Water Matters cover

Vol no. 15 Issue No. 91

Expert Panel

Prithvish Nag

Vice Chancellor, MG Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi

Ajit Tyagi

Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Former DG, IMD, New Delhi

B Meenakumari

Deputy Director General, Fisheries, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi

Rasik Ravindra

Panikkar Professor at ESSO; Former Director, NCAOR, Goa

Saraswati Raju

Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Sachidanand Sinha

Professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Inside this issue

Water Matters

Conserving India’s Groundwater

By: Rina Mukherji

Demand for water in India is estimated to reach 1500 billion cubic m by 2030. Against this India’s current water supply is approximately 740 billion cubic m as a result of which most river basins could face a severe deficit by then.

3D Imaging and National Aquifer Mapping Programme

By: Shakeel Ahmed

A futuristic programme that intends to define the geometry and hydrochemistry of India’s natural aquifers in a national database which can act as an important point of reference for water resources management.

Groundwater Exploitation in the Northwest Plains

By: Staff Reporter

In the last few decades, there has been a tremendous overexploitation of India’s groundwater resources, particularly in the Punjab-Haryana region, due to cheap and easy groundwater pumping and drilling technologies accompanied by decision distorting energy subsidies.

Rivers of India : Perilous or Promising?

By: S R K Mall and Diva Bhatt

With advancements in the science of simulation modelling, climate models have improved their projection capabilities. This can have an important bearing on the future hydrology of flowing surface waters in the current context of climate change.

Riparian Vs Catchment Hydropolitics

By: Nayan Sharma, Subash Prasad Rai and Harinarayan Tiwari

Inter-state water disputes have been the country’s bane ever since reorganization of India into linguistic states. A paradigm shift in water management, wherein riparian hydropolitics is discarded in favour of catchment hydropolitics, can put an end to disputes and promote overall development of river basins.

Kerala’s Dwindling Freshwater Resources

By: D Padmalal and Staff Reporter

Water related problems are acute in many parts of Kerala during summer. The situation could worsen further as rapid urbanisation, indiscriminate sand mining and salinity intrusion into groundwater reservoirs gradually transform the State’s environmental scenario for the worst.

Water Quality of the Upper Ganga

By: Ramesh C Sharma

Several natural and anthropogenic drivers have contributed towards the degradation of water quality in the region of the Upper Ganga. An integrated effort involving every stakeholder is the only way to improve the water quality of Ganga today.

Ganga Doomed

By: Staff Reporter

Time and again, plans for cleaning of the Ganga have been put forth by the central government, with little success. For a river like the Ganga that drains through nine states, this is easier said than done.

Surface Water Storage and Disasters - DAM failures and flooding in extreme event scenarios

By: Sulagna Chattopadhyay

Ever since independence, dams were looked upon as the temples of modern India, our saviour against droughts, and partners in India’s development. However, ill-conceived structures devoid of environmental assessment and lack of upstream and downstream flow data have turned them into killers throughout the length and breadth of the country.

The Lion’s New Home

By: Staff Reporter

Even as the population of lions surpassed its saturation point in the core area of the Gir National Park, the Gujarat Government turned a deaf ear to the Supreme Court’s injunction of relocating a few lions to neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.

Are there still more?-Discovering new species in India

By: Staff Reporter

Discovery of new species have aided the understanding of future probabilities. It has been analysed that these newly discovered species are habitants of the few desolate forests that may be home to a diverse groups of medicinal and natural antidotes.

In brief

Editor's Note

Many a stories have been woven around rippling and cascading brooks that ran by homes, and deep and dark pools that adorned every green grove, about unwritten codes and voyeurism, shame and love, titillation and fear. When the mundane activity of collecting drinking water and bathing in a common spa

Term Power

What is ...

It depicts the rate of flow (discharge) versus time elapsed at a specific point in a river, or other channel. These graphs are generally employed to understand the influence of climate such as seasonal rainfall, flood, drought and climate change on groundwater levels. In addition, hydrographs are also utilised to understand the response of aquifers to pumping and irrigation.

These are wells dug into aquifers under positive pressure. The water in artesian wells rises to a point where hydrostatic equilibrium has been reached naturally, without any artificial aid.

Bed flow is the sustained flow in a stream that comes from groundwater discharge or seepage.

Hydraulic conductivity refers to the permeability of water through a medium. It describes the ease with which water flows through the pores or fractures of an aquifer.

Recharge is the addition of water to an aquifer to replenish it. It may occur naturally through rain, runoff or through artificial measures like spreading basins and recharge wells/irrigation.

These processes are aimed to mitigate the effects of global warming. It involves a multitude of global climate modification programmes that function to tackle climate change by removing CO2 from the air.

Also called paleo-water, the term refers to ancient freshwater reservoirs created millions of years ago and trapped underground in deep aquifers.

Runoff is the water that flows over the surface of earth. The flowing water mostly is a result of storms, glacial melt, floods or other sources. Runoffs are crucial for aquifer recharge.

The term refers to the comparatively dry soil or rock located between the ground surface and the top of the water table. The pores of the soil/rock of this zone contain both water and air.

These are sedimentary beds through which zero flow occurs because of lack of porosity. Aquicludes generally underlie or overlie an aquifer. In case of the latter, the pressure could metamorphose it into a confined aquifer.