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Linguistic inclusion on the internet

Linguistic inclusion on the internet

By AlokeThakore

Not a single one of the Eighth Schedule Indian languages is used by more...

Net neutrality: Superhighway to digital inclusion

Net neutrality: Superhighway to digital inclusion

By Ashoak Upadhyay

If users have to pay for the services available via the internet unde...

Ambivalent internet: Freedoms and fears

Ambivalent internet: Freedoms and fears

By Shivani Gupta

The internet is not a gender-neutral space. Women from patriarchal backg...

Digital inequality in the Global South

Digital inequality in the Global South

By TT Sreekumar

Studies which focus on information and communication technologies (ICTs)...

Caste concerns in landmark e-governance projects

Caste concerns in landmark e-governance projects

By Rahul De’

Many e-governance programmes in developing countries reach into the furthes...

Water resources

Backgrounders

Water Resources : Background & Perspective

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

At Independence, only 6% of rural India had access to safe drinking water. That figure has gone up to 82%. The per capita availability of renewable freshwater in the country, however, has fallen drastically over the last 50 years. The water table is rapidly falling with unregulated over-exploitation of groundwater. By 2025, water scarcity in India will be acute. And big dams, mega river-linking projects or privatised water distribution may not help.


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Analysis

Revising the Draft National Water Policy

By S Ramesh

Inda’s water resources  Water disputesThe draft National Water Policy 2012 recommended that water other than that required for drinking and sanitation, be treated as an economic good. Subsequent revisions have ensured that the water requirements for food security and agriculture are also considered primary

Fan incident that occurred in 1995 remains fresh in my mind after all these years. A friend and I were shopping in a busy area in Coimbatore when a posh car stopped near us.
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Related Articles

»Water: Economic good or right to life? By Ranjan K Panda
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»Impact of industrial expansion on water availability By Ranjan K Panda
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»Staring drought in the face By Rahul Goswami
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Features

Endangered rivers and biodiversity

By Parineeta Dandekar

Ganga Valley of Flowers National ParkOver 70 hydel projects are being constructed in the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi basins in Uttarakhand, adversely impacting over 9,000 hectares of forest land, the holy confluences of rivers and several wildlife parks. A Wildlife Institute of India report recommends that 24 of these projects be scrapped

If you want to visit the Valley of Flowers National Park or the Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve in Uttarakhand, plan it this August. If you want to see the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers en route to Kedarnath and Badrinath, do it soon.

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Related Articles

»Buying silence, manufacturing consent By Manshi Asher
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»The Sindhol power struggley By Ranjan K Panda
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»Can science solve our water problems? By Ranjan K Panda
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Books & Reports

More Himalayan follies

By Kannan Kasturi

World Water Development Report 3The new 'United Nations World Water Development Report 3' carries alarming warnings about the impact of glacial melts in the Himalayas. But over 450 hydropower projects are being planned in the Himalayas without taking the consequences of climate change into account, says a report from International Rivers

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Related Articles

»War for water -- and one victory
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»Oil or water? Getting our priorities right By Darryl D'Monte
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»A reality check on Bhakra By Himanshu Thakkar
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Stories of Change

To each according to his needs

By Anup Sharma

 In villages along the Indo-Bhutan border in lower Assam, where the deepest wells are dry, communities rely on the traditional dong community water-harvesting system which operates on sound principles of water management and judicious distribution

If one were to ask any villager along the Indo-Bhutan border for a glass of water, he is likely to get you a glass of milk instead. Water is one of the most precious commodities in the 200-odd villages here, spread over roughly 300 sq km. 

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Related Articles

»Creating artificial glaciers By Freny Manecksha
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»Water from the sun By Moushumi Basu
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»Bamboo pipes to transport water  By Ranjan K Panda
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News

Self-help brings two drought-prone UP villages to life

By digging canals themselves, villagers in drought-prone Lalitpur district, Uttar Pradesh, have begun raising two crops a year and have doubled their income.

Depleting water, whether in towns or villages, and lack of water augmentation measures on the part of the government has pushed some communities into coming up with their own solutions to the water crisis.

In Lalitpur district of Uttar Pradesh, communities are organising to bring water from government canals to their fields, by digging channels.

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Related Articles

»Jharkhand's water table drops by 3 metres in one year: study
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»In Vijayawada, every household has a water connection
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»Orissa's man-made water crisis
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Statistics

Water Resources in India: Facts

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Future Shock: Annual Per Capita Water Availability is on the Decline in India

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Status of Coverage of Habitations under Rural Water Supply

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

At Independence, only 6% of rural India had access to safe drinking water. That figure has gone up to 82%. The per capita availability of renewable freshwater in the country, however, has fallen drastically over the last 50 years. The water table is rapidly falling with unregulated over-exploitation of groundwater. By 2025, water scarcity in India will be acute. And big dams, mega river-linking projects or privatised water distribution may not help

Read more...

By S Ramesh

The draft National Water Policy 2012 recommended that water other than that required for drinking and sanitation, be treated as an economic good. Subsequent revisions have ensured that the water requirements for food security and agriculture are also considered primary

 Inda’s water resources  Water disputes

Read more...

The Draft Water Policy 2012 makes all the right noises about keeping livelihood and ecosystem needs as the first priority, but contradicts this by insisting that water must be seen as an ‘economic good’, says Ranjan K Panda

resettlement in Delhi

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By Ranjan K Panda

Demand for water from the domestic sector is expected to rise from 25 billion m3 to 52 billion m3 over the next 20 years. However, water consumption in the industrial sector is rising at 4.2% per year, and will shoot from 67 billion m3 to 228 billion m3 by 2025. State governments such as Orissa’s, which are signing MoU after MoU with industry, citing a surplus water situation in their state, need to think of the consequences of this industrial overdrive on availability of water in the future

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By Rahul Goswami

With 167 districts being declared drought hit, including in major grain producing states, and several others registering a deficit rainfall, the central government is preparing to put into action its Crisis Management Plan for Drought

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By Alok Prakash Putul

In March 2007, a Public Accounts Committee came down heavily on the Chhattisgarh government for allowing a private company to appropriate the waters of the Sheonath river. Nevertheless, business continues as usual. In fact, more corporate houses have been given easy access to river waters in the state at the cost of the drinking water and irrigation needs of local communities

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By Devinder Sharma

When Punjab exported 18 million tonnes of surplus wheat and rice in 2003-04, it actually exported 55.5 trillion litres of water as well. The focus on exports and the shift to cash crop cultivation will come at a huge social and environmental cost as India's water crisis worsens

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By Darryl D'Monte

While overall access to water supply infrastructure in cities is increasing, coverage remains uneven. But are dams and so-called "flexible water allocations", as advocated by the World Bank, the answer?

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

The proposed cess on groundwater extraction will only give big players such as the bottled water industry carte blanche to extract as much as they need. A water cess in the absence of blanket checks on over-extraction is not a good idea

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By Rakesh Shukla

Laws drafted in dusty government offices are often vague and full of loopholes. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is a clear and concise piece of legislation that demonstrates the value of involving stakeholders in the drafting of a law

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By Himanshu Thakkar

The UNDP's annual Human Development Report for 2006 focuses on water and advocates small-scale solutions and efficiency improvements to tackle the global water crisis

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By Ashish Kothari

In the current debate over the rehabilitation of those displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Project, the fundamental question about the environmental impact of the dam, and whether such a dam should be built at all, has been forgotten, says Ashish Kothari

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By Himanshu Thakkar

In its new report, the World Bank states that India's dams can store only 200 cubic metres of water per person against the US's 5,000 cubic metres per capita. But before advocating more large water storage facilities, the Bank should consider why India is losing over 36 billion cubic metres of existing storage capacity every year

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Four foreign companies have been shortlisted to manage water distribution in South Delhi. There are fears that water tariffs may rise 800% as a result. Is privatisation the only way forward?

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By Darryl D'Monte

There appears to have been an imperceptible shift in the World Bank's stand, away from privatisation being the only answer to the world's water crisis, towards a more pragmatic approach of public-private investments. On World Water Day, March 22, Indian non-government organisations and civil society groups will review trends towards private investments in the country

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Although last year's budget held out great promise for water harvesting in India, nothing much came of the proposed schemes. Can we expect much more from Budget 2005 due out later this month?

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Activists have long lobbied to get both big water firms and the World Bank out of the water sector in the developing world. They may just have succeeded, with the three biggest global players announcing their decision to withdraw. Isn't it time civil society proposed a viable alternative to the Bank and the private sector?

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By Parineeta Dandekar

Over 70 hydel projects are being constructed in the Alaknanda and Bhagirathi basins in Uttarakhand, adversely impacting over 9,000 hectares of forest land, the holy confluences of rivers and several wildlife parks. A Wildlife Institute of India report recommends that 24 of these projects be scrapped

Ganga Valley of Flowers National Park

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By Manshi Asher

The Himachal government has notified that the 1% free power to be made available for ‘local area development’ by hydropower producers would be distributed as annual cash transfers to ‘project-affected’ families. Is it trying to buy people’s silence in the face of increasing community opposition to hydroelectric projects?

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By Ranjan K Panda

Three more hydropower plants on the Mahanadi, which already has the Hirakud dam, will mean that the river will be dammed four times in a 100-km stretch, virtually killing it. To what lengths is the government prepared to go to serve the interests of water-guzzling industry, ask communities and activists who are strongly resisting the Sindhol project

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The Supreme Court believes it can. In a series of recent directives the Court has recommended scientific solutions to the water problem in the land of Aryabhatta and Ramanujan. Ranjan K Panda points out that it is science which has caused much of the problem and that we must also look at strengthening traditional and cultural solutions to water management

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By Anosh Malekar

The Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority has directed the Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation to withdraw its controversial proposal to privatise the Nira-Deoghar project, a long-pending, money-guzzling project in the Krishna river valley

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By Ranjan K Panda

The Hirakud dam was originally conceived as a flood control measure on the Mahanadi. The rule curve or storage level was revised in recent times to prioritise the needs of irrigation, industry and power-generation. With serious consequences for flood control in Orissa. Are economic compulsions being put before human lives and livelihoods?

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A recent report by TERI on six Coca-Cola bottling plants in India confirms that the plants have been located in water stressed areas and recommends that the plant in Kala Dera near Jaipur be closed down or relocated

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By Ranjan K Panda

Before 1997, total allocation to industry of water from the Hirakud reservoir was 31,912 lakh gallons per year. In the nine years since, an 'allocation committee' has allocated 27 times more water to industry. This has, of course, been at the cost of water for irrigation

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By Nitya Jacob

At the Fourth World Water Forum in Mexico City, everybody agreed that governments have failed to provide safe drinking water to their people. The new management mantras proposed were decentralisation and handing over the management of water supply to private concessionaires

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By Shrayas Jatkar

A firsthand account of how the villagers of Surodi got together to construct and repair bunds in their village, transforming it from a poor, drought-prone village into a thriving model of self-sufficiency

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

With the simple construction of an anicut, the Western India Rainfed Farming Project (WIRFP) has helped transform the lives of tribal villagers living in the seriously degraded and drought-prone village of Mota Mayanga in Partapgarh, Rajasthan

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By Ranjan K Panda

People in the tribal village of Padia Badmal, in Sambalpur district, have revived the traditional practice of building paengharas, or small tanks, to help combat drought. This simple intervention has led to improved yields, less outward migration and a greater sense of confidence and security among the villagers

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Delhi lifts 100 million gallons a day from the Ganga river. Unable to meet the growing demand, the Delhi Jal Board plans to increase water tariffs, cut down on operational losses and restrict demand. But is this the best solution for Delhi's water woes?

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By N P Chekutty

Activists and campaigners converged on Plachimada in Kerala recently in support of the ongoing struggle to shut down the Coca-Cola plant which has been dangerously overdrawing water

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By Surekha Sule

The people living near the Patalganga river have been fighting for two decades against the pollution of their water source. Now there's new hope in the form of the Patalganga Area Water Partnership, initiated by the Indian Water Works Association, that will give them a say in how this natural resource is used and maintained

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By Manipadma Jena

The Steel City of Jamshedpur suffers severe water stress. But over the last decade, steel giant Tata Steel has reduced pollutant discharge by 98% and cut water consumption by 67.3%. Today, India's largest iron and steel production facility boasts a zero groundwater extraction record. The conservation efforts of the industry that dominates this town are being replicated by citizens in the old city. InfoChangeIndia travelled to Jamshedpur to document this pathbreaking corporate-citizens initiative

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By Max Martin

As the power-strapped Kerala state studies the feasibility of a 64 metre high dam across the Kunthi in Silent Valley, environmentalists argue that the Rs 2,470 million dam will have an ominous impact on the environment

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

In Laporiya village in Rajasthan, a unique water conservation scheme involving Laporiya Squares has ensured bumper harvests and increased incomes

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

The auctioning of water in the Integrated Watershed Development Project in the Shivalik foothills of Haryana suggests that this is a significant new participatory approach to watershed development

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By Naren Karunakaran

There was a time when the people of north Bihar, India's most flood-prone state, celebrated the monsoons and lived with floods. How and when did they become victims of floods, struggling to control the waters? Now, a silent movement to empower citizen's groups to re-establish their cultural ownership over rivers is taking shape

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By Lalitha Sridhar

Thousands of farmers in the Cauvery delta are being forced to come to terms with a new reality: perennial water scarcity. The lack of water in the rain-fed Cauvery is destroying livelihoods and disrupting communities

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By I M Shah

Two hundred villages have so far participated in the planning, construction, operation and maintenance of the Aapni Yojana scheme in three districts of arid Rajasthan. A water and health committee in every village is responsible for fair distribution of water, water conservation, health education, payment for services and sanitation

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

With the start of a good monsoon, everyone seems to have forgotten about water harvesting as a means to ensure healthy supplies of water even after the rains

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

It's imperative to put the facts about India's ambitious riverlinking project before the people before politicians permanently alter the geography of the country. How many people know that 246,000 hectares of land in Rajasthan became waterlogged and salinised as a result of the Rajasthan Canal Project?

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By Advaita Marathe

The myth that women have no role to play in irrigation management has been shattered, as the Gujarat government's Participatory Irrigation Management policy clearly shows

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By Anuradha Sengupta

Shaken by the magnitude of water stress, and the conflicts surrounding it, award-winning filmmaker Urmi Chakraborty has made a hard-hitting new documentary on water

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By Mohan Dharia

Vanarai Bunds, erected at virtually no cost by using empty cement bags across nullahs and rivulets, have proved most effective in watershed management, writes Mohan Dharia. Around 36,000 such bunds have been constructed in Maharashtra by local communities since the monsoons of 2002

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

External funding for the ambitious river-linking project has been rejected. Instead, industry has been called upon to support the costliest endeavour that the country has ever undertaken. But, by opening up the floodgates to private sector investment, the government could be bargaining away the traditional rights of people over water resources

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Following on Chhattisgarh's heels Kerala has been planning to give easy access to groundwater to private operators. And some 30 Indian cities are inviting bids for their municipal water supplies from a handful of multinational corporations specialising in water

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By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

Farmers in Goa and Tamil Nadu are abandoning their farms for the more lucrative business of extracting and selling groundwater. The groundwater trade is close to Rs 30 billion today, with 50% of the urban and industrial demand met through groundwater. And yet, there are no regulations to prevent this dangerous over-exploitation of groundwater resources

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By Anu Kumar

For centuries the people of Ramtek managed their traditional water harvesting systems, thrived and prospered. The community decided on water distribution. In 1950, water management became the responsibility of the state. Today, the area is drought-ridden. Revitalising the tanks and stepwells could be the best solution

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By S Vishwanath

With groundwater levels fast depleting, rooftop rainwater harvesting makes sound ecological and financial sense. Bangalore seems to have taken the lead in this form of water harvesting and has even set up a special Rainwater Club

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By Jaya Jose

Watershed management expert Vijay Paranjpye sorts out the tangle over water privatisation, and insists that privatisation of public utilities can be resorted to only if the government completely fails to manage the utility, and if private management is going to make the utility cheaper for the people

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By Devinder Sharma

Taps are running dry, water tables are falling, crops are shrivelling and cattle dying as America faces its worst drought since the '30s. Strangely, America's hi-tech model of precision farming has crumbled under just one year of severe drought. What does this say about the wisdom and efficacy of industrialised farming versus India's subsistence farming methods?

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By Teresa Barat

Five model rainwater-harvesting projects in Delhi show how the city's fast-depleting groundwater table can be recharged and how the acute water scarcity could be tackled

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A report highlights how far rural water and sanitation has still to go, while the success story of the twin cities of Hubli-Dharwad shows the way forward for urban India

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By Kannan Kasturi

The new 'United Nations World Water Development Report 3' carries alarming warnings about the impact of glacial melts in the Himalayas. But over 450 hydropower projects are being planned in the Himalayas without taking the consequences of climate change into account, says a report from International Rivers

Read more...

By Darryl D'Monte

Worldwatch's new Vital Signs 2006-2007 seems more concerned with rising oil prices than with depleting water resources

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By Himanshu Thakkar

For decades the success of the Bhakra dam has been cited to silence all those who questioned large dams. A new report that assesses the real impact of India's iconic Bhakra dam that's been credited with ushering in the Green Revolution has shaken up policymakers. What is the truth behind the hype?

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In the aftermath of December 2004's devastating tsunami, governments are having to cope with problems ranging from waste disposal and degraded environments to the disruption of basic services like water supply and sanitation

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By Ramaswamy R Iyer

A review of Bhim Subba's new book about the Himalayas and the water environment it houses

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By Vidyadhar Gadgil

Water security is not determined by nature alone. Culture, social structures and tradition play an equal part in ensuring water security in low rainfall regions such as Rajasthan. Anupam Mishra's landmark book on traditional water harvesting and storage systems in Rajasthan is now available in English translation

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The UNEP paints a worrying picture of this critical, hidden, natural resource. In rural India, 50% of irrigation water and 80% of drinking water is pumped up from underground sources by 3 million hand-pumped wells

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The Atlas on International Freshwater Agreements, brought out to mark World Water Day on March 22, 2003, in the International Year of Freshwater, claims that the availability/non-availability of freshwater could be the flashpoint for future conflict in the world

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By Ranjit Devraj

India's new National Water Policy emphasises continued government control over water, ignoring pleas by environmental groups to involve local communities in order to overcome looming shortages. Scroll down for a critique of the policy, for the draft policy of 2001, and for the modifications made this year

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By Anup Sharma

In villages along the Indo-Bhutan border in lower Assam, where the deepest wells are dry, communities rely on the traditional dong community water-harvesting system which operates on sound principles of water management and judicious distribution

Read more...

By Freny Manecksha

The melting of natural glaciers due to climate change is a matter of global concern. But in Ladakh, a technique to create artificial glaciers that are designed to melt has rejuvenated agriculture

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By Moushumi Basu

The inhabitants of four villages in Jharkhand have turned their lives around by installing a system that uses solar energy to draw out groundwater. Villagers are now assured of clean drinking water and have added vegetable cultivation to their source of income

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By Ranjan K Panda

When all attempts at alerting government to the water scarcity in Orissa’s Malkangiri district failed, a group of tribal women turned to an ingenious traditional solution – using bamboo poles to transfer water from a stream to their village

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The N M Sadguru Water and Development Foundation has helped villages in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh set up irrigation cooperatives to manage and distribute water

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The nomadic life of the Jat tribe in Hazira, in the Rann of Kutch, has been transformed by the discovery and use of water in the desert

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A water purifier that requires no electricity, can be set up in 10 minutes in the remotest areas, and that filters out even viruses, has been developed by the polymer division of the National Chemical Laboratory. The filter has immense potential in rural and disaster-prone areas

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Two hundred farmers in Nashik district of Maharashtra have formed a cooperative to harness water and irrigate their fields

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By Lalitha Sridhar

The ICRISAT-developed Adarsha watershed management project near the village of Kothapally has yielded dramatic results. Groundwater levels have risen, green cover increased, and productivity and incomes in this semi-arid tropic region radically improved

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By Lalitha Sridhar

Rainwater harvesting makes news every day. But conservation and recycling of water is equally important. Taj Air Caterers in Chennai shows the way

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The Uttar Pradesh government's experiment to recharge excess river water, via earthen canals, has succeeded in raising the water table and bringing down cultivation costs

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Under the Pani Panchayat, water is treated as a common property resource that is allocated on the basis of the size of family rather than the size of the land holding.

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For over two decades, nearly 150,000 people threatened with displacement by the Koel Karo project have stalled work until their demands for total resettlement are met.

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Diamond merchant Mathurabhai Savani has helped villages in Saurashtra launch water harvesting schemes.

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A major people's movement in rural Rajasthan has revived the river Arvari and its tributaries. Water management techniques have completely changed the landscape and lives in this once-denuded region.

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A watershed development project that changed the economic situation of Adgaon Khurd village in Marathwada.

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By digging canals themselves, villagers in drought-prone Lalitpur district, Uttar Pradesh, have begun raising two crops a year and have doubled their income

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Local efforts to conserve rainwater have made some villages in Jharkhand self-sufficient. But many districts in the state have only enough water to last them till March

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A concerted effort to use water rationally, cut waste, and provide connections at moderate rates at the consumer’s doorstep has made Vijayawada the first city in the country to provide water to all its inhabitants

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How is it that a state with an average rainfall of 1,502 mm experiences acute water shortages in summer? Perhaps because the approach to the problem has been a ‘one-size-fits-all’ one, with no assessment of the ground realities and no implementation of area-specific technologies

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Balangir in Orissa, known as one of India’s poorest regions, is facing an acute water scarcity, thanks to the administration’s neglect of the natural waterbodies and tanks that once took care of all the citizens’ water needs

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The state government will take up the Jala Nirmala scheme, at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore, in 11 districts of north Karnataka including Bagalkot, Bidar, Belgaum, Bijapur, Dharwad, Gadag, Gulbarga, Haveri, Koppal, Raichur and Uttara Kannada

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/31918/, October 23, 2009

To promote water conservation in Bihar, the state government is expected to enact a law making rainwater harvesting mandatory in urban areas

http://dailypioneer.com/199204/, September 2009

Amounts of rainfall have not changed, but water use has. Four north Indian states -- Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi -- are using up 30% more of their groundwater resources than has been estimated by the Indian government, says a new NASA report

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23 reservoirs which together have a capacity of 106 billion cubic metres now contain only 9.59 BCM, according to the Central Water Commission’s weekly report released on June 25

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In Bhopal, three members of a family were killed in a dispute over water; in Delhi, people took to the streets to protest against water shortages and power cuts in the city. A delayed monsoon shows up the country’s inability to deal with the situation

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