow/61039443.cms

Punjab Centre alerts state over decline in water table  The Union Govt has red-flagged a sharp decline in the groundwater level in Punjab. As per a study conducted in May, 94 per cent of the state has shown a decline in the water level when compared to the average level from 2007-16. Despite that, the Punjab Govt is adamant on keeping the “politically sensitive” free power to agriculture consumers going a major reason for excessive tubewell connections that drain the groundwater. There is also no action plan to wean away farmers from water guzzling paddy crop. http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/centre-alerts-state-over-decline-in-water-table/474587.html

Uttar Pradesh NGT asks Govt reasons for not sealing illegal borewells This is sad to see the lethargic approach of the Central and State Govt agencies to take actions on important issue of ground water depletion despite NGT direction.  CGWA says it has identified the industries with illegal bore a well, while UP Govt says C GWA has not handed over the list to Govt hampering its actions. Earlier, the NGT had directed CGWA to submit a detailed report on industries in Ghaziabad and Hapur after a plea alleged that incessant extraction of groundwater has resulted in depletion of the water table.  http://www.india.com/news/agencies/explain-reasons-for-not-sealing-illegal-borewells-ngt-to-up-2518446/

Tamil Nadu 2015 floods recharged Chennai’s groundwater, but polluted it As per research by Anna University has found, the 2015 floods may have recharged aquifers across the city, but it contaminated the groundwater with bacteria and chemical ions. Bacterial counts and chemical ions in groundwater samples collected across the city exceeded Bureau of Indian Standard’s (BIS) recommended limits, concludes the research recently published in `Nature’. Samples were collected from 22 areas along the Adyar River in a research by Anna University has found river soon after the floods and six months later in April 2016. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/2015-floods-recharged-chennais-groundwater-but-polluted-it/articleshow/61045967.cms

Maharashtra  Groundwater in Pune ‘second-most contaminated’ According to a recent analysis of water quality, conducted by the Groundwater Survey and Development Agency (GSDA), with a total of 22 villages, Pune district is second in the state, after Chandrapur, to have the highest number of villages whose groundwater quality was not “readily fit for human consumption”, revealed the report. It further named Daund, Ambegaon and Indapur among the “most affected areas” in the district. According to hydrologists industrial effluents being dumped without effective treatment into rivers is a major contributor to the declining quality of groundwater in the area.” http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/state-wise-survey-groundwater-in-pune-district-second-most-contaminated-4863108/

DAMS

Bhadbut Dam Fisherfolk show black flags against Modi plan Hundreds of fisherfolk riding on about 100 fishing boats waved black flags at PM during his laying foundation stone for Rs 4,000 crore Bhadbhut Dam on the Narmada river’s mouth on the Bay of Khambhat. The protest gets no media attention. Sailing into the river and shouting slogans, the fisherfolk were detained for five-and-a-half hours for demanding that there should not be any damming of the river at Bhadbhut, as they believed, it would destroy their prized catch, hisla, which breeds in brackish waters.  http://www.counterview.net/2017/10/fisherfolk-show-black-flags-against.html

The fishermen in the area have been protesting against the barrage since 2010 as the structure, according to them, will destroy the breeding area of Hilsa fish. http://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/protesting-fishermen-arrested-as-pm-lays-foundation-of-bhadbhut-barrage-in-gujarat-58846

The WIRE also covers the report in detail https://thewire.in/186878/modi-gujarat-fishermen-bhadbhut/

For more details on Bhadbhut project kindly visit https://sandrp.wordpress.com/2017/10/09/drp-news-bulletin-09-october-2017-gujarat-fishermen-protest-against-bhadbhut-dam/

Maha Irrigation Scam Damania prevented from holding protests Social activist Anjali Damania was prevented from holding protests to highlight the nexus and was taken into custody by Dadar police. She claimed that they were granted permission by the local police to hold silent protests, however, officials under the pressure of their “political masters” did not allow the protests and detained her “undemocratically”. She termed the “nexus” between BJP ministers and tainted ministers of the previous Congress-NCP govt as “unholy and height of opportunism”. http://www.ptinews.com/news/9140116_Damania-prevented-from-holding-protests-in-Dadar.html

Vamsadhara victims to stage rally on Oct 16-17. Protest by Vamsadhara and other irrigation projects affected of Andhra Pradesh on Oct 16 and 17. Dominated by left parties who never question the wisdom of taking up these projects, and do not do this on consistent basis. Still good to see this. https://newsclick.in/vamsadhara-victims-stage-protest-16-17-october-vijayawada

Hirakud dam water level at its highest in 18 years Water Level at Hirakud Dam reaches the highest level of 630.5 ft in 18 years, since 1999 when water level reached 630.43 ft. https://www.telegraphindia.com/states/odisha/hirakud-dam-water-level-at-its-highest-178522

INTERLINKING OF RIVERS

Krishna-Godavari river interlinking: Alien devil fish now invades Hyderabad  In a serious cause for ecological concern, the notorious devil fish has now invaded Hyderabad. The devil fish or sucker catfish belonging to the genus Pterygoplichthys has made its way into the Musi River from the Krishna in Vijayawada, taking advantage of the flood discharge in the Krishna and the Musi rivers following heavy rains in the last one month.

Pterygoplichthys species is alien to Telugu states. There are no zoological records of the fish being sighted in any of the rivers, streams or lakes in Telangana. This is the first time that the devil fish was noticed in the state. The fish is dangerous as it eats away commercially important fish species causing huge loss to farmers.

Experts fear that the alien fish may now make its way into other water bodies in Telangana affecting the livelihood of fishermen. Though it is the first time that the devil fish has been sighted in Telangana, it entered Nagarjunasagar last year and from there it made its way into Palnadu region in AP through the Nagarjunasagar right bank canal. In fact, the fish entered the Godavari a few years ago and in 2015 it made its way into the Krishna after the interlinking of the Godavari and the Krishna through Pattiseema lift irrigation project.

Pterygoplichthys is a voracious fish and apart from hitting the livelihood of farmers, it may alter the ecological balance in water bodies in Telangana. This is likely to cause a major ecological disaster for Telangana as the alien fish is highly invasive in nature and can survive out of water for a fortnight and even more. It does not require water to travel and in fact, move on the land to find its way into the nearest water source to populate there.

As per activist V Satyanarayana, Godavari-Krishna river interlink has thrown in new environmental challenges. The devil fish was first seen in the Krishna River at Prakasam barrage in Vijayawada in 2015. In 2016 the fish entered Nagarjunasagar. It has invaded the Musi and will now populate the Krishna riverine system and its basin. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/krishna-godavari-river-interlinking-alien-devil-fish-now-invades-hyderabad/articleshow/61056863.cms

RIVERS

Op-Ed Religious rites cannot clash with our ecological responsibilities
Excellent op-ed in HT about pollution created by religious rituals.
The river is a lifeline of the city and citizens contribution to preserving it will only help them in the long run. It appears as though law enforcement officials may be somewhat reluctant to stop or punish those performing religious rites. It is our duty to ensure that our religious rites do not end up clashing with our ecological responsibilities. If our religious rites are to be sustainable, they must be ecologically responsible. http://www.hindustantimes.com/editorials/yamuna-pollution-religious-rites-cannot-clash-with-our-ecological-responsibilities/story-QA3t92pgefz2VQOH9fX5fK.html

Maharashtra MPCB blames BMC for sewage pollution In the interesting development Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) submitted an affidavit in the High Court (HC) Bombay on Oct 13, slamming the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for having inadequate facilities to treat domestic sewage entering the various creeks and the sea in Mumbai. The pollution control board said domestic waste generated in the city is 2,671 MLD, of which 2016 MLD is being treated at 8 STP, and 655 MLD is directly discharged into creeks and the sea at different locations daily — this means almost 25% of the city’s sewage is entering the sea directly. The affidavit also identified that all four rivers in Mumbai – Oshiwara, Dahisar, Poisar and Mithi – have high pollution levels. http://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-news/raising-a-stink-bmc-not-providing-adequate-facilities-to-treat-mumbai-s-sewage-pollution-board-tells-hc/story-405eqs2Vb10eVv5q0wPxDO.html

Telangana PCB orders 18 industries to pay Rs. 1 crore for pollution GREAT to see this, Telangana PCB probably sets example before other SPCBs. It has asked industries to finanacially compensate fishermen whose fish were killed due to industrial pollution. “Telangana fined for killing fish Telangana State Pollution Control Board Member Secretary P. Satyanarayana Reddy has ordered payment of Rs 1,03,28,200 as compensation for the fish kill in Gandigudem Cheruvu tank of Sulthanpur village in Ameenpur mandal by 18 industries to the Fishermen Co-operative Society. Similarly Rs. 40,000 compensation to be paid to the fishermen for the fish kill in Ayyamma Cheruvu of Gaddapotharam village by 11 industries based on the loss estimated by the DFO. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/pcb-orders-18-industries-to-pay-1-crore-for-pollution/article19855120.ece

GANGA Pollution depleting natural microbes in Ganga Samples collected during a survey from the mouth to the base of river Ganga, taking samples at five locations on its route namely: Gomukh, Gangotri, Kanpur, Varanasi and Gangasagar have revealed that anthropogenic activities, including pollution from industrial effluents and waste from religious rituals, induce depletion in microbial communities at urban sites of river Ganga. The paper was published recently in Current Microbiology. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/pollution-depleting-natural-microbes-in-ganga-research/articleshow/61059255.cms

Uttar Pradesh Teen jailed over Facebook post on Ganga SHOCKING is UNDER STATEMENT, BY FAR: 18 yr old Zakir questioned the logic of HC order on Ganga and Yamuna and was arrested and beaten up. https://thewire.in/186344/teen-allegedly-arrested-beaten-jail-facebook-post-river-ganga/

In another development, acting on directions of the NGT, UPPCB under section 33(A) of the Water Pollution (Prevention and Control) Act on 09-10 Oct has sealed 18 industrial units for causing pollution in Ami river and Rapti river.

Among the units sealed were paper mills, sugar industries, utensil making units, mobil oil manufacturing units and others. The show-cause notices have been issued to at least 10 other industries found not taking pollution control measures. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/18-ind-units-sealed-for-river-pollution-in-gorakhpur/articleshow/61028891.cms

Center More STPs PM has laid foundation stone for four sewerage projects of 120 MLD costing Rs. 738.04 crore in Bihar. In Patna, seven other sewerage projects are at various stages of implementation, out of which two Digha and Kankarbagh sewerage zones worth Rs. 1402.89 crore are sanctioned under Hybrid Annuity-based PPP mode. The existing population in the city is 16,83,000 and the existing sewage generated in the city is 220 MLD and sewage load is expected to be 320 MLD by the year 2035. Compared to the existing sewage generation, the existing sewage treatment capacity is only 109 MLD. Also the existing STPs are outlived and are treating at a much lower capacity. The city also has 11 main drains which are discharging directly to river Ganga. Six projects regarding River Front Development/ Ghat and Crematoria (including Patna RFD) are under implementation at a cost of Rs 377.58 crore. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=171671

Meanwhile, Nitin Gadkari has said that Ganga would not be clean before 2019. As per the news report, Essel Infra Projects, owned by businessman and BJP MP, Subhash Chandra, and HNB Engineers Pvt Ltd, have bagged the first projects under the NMCG, worth Rs 324 crore. They will build and run STPs in Varanasi and Haridwar respectively. The combined capacity of their plants will be a sewage volume of 132 MLD.

About 12,000 MLD of sewage are emptied into the Ganga across 11 States from Uttarakhand to West Bengal. At present, the capacity for sewage treatment is only 4,000 MLD, and of this, 1,000 MLD is functional. The Clean Ganga Mission was allocated Rs 20,000 crore to be spent over five years. Of the Rs 20,000-crore, about Rs 15,000 crore has been sanctioned so far, and of this amount, only Rs 2,700 crore had been spent as of August 2017. Of the 87 sewage infrastructure projects approved as part of the Mission, only 14 had been completed as of August 2017, according to NMCG records. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ganga-wont-be-clean-by-2018-gadkari/article19840720.ece

YAMUNA Haryana Govt unveils waste water utilisation plan As per CM Khattar a Rs. 235-crore project had been approved in principle for utilising about 140 cusecs of treated waste water at 35 locations in 21 districts of the State. He also said that one pilot project costing Rs3.65 crore had been taken up for using treated waste water from three STPs namely Ladwa, Shahbad and Pehowa towns which would benefit farmers of these villages. The CM also disclosed that the Govt will also construct small dams for utilisation of water from small rivulets of the lower Shivalik hills with an estimated cost of Rs 273 crore namely Adi Badri, Darpur, Nagli, Chikan, Kansli, Khilanwal and Ambawali. http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/haryana-unveils-waste-water-utilisation-plan/article19834993.ece

STATE OF RIVERS IN HIMACHAL PRADESH: Dried and Dusted http://www.himdhara.org/2017/10/12/dried-and-dusted-a-state-of-the-rivers-report-for-himachal/

RIVER TRAVELOGUE Parineeta Dandekar of SANDRP writes (in Marathi) about travels along rivers, including along Amazon and Brahmaputra in Diwali special issue.  https://digitaldiwali2017.blog/2017/09/25/प्रवासलालसा-WANDERLUST-सिंदबाद-आण/

SAND MINING

Madhya Pradesh Sand mafia blocks canal on Ken in Chattarpur dist With the ban on sand mining being lifted on September 30, the mafia has stepped up its mining operations around Ken river in Chhatarpur district. After protests against plying of heavy vehicles transporting the mineral across villages leading to pollution and accidents, the sand mafia has blocked a sub canal in Chandla to make way for sand transportation. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/sand-mafia-blocks-canal-on-ken-in-chattarpur-dist/articleshow/60998264.cms

Punjab Minister Rana Gurjit Singh’s firm involved in the sand mine auction After Justice J S Narang (retd), recommended cancellation of the two mines bagged by Kulvinder Paul and Amit Bahadur, the latest reports revealed by the Indian Express show that the company involved in the funding of sand mine auction in Punjab – RGS Traders Pvt Ltd., was incorporated by Irrigation and Power Minister and Congress leader Rana Gurjit Singh in 1992. Justice J S Narang was given the probing authority to investigate the allegations raised against Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh in connection with sand mine auction, had recommended cancellation of the two mines. http://www.financialexpress.com/india-news/sand-mining-row-punjab-minister-rana-gurjit-singhs-firm-involved-in-the-sand-mine-auction/894106/

WETLANDS

Wetland Rules 2017 New rules threaten to destroy 65% of its water bodies As Nityanand Jayaraman says Effectively, the NEW WETLAND RULES are there to legalise the destruction of Wetlands.

– If left unchallenged, the new rules will facilitate the legal exploitation and development of wetlands as real estate, industrial sites and garbage dumps.

– Areas under rivers and streams, pegged at 5.3 million hectares, are not covered under the wetland rules. Man-made wetlands – which number 145,641, or 72% of the total number, and are spread over 4.4 million hectares – are also excluded. In other words, the rules fail to cover 9.7 million hectares or 65% of the total area identified as wetlands by the government.

TAMIL NADU: Of the 24,089 inland wetlands identified in the state in the Atlas, 19,480 or 81% are human-made. What use is a law that fails to cover 81% of what it aims to protect?

– It is not often that one sees a law so at odds with the logic, objectives and spirit laid out in its preamble. By undoing the protection for India’s already threatened wetlands by playing with definitions, introducing caveats and provisos and shifting jurisdictions and decision-making powers, the ministry seems to have achieved its objective of easing the doing of business in these hydrologically sensitive areas.

– As Himanshu Thakkar, a leading activist and researcher with the Delhi-based South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, said, “More and more people from different states of India should implead in the Supreme Court case arguing against these dangerous rules and praying for rules that are truly capable of protecting our wetlands.” https://scroll.in/article/853515/indias-new-wetland-rules-threaten-to-destroy-rather-than-protect-65-of-its-water-bodies

As per experts, the new wetland management rules notified by the Centre are a “total disaster” and expose the ecologically fragile water bodies to further destruction rather than preservation. Professor Brij Gopal, who was involved in drafting the 2010 rules, said in the name of decentralisation, the latest notification has done away with all forms of accountability. Manoj Mishra of YJA said the new rules were in line with a clear approach taken by the govt that environmental protection was a “dispensable luxury”.http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/new-wetland-management-rules-a-complete-disaster-experts-2404039.html

In another op-ed Garima Maheshwari writes that the tendency to regard wetlands as wastelands (leading to land encroachment, squatting and waste dumping) led to the Chennai floods of 2015 and the Kashmir floods of 2014, both States lost more than 50 per cent of their wetlands within just two to three decades.  http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/wetlands-mismanagement-exposes-deeper-crisis.html

Similarly Goa activists are also sceptical about political will to implement the revised set of rules.  https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/govt-not-interested-in-enforcing-wetland-rules/articleshow/60930886.cms

Maharashtra HC asks Govt to set up panels on wetlands fast The Bombay High Court on Oct 07 has directed the state govt to hurry and constitute the authorities under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2017, instead of waiting for the three-month timeframe allowed under the rules. It was also asked to inform it about the progress on constitution of the authorities at the next hearing. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/set-up-panels-on-wetlands-fast-hc-tells-state-govt/articleshow/60976981.cms

Gujarat Plan to interlink Ahmedabad city lakes Two committees of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) approved (water and sewage Rs 268 crore & road and building Rs. 150 crore) infra work worth Rs418 crore in two hour including 100 MLD STP construction at Vinzol. AMC has also approved a work on the instalment of a gravity line for interlinking city lakes. At present, 16 lakes are interlinked but some pockets have been left. A new 3.5-km line will be laid between Jaspur and Khoraj. http://www.dnaindia.com/ahmedabad/report-amc-committees-approve-infra-work-worth-rs-418-cr-2551669

Earlier the interlinking created hazard in 2010. Under the lake interlinking project, the Ahemdabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) has laid drainage lines to connect all the 16 lakes. But it has not laid a parallel storm water drainage line to carry the additional water. The Vastrapur, Prahaladnagar, Chandlodia and Sola interlinked lakes are facing sewage overflow problem.  http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-overflowing-lakes-in-ahmedabad-a-health-hazard-residents-1421284

WATER OPTIONS

Once barren, today this Maharashtra village boasts of 100 farm ponds and large-scale agricultural exports Success story of Kadbanwadi village in Ahmednagar village in Maharashtra through local water systems: https://yourstory.com/2017/10/kadbanwadi-maharashtra/

WATER

India Water Week India’s modernization depends on its water modernization PRESIDENT of India declares commitment of the govt to ensure that 90% of rural households would get PIPED drinking water supply. He says water is fundamental to economy, ecology and equity. https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/90-per-cent-of-rural-houses-to-get-piped-water-by-2022-president-ram-nath-kovind-1760957

He further urged to have localized water management approach and to empower village and neighbourhood communities and build their capacity to manage, allocate and value their water resources. He even went to the extent of saying that the modernisation of India is dependent on the modernisation of its water management.

– PREDICTABLE FORMULATION: On one hand, the groundwater sources were being savagely exploited and depleted in some of the northern and western states, he said on the other, in eastern and north-eastern states, there was the challenge of overflowing rivers and of regular flooding. http://www.ptinews.com/news/9140681_India-s-modernisation-depends-on-modernisation-of-water.html

He also said that in urban India, 40 billion litres of waste water is produced every day and it is vital to adopt technology to reduce the toxic content of this water, and to deploy it for irrigation and other purposes. http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=171546 http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=171545

Speaking during the event, Nitin Gadakari the Union Water Minister has made several shocking revelation. Firstly he says that there is need to UTILIZE 70% RIVER WATER FLOWING TO SEA.

Exposing his lack of understanding, he termed the SARDAR SAROVAR A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT. He further said that 285 new irrigation projects will be taken up by next year to provide irrigation for 1 crore 88 lakh hectare of land.  http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=171555

DELHI WATER  

No progress on RWH Delhi govt has not filed status report as directed by NGT  whether govt buildings, bridges and flyovers have installed rainwater harvesting systems, and if these are functional or not. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/green-panel-raps-state-govt-over-report-on-rain-water-harvesting/article19848842.ece

FLOOD 2017

Bihar Increasing incidents of deadly flash floods along north border Villages in Bihar, on the India-Nepal border, face 15-60 flash floods in a year, losing standing crops, stored foodgrains, house destruction, land erosions and more for which they aren’t compensated. Ever heard of such flash floods in North Bihar? http://www.indiaspend.com/cover-story/why-deadly-worsening-flash-floods-in-bihars-border-villages-dont-get-indias-attention-94924

Flash floods in Bihar escape national attention because the focus of flood control and management is limited to big rivers such as Kosi, Gandak, Bagmati, and so on. But they need immediate attention because those affected by these flash floods are among India’s poorest. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/why-deadly-worsening-flash-floods-in-bihar-s-border-villages-don-t-get-india-s-attention/story-TvWOmwKJ6CQqSTkUstnT8H.html

Andhra Pradesh ‘Orphaned’ lakes to blame for Hyderabad floods An analysis of the satellite data reveals that it is the `orphaning’ of scores of lakes that is causing floods year after year. The flooding is due to failure to restore the original rainwater flow system developed by the Qutub Shahis and the Asaf Jahis.

Record Rainfall The city has received 218.2 mm of rainfall in the last 10 days as against normal of 39.9 mm, an excess of 447%. Around 200 households and 10 apartments were also completely inundated.

Rivers, reservoirs still dry Despite heavy rainfall in the last one month, the inflow into the Musi river and its tributary Esi, besides Osmansagar and Himayatsagar lakes and other major water bodies has been minimal. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/orphaned-lakes-to-blame-for-hyderabad-floods/articleshow/61030115.cms

Tamil Nadu North Chennai facing flood threat An estimated one million residents in north Chennai are threatened by flooding due to encroachments on the Ennore creek and the Kosasthalaiyar, according to coastal zone management plans analysed by the Coastal Resource Centre, set up under the Community Environmental Monitoring project in Chennai. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ennore-creek-encroachments-threaten-to-flood-n-chennai/article19835578.ece

According to another news report, a 15 year old road bridge at Ottampatti across Kanappadi river near Thuraiyur in the district was washed away in a flash flood on Oct 11 morning. The rain also triggered landslips at two places near the third hair pin bend on Pachamalai ghat road. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/flash-flood-washes-away-road-bridge-at-ottampatti/article19843716.ece

DROUGHT 2017

Nature Conservancy Building drought resilience in water stressed regions This is somewhat typical Nature Conservancy advocacy? Promoting private sector rather than community governance, mentioning Cotton, but the photo showing sugarcane farm in Marathwada, where the crop is totally inappropriate. Desilting tanks is certainly good idea and it needs to be clubbed with fertility improvement etc.  https://blog.nature.org/science/2017/10/04/building-drought-resilience-indias-water-stressed-regions-agriculture/#comment-1273827

CLIMATE CHANGE

Rajasthan Govt demands Rs 3,024 crore from GCF for water scheme The state govt has demanded Rs 3,024 crore from MoEF under Green Climate Fund for Phase-III and IV of Mukhyamantri Jal Sawavlamban Abhiyan (MJSA). On Oct 05, the state cabinet approved phase-III of MJSA and decided to start it from December 9, 2017 in dessert areas, and from January 20, 2018 in other places. The work will be completed by June 30, 2018. In MJSA Phase-I and II, around 2,23,186 works has been completed in 33 districts of Rajasthan. http://www.hindustantimes.com/jaipur/rajasthan-demands-rs-3-024-crore-from-green-climate-funds-for-water-scheme/story-t9D6NQG2nxrw3za2rPDWFO.html

ENVIRONMENT

National No independent experts in national coastal zone management authority MoEF reconstitutes National Coastal Zone Management Authority. The ministry has filled the environmental regulation body with bureaucrats with no representation from experts, civil society or fishermen groups. This comes at a time when there is a need for a strong central supervisory body. http://www.hindustantimes.com/environment/no-independent-experts-in-national-coastal-zone-management-authority/story-SwFWjy7jUaQ9Mz8wZJ3uJN.html

Coastal Zone Management Authority formed In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-sections (1) and (3) of section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), the Central Government for the purposes of protecting and improving the quality of the coastal environment and preventing, abating and controlling environmental pollution in the coastal areas, hereby constitutes the National Coastal Zone Management Authority. The Gazette Notification is available at: http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2017/179451.pdf

Maharashtra Save Aarey campaign Over 3500 trees are about to be cut in Mumbai’S AAREY due to the proposed Metro Rail car shed! Govt records show that Aarey is an integral part of SGNP and thus protected under forest laws. It has over 5 Lakh trees,it is home to 7 resident leopards and has a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna. Even today, original adivasis live in 27 tribal hamlets in Aarey. The Save Aarey campaign has been requesting the govt to relocate the carshed to an alternative location. Relocation will not affect the metro 3 alignment in any way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK20KAgNG-8&feature=share

To save the Aarey trees, sign the petition here. https://www.change.org/p/cm-devendra-fadnavis-stop-the-cutting-of-3500-trees-in-aarey-forest

SOUTH ASIA

India-Bangladesh India dredging rivers in Bangladesh The govt of India in July sanctioned Rs 400 crore to dredge the Brahmaputra. Four dredgers have already been deployed and two more are being procured. Each dredger costs between Rs 35 and 40 crore. Govt has also tied up with the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (Biwta) to dredge two river stretches Jamuna river from Sirajganj to Daikhawa (175 km) and Kushiyara from Ashuganj to Zakiganj (295 km) Kushiyara and Assam and a branch of the Barak river of south Assam. India has committed 80% of Rs 305 crore required for these two stretches; the remaining will come from Bangladesh. The contracts are likely to be awarded by the end of this year; Indian and Bangladesh dredging companies or their consortia will be eligible to bid. The dredging in the Bangladesh stretches will begin by February-March 2018, with the contractors getting two years to dredge 2.5 to 3 metres of LAD (least available depth) in a 45-m-wide channel, with a binding clause of five years of maintenance. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/why-india-is-dredging-rivers-in-bangladesh/articleshow/60987695.cms

Another news report highlighting erosion problem in Brahmaputra basin writes that due to unabated heavy erosion by the Gangadhar river, Golakganj, the gateway of Assam, Bangladesh and North Bengal, is likely to disappear from the map. The town was nerve centre of the business community up to 1970. http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/detailsnew.asp?id=oct0817/state050

REST OF ASIA

Vietnam Flash flood kills dozens Collasping of a river dyke outside capital Hanoi flooded nearby farming communities. Destructive floods and landslides have killed at least 54 people in northern and central Vietnam in one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit in years. With another tropical storm on the way, more rain is expected. http://www.dw.com/en/vietnam-dozens-killed-by-floods-and-landslides/a-40920331

Another tropical depression has upgraded to tropical storm, Khanun, which swept through northern island of Luzon of the Philippines early this morning and is moving to the South China Sea toward Vietnam, according to the national weather forecasters. The storm could bring more rains and miserable to the central and northern regions already soaked with rain and floodwaters. http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/vietnam-flood-and-landslides-toll-rises/article19851466.ece

Vietnam Floods

CHINA

Water conflicts in South Asia As per the report water scarcity, pollution and depletion increasing in China putting the attempts to boost regional partnerships on shaky ground.

China homes 20% of the world’s population contains just 7% of the world’s fresh water, per capita water availability at lowest level, demands growing 10 % annually. Underground aquifers supplying 70% of drinking water, 90% of aquifers are polluted or depleted, 75% of surface water unfit for consumption, half of the population not getting safe water.

A report by the World Economic Forum identifies water crises as one of the main risks to global economic prosperity, and environmental and human factors in South Asia serve to compound the region’s vulnerability to Chinese operations upstream. Regardless of the State Council’s intentions, water has become a kind of weapon in ensuring China holds political leverage over its neighbours in the south.

Despite the best efforts of regional partnerships and agreements, South Asian countries have yet to succeed in encouraging the sustainable and responsible development of shared river resources. As climate change and population increases exacerbate existing water shortages, Chinese power will only intensify – along with diplomatic spats. http://globalriskinsights.com/2017/09/water-wars-chinas-new-weapon-india/

THE REST OF WORLD

Study ‘728 Earthquakes in 150 years caused by human activities’ VERY IMPORTANT REPORT linking Earthquakes to human activities particularly MINING, NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS, DAM BUILDING, GROUND WATER EXTRACTION, INJECTION OF WASTE WATER, TUNNELING, BLASTING. Here again 2015 DEADLY NEPAL QUAKE IS LINKED TO MASSIVE GROUND WATER EXTRACTION IN GANGETIC PLAINS IN INDIA.

As per HiQuake 16 of 18 low intensities human-induced quake that hit India over a period of time were caused by water RESERVOIR IMPOUNDMENT, while the remaining two were caused by mining (one each due to coal and gold mining). It also links 7.9 earthquake that struck in Sichuan, China in 2008 the LARGEST EVENT in the database to the FILLING OF A NEARBY RESERVOIRS.

International science journal, Nature, has reported details of the latest findings of the geologists, referring to updated version of the ‘Human-Induced Earthquake Database’ (HiQuake) which is publicaly available at http://www.inducedearthquakes.org.

It reported that all the projects linked to earthquakes – whether blasting a mining tunnel, injecting waste-water or pumping groundwater – involve moving mass around on earth’s surface in ways that can nudge already-stressed faults. The HiQuake shows that the mining is the biggest cause of human-induced earthquakes. It accounted for 271 (37%) out of 728 total quakes listed in the database covering 1868-2017 period. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/human-induced-earthquakes-fracking-mining-video-spd/, http://srl.geoscienceworld.org/content/early/2017/10/02/0220170112,

DATA BASE: http://inducedearthquakes.org/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/world-reported-728-human-induced-earthquakes-in-past-149-years/articleshow/60975173.cms

US Dam floods in 2013, Law suit in 2017 Three victims of the 2013 flooding in Colorado have filed a lawsuit blaming the Govt for opening floodgates that they say washed away homes downstream from the Olympus Dam. According to the lawsuit, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam, made the call to release a massive amount of water from the dam to protect its integrity, as it overflowed with floodwater from a heavy storm that continued to dump water on Sept. 12, 2013. The plaintiffs in the suit say had they been warned of the massive release, they would have been able to move some of their property, but instead they were surprised to find homes literally washed away.http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/victims-of-2013-colorado-floods-claim-us-government-opened-dam-without-warning-destroying-homes

You may also like to see DRP News Bulletin 09 October 2017  &  DRP News Bulletin  02 October 2017

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