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Endangered rivers and biodiversity

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


Buying silence, manufacturing consent

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?


The Sindhol power struggle

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


Can science solve our water problems?

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


India's first bid to privatise irrigation project stalled

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


Hirakud dam causing rather than preventing Orissa floods?

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?


TERI faults Coca-Cola for depleting community water resources

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


Industry vs agriculture: The battle over water in Hirakud

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


Privatisation cloaked as concessions and decentralisation?

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


Water of life: The rebirth of Surodi

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


Anicut brings Mota Mayanga village to life

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


'The miracle of paenghara has shown us the way to live again'

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


The Ganga, viewed from Delhi

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?


Plachimada vs Coca-Cola: 1,000 days on

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


Will Area Water Partnerships give people back their rivers?

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


Steel City tackles its water woes

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


Silent Valley in turmoil again

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


Village uses 'Laporiya Squares' to outwit drought

By Dr Sudhirendar Sharma

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


Harvesting rain, auctioning gain

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


Living with floods

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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